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Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
I still remember when I bought this top. I almost didn't do it because it was still $66 but it had so many of my favorite colors to wear that I had to do it. Good thing too because it's one of my favorite mid-weather tops! I've worn it with layers, on its own and it even kept me warm on those chilly Florida Winter days (aka slightly cold.)

I've been a Marc Jacobs fan ever since I first got into fashion so it's no surprise that I have so many bags and clothes from the brand. Shopbop has a HUGE selection of Marc Jacobs pieces and quite a few have made it on to my wishlist. I'm always drawn to the printed dresses, they're just so fun and unique. And you can't go wrong with Marc Jacobs bags, I have 3 and am always resisting buying more!

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Pyo" Striped Sweater (Saks Off Fifth), Jeans: Everlane "The High-Rise Skinny Jean" in Mid-Blue, Ballet Flats: Chanel 'Cap Toe Ballet Flat' via eBay (shop ballet flats), Italian Leather Bag: shop mini bags

Last time I was in Italy we spent about 6 hours in Venice. Christian and I stayed for 3 nights so we had a lot more time to explore. Sadly our 2nd full day (our wedding anniversary) we experienced some rain storms but made the best of it by retreating to our airbnb and spending the afternoon watching movies and then headed out to dinner.  We were going to explore a little bit on our final day since our flight wasn't until 5:30 but the rain was back so we opted to head to the airport early instead of getting soaked. Even with the rain we managed to see everything we wanted to, except one hiccup which I'll explain below.

This was one of our 2 airbnb splurges of the trip and boy was it worth it. If I were to live in Venice this is where I'd want to be.  It was the perfect size with a lofted bedroom and an amazing windowed porch with views of the canal and square. Check out my "honeymoon 2" highlight on Instagram for a video tour, its right at the beginning.  If enough people ask, maybe I'll share the listing with you. *wink wink*

What to Do

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark's Square was the most touristy place we went. It includes the Basilica di San Marco, Doge's Palace, Torre dell’Orologio clock tower and the Campanile tower. The Basilica is free to enter but most of the other things to visit in this area have some kind of fee. A lot of people go up the Campanile tower but I recommend the bell tower on San Giorgio Maggiore Island (below.)

San Giorgio Maggiore Island

This island is a quick boat ride from St Mark's Square and is well worth it for the lack of tourists. I was hoping to bring Christian up the bell tower for an AMAZING panoramic view of Venice but we ran into a problem. Unfortunately the elevator was broken and that's the only way to get up the tower so we couldn't do it. We made the best of the situation and took outfit photos and enjoyed the view of Venice before heading back to the main island.  They also always have some sort of exhibit going on in and around the church so be sure to explore.

Rialto Bridge/T Fondaco dei Tedeschi Shopping Center

The Rialto Bridge is a must-visit even if you just walk across like we did. It's the oldest of the four bridges and is home to a bunch of shops. While you're there, check out T Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a 4 floor shopping center with rooftop terrace. Our hostess told us to visit the terrace for sunset for an amazing view of the city but by the time we arrived it was full (apparently you need to make reservations to go up - pro tip!)

Campo San Barnaba Church aka The Library from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

Our airbnb was just outside the Campo San Barnaba in Venice so we had a direct view of the square and this church. I didn't realize until our first evening that it's the church from one of my favorite movies - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Needless to say I had a bit of a freak out. This is probably not exciting for non-Indy fans but right now there's a da Vinci exhibit within the church if you're into art.

Libreria Acqua Alta

A really cool bookstore that has a fun reading nook encapsulated by books on the walls. It was really crowded when we went so we were shuffling around a bit and couldn't fully enjoy so maybe head here right when they open if you really want to shop for books. They also have kitties roaming around the store, so cute!

Where to Eat


Our airbnb was literally a 1-minute walk to a GROM gelato shop so we went every night. This meant we ended up not venturing to other places but I was fine with that because their dark chocolate sorbetta is AMAZINGGGGG.

La Calcina

This may have been our favorite meal of the trip and it was a complete accident. We were walking around trying to find food and we were about to leave the area to try somewhere else and I decided to quickly check Google Maps to see if we missed anything and as luck would have it, we did. This hotel with a restaurant was a hidden gem among touristy restaurants on the water.

It was a perfect 1 year anniversary dinner. The bread was the best we had on the trip (yes, we rank bread) and we loved our meal. We shared the Gli spaghetti alla salsa di pomodoroe basilico (basically basil pesto + tomato pasta) and Spiedini di pollo (grilled chicken skewers with vegetables.) For dessert, Christian had tiramisu (with Sicilian citrus) and I had an amazing chocolate torte. There was an older couple eating next to us and when Christian and I swapped plates the husband said "I saw that" and the wife followed up with "we've been doing the same thing for 50 years." Too funny. (they also took a photo for us)

Ristorante Pizzeria Dolfin

Another host recommendation that we went to for lunch. I had a delicious pesto and Christian had creamy ham and cheese tortellini.  I really enjoyed my pesto. It was always great to know that I have a default Italian meal to choose if the rest of the menu had weird items. I'm not the most adventurous eater so sometimes other countries are difficult for me.

Pasticceria Toletta

We stopped by here one morning while we were on a walk across the island to get to the Rialto bridge. I had an apple tart and a chocolate "thing" with biscotti in it and Christian had an almond pastry, so good and very reasonably priced. We spent under 4 Euros for all 3 things.

Pizzeria Ristorante Al Profeta

This was recommended by our airbnb hostess as one of the best pizza places in Venice. We tried the 'Simone' pizza because we were too tempted by the mention of frankfurter on the pizza (it also had sausage and spicy salami.) It was pretty good but we probably should have had a more normal pizza, haha. The restaurant had pictures of old Hollywood actors and was playing American oldies like The Eagles, I really enjoyed it.

La Lista

I had pizza here on my first trip to Venice and it was the best pizza I'd had on my trip so naturally I took Christian here. The crust was still perfection, just as I remembered.

Captain Candy

This is one of the most touristy thing we did, but there are tons of random candy stores throughout Venice and they kept tempting us with tasty treats in the window. So when we passed Captain Candy we had to grab a bag of various sweets!
Our trip to Venice was a bit of a blur. We arrived around 2pm to our airbnb and set out to explore. We tried to watch the sunset from a location our host said was nice but it was a long walk and we realized mid-way that the sun was the opposite side of the city from where she told us to go, haha. Whoops! (Maybe it was still a pretty view?) I ended up not taking photos that day so these are from our first full day in Venice. We started our day by walking through St Marks Square and hopping on a boat to head to San Giorgio Maggiore island so we could go up that bell tower instead of the overcrowded one at St Marks. Unfortunately the elevator was broken and that's the only way to get up the tower so we couldn't do it. We did manage to get these lovely windblown photos on the island before heading back to the mainland for more exploration!

Side note: We went into Prada so I could look for the bag I like (Prada - Cahier Astrology) and found it in PURPLE there - I didn't know they made purple so I was very excited. That's now on my wish list after my Gucci Marmont, but they don't make it anymore so it will be very hard to find once I save up.  Anyway, the girl at the store loved my dress, it's always fun getting complimented on your outfit - especially at Prada. This is one of my favorite dresses so I'm always happy when other people notice it.

Chambray Jacket: Cloth + Stone (shop denim jackets), Dress: Carven Paris Map Print dress (shop more knee length dresses), Sandals: Ancient Greek Sandals 'Alethea' (shop Ancient Greek Sandals),  Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Natural Selection Mini Messenger Bag', Sunglasses: Chanel (shop oversized sunglasses), Simple Pearl Necklace c/o AUrate

Christian and I only had one full day in Florence on our trip as there were so many places he wanted to see. I did want him to see the major artworks and to have my delicious butter chicken again so I made sure we at least had time for that. All this to say, this is a guide to Florence if you just have one day and one afternoon/evening.

We arrived at our airbnb at 4:30 giving us just enough time for dinner and to check one thing off our list. Originally I had wanted us to visit the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens but since we wanted to see the sunset at a specific location we just didn't have the time. We took a quick walk by so he could see how big the building was.

As a quick add-on from my first Florence travel guide - if you're going to be there for a number of days and want to visit many museums purchase the Firenze Card. It gets you in to almost all the museums in Florence for 72 hours (one entry per museum) and you don't have to wait in the regular lines. You can buy it online before your trip or at multiple locations in Florence. This time it was cheaper for us to just buy individual tickets because we only visited a few museums.

What to Do

Piazzale Michelangelo

Viewing the sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo is a must-do activity. It's a bit of a hike (aka walking up a lot of stairs) to get there but the view is worth it. It was a bit more crowded this time than when I visited in 2017 but still enjoyable. You'll get a panoramic view of the city and at the center of the piazzale there is a reproduction of the Statue of David in bronze.

We had dinner before arriving but there are a couple small cafes at the piazzale that you can eat at as well. There are also salespeople aplenty with touristy souvenirs if that's your thing.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

This church is free to enter but there are very long lines. Christian and I opted out of going in since I had already seen it and he doesn't care too much for churches. But we had to at least enjoy the outside because it is BEAUTIFUL. If you take the time to go inside you will also want to climb the Bell Tower for the view and visit the museum, both require tickets.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi is very large so, if you don't have too much time to explore, research the top paintings/sculptures before you go so you can speed your way through. We walked through all the rooms and made sure to see two of my favorite paintings, Botticelli's Primavera and The Birth of Venus. This museum is also home to da Vinci's Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi (which is an unfinished piece!) It was still being restored when I visited in 2017 so it was in a smaller room with information on the restoration process. but now it is in a permanent location in the museum.

Accademia Gallery

The Accademia Gallery is where you will find arguably the most famous piece of artwork in Florence - Michelangelo's Statue of David. There is also another room FULL of beautiful statues (both originals and reproductions) that is not to be missed. I'm always in awe of how the artist can create the details of hair and fabric out of stone. I have so many photos of braids and hair on my camera roll.

Museo Galileo

Christian is a big fan of science and cool gadgets so I knew he would love the Galileo museum. It's full of inventions and science equipment. It's not as popular as other museums so you don't have to worry about long lines to get in which is always nice after a day of battling crowds during other activities.

Gucci Garden / Piazza della Signoria

The Gucci Garden opened in the Piazza della Signoria in January 2018. We walked through the first floor, which has a store and a few displays but opted out of the €8 upper floors because of time restraints. There is also a cafe, but I've heard that the service isn't really that great so I would only go if you really really want to. Our airbnb was also in this same square, which was pretty cool!

The square is home to the Palazzo Vecchio (with another reproduction of Michelangelo's David outside,) Loggia dei Lanzi (containing Perseus with the Head of Medusa and other statues,) Fountain of Neptune and more.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

Full of jewelry shops and other touristy pieces there's something for everyone on the Ponte Vecchio. You don't have to shop either, just walking across and you'll be able to see all the fun. There are also some spots with lovely views of the city, great for photos. (forgot to take pictures of the actual bridge, so here are some around it)

Where to Eat

Trattoria Sostanza

The second I booked our Florence airbnb in March I had our host make reservations for Trattoria Sostanza because I NEEDED to have their butter chicken again.  The restaurant is cash only and only has 2 seatings for dinner in their very small dining room so reservations are crucial.  We started with the tuscan salami, shared an order of their chicken breast in butter sauce and finished with a meringue cake with raspberries. The cake was sooo good, normally I'm more of a chocolate dessert girl but this was very refreshing.

Gelateria dei Neri

I remembered this as being one of my favorite gelato places from my last trip and luckily it was just around the corner from where we were staying! We hit it at just the right time too and there was no line.


We happened upon this cafe on our way to the Accademia Gallery and had a very tasty lunch. I enjoyed another pizza (the Salamino Piccante) while Christian had a panini (the Michelangelo with salami, pecorino cheese, artichokes and arugula)!

Osteria Santo Spirito

This restaurant was recommended by a friend and while I enjoyed my meal Christian wasn't as impressed. We didn't have the best service here but it is in a less touristy area, which is nice. I had the Spaghetti Alla Chitarra, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino (garlic, oil and chili pepper) and Christian had Chitarra con Pomodori Datterini e Basilico (tomato and basil - but there was only one basil leaf...)

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