Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed October 07 2015

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | October 7, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Venice: One of the World's Most Romantic Cities

    Venice: One of the World's Most Romantic Cities

    PHOTO: Be prepared to fall head over heels in one of the most romantic cities in the world! I know I did. (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Given Venice’s notorious reputation for being expensive, I had initially decided to give it a pass, attempting to convince myself that it’s probably not worth blowing the bank for.

    However, I was convinced by fellow travelers to stay for two days, and I can honestly say, I’m glad I gave in.

    It was like pulling pages straight from a Harlequin romance novel. As you got lost moving from street to street, you would fall even deeper in love.

    I fell so deeply in fact that I also forgot what “budget backpacker” meant. I floated along in a traditional gondola where the driver swooned us with his enchanting voice as he sang romantic melodies as we rounded old corners of the floating town. We indulged in a half lobster and fresh cherry tomato pasta directly after, accompanied by probably the best gelato we had ever eaten and at night, of course — bottles and bottles of cheap red wine.

    We wined. We dined. And we definitely splurged  (but I don’t regret a thing). Venice is easily in my top rated places to visit for anyone going to Europe. And even with its high prices, it’s worth every penny.

    Cheapest Accommodation: Camping Serenissima (€16/4 bed private, €18/2 bed mixed dorm)


    • 24-hour security

    • Bar/cafe/ restaurant

    • Mini-supermarket

    • Hot showers

    • Internet access (not free)

    • Luggage storage

    • Parking

    • Wheelchair accessible

    Best Accommodation: Plus Camping Jolly
    (€16.40/3 bed shared tent, €28.30/ 3 bed mixed dorm)

    Although a tiny bit pricier than other camping spots, the amenities and “tents” are wonderful along with a great atmosphere. Worth the extra splurge! (Note: If you are traveling solo, ask other travelers if they’d like to share a 3-bed tent instead of mixed dorm — they’re exactly the same.)


    • Nice, clean pool/plenty of lounge chairs

    • “Tents” are actually comfortable dorm rooms — also comes with outlets!

    • Great showers with rainfall showerheads

    • 24-hour security

    • Bar/cafe/restaurant

    • Mini supermarket

    • Free Wi-Fi

    • Luggage storage

    • Parking

    • Wheelchair accessible

    Money Saving Tips

    • Walk everywhere.

    • Buy snacks at the supermarket.

    • Visit in low season for lower prices.

    • Stay in a hostel outside of the city — the bus is easy to use.

    • Want to go out? Head to the student quarter (around the Dorsoduro area) for bars and cafes that won’t charge you an arm and a leg.

    • Explore the many free churches.

    • Most expensive spots are St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge so don’t buy anything around there.

    Must Eats

    • Gelateria Millevoglie da Tarcisio: The best REAL gelato I’ve had in Italy. (S. Polo 3033/3034).

    • Antico Panificio: Forgo the pizza, but make sure to order the half lobster with tomato pasta. It’s incredible ?(S. Polo 945).

    PHOTO: The half lobster and cherry tomato pasta from Antico Panificio was out of this world delicious! (and only costs €17).

    • All’Arco: Popular with locals and serves mouthwatering paninis (Calle dell’Arco, S. Polo 436).

    Must Do’s

    • Wander around and get lost in Venice — it’s part of the fun!

    • Take yourself out for one nice meal and gelato listed above. The food in Venice is outstanding, especially the seafood!

    • Don’t skip the gondola ride. It was one of the highlights of my trip and worth every penny! Be sure to go with a driver who appears to be full of energy and happy. Your experience depends a lot on whom you go with.

    PHOTO: One of the most magical experiences while in Venice was the gondola ride. Not only was the view breathtaking, but our driver made the whole experience that much better!

    • Wander through the famous food market Mercato del Rialto.

    • If you really can’t afford a gondola ride, you can still take the vaporetti, a local waterbus that travels all over the lagoon.

    • Visit the other islands: Murano and Burano.

More Venice


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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