Following our country staycation, we jetted off to Venice to continue our Easter long-weekend. It´s been on our bucket list forever, so the excitement levels were high (to say the least!). And not surprisingly, it was nothing short of what we imagined – dreamy, romantic and probably one of the most stunning cities we’ve ever been to.
Packing is never an easy task; if you´ve read my previous travel posts, you´ll know that packing is not my forte, and usually done in the last hour or so (I work better under pressure!). The weather forecast was looking good, so I optimistically packed denim, espadrilles, light coats and thin jumpers – and my new bag Gucci bag candy (obviously).
We arrived really late on Sunday evening, so we´d pre-booked a private boat transfer from the airport, also knowing it was the easiest way to enter our hotel (love that). Stepping onto that boat and arriving to Ca Maria Adele, was definitely a holiday highlight (and the best way we´ve ever arrived to any hotel!).
Ca Maria Adele was nothing short of a fairytale. Voted the Best Boutique Hotel of Year and Most Romantic Hotel – we were pretty excited to be staying here. We both really love boutique and concept hotels – and with only nine rooms, all uniquely decorated and styled – this place was definitely one of the most magical, and romantic experiences.
Breakfast was definitely a highlight at Ca Maria Adele. Included in the rate, you can pre-order every night via a breakfast form and pop it outside your door, choosing the time and desired location (roof terrace, breakfast room, lounge or your own room), and having a choice of everything imaginable, from fresh juice, seasonal fruit, eggs any style, pancakes, pastries, croissants… The list goes on. We started it relatively light on day one with omelette, poached eggs and fruit (by day 3, we were on the pancakes and pastries!). Delicious.
After a big breakfast, we we ready to start exploring Venice!
You can walk everywhere in Venice – someone told us it would take maximum 30 minutes (if that), from one side to the other. So we spent most of the morning just exploring and for once, not using our Google maps! There are sign posts everywhere to the most important monuments, and very hard to get lost here.
If you´ve ever been to Venice, I am sure you will agree that every corner looks like a filmset, verging on slightly unreal. It´s just so pretty and picturesque, with the turquoise canal streaming through the most incredible and historic building (not to mention the Italian style wooden boats and gondolas!).
An obligatory pit stop for an espresso and a little sweet treat to tie us over until lunch!
After walking (and walking) we were pretty hungry and ready for lunch! We jumped on the Water Bus (Venice´s version of public transport) to the iconic Hotel Cipriani – also known as George Clooney´s favourite hotel (if it´s good enough for Clooney, it´s good enough for us!). We booked to dine lunch at their casual dining restaurant, Cip´s Club located right on the water. You definitely pay for the views and the setting (overlooking central Venice) – although the food was relatively simple (but good), the wine was excellent and the experience priceless.
After lunch, we jumped on the boat back to San Marco square (the central point in Venice) and ventured out for a few more hours of exploring, working off all that bread, wine and pasta!. In the early evening we headed back to the hotel for a little afternoon siesta.
We stayed in the beautiful Moorish Room at Ca Maria Adele – which was nothing short of classic, opulent Italian grandeur, with so many unique and characteristic elements. With really high ceilings and traditional wooden beams, this is not your average hotel room (to say the least), and we felt so lucky to be staying here.
A few hours later, we were raring to go and discover Venice at night!
First stop: Harry´s Bar – another iconic establishment (also owned by the Cipriani family) and where the Bellini was invented! This place is pretty touristy, but it´s a definite must to pop in for a drink, olives and people watching. The queues might be long, but ask for a seat at the bar, where the barman will happily share all the history of this timeless place.
After Harry´s Bar, we ventured onto to our next drink (holiday mode was definitely ON!), to The Gritti Palace. As well as being a very luxurious hotel, it also has the most incredible terraced bar setting right on the canal. We quickly settled in with some Rosé, taking in that view…
After the sun went down, and feeling merry and happy, we started the 20 minute walk to the San Polo district (where most of the local and traditional restaurants are located), towards Osteria Ai Do Farai.
Tune in on Friday for part two of my Venice travel diary – where we explore even more and head to the islands of Murano and Burano…