Without a doubt, Venice is one of the most romantic and charming cities in the world. If you plan to explore on your own as we did, it’s a good idea to take some time before you arrive to study the layout of the city and choose which major attractions you’d like to visit or activities you are interested in seeing.
A water taxi picked us up at the train station and took us right to the ‘heart’ of the city, Piazza San Marco, where you could easily spend a couple of hours shopping and sightseeing. The world famous, exquisite Murano glass can be found in every jewellery store in Venice. Also known for its lace-making, you’ll find stunning, delicate designs to add to your purchases. A famous Gondola ride is an experience you will not want to miss if this is your first visit to Venice. Lunch at one of the charming restaurants that line the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge is a meal to savour. Linger for a couple of hours sipping espresso or enjoying the bouquet of one of the regions excellent wines as you watch the busy canal traffic and tourist activity. One of the best experiences of our entire trip to Europe! There are many options for excellent hotel accommodations to suit every budget.
You can take a train from Venice and travel to Verona (1 hr 10 mins) for a Shakespearean experience. The romantic setting for Romeo and Juliet, the Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra ‘Arena di Verona’ with popular opera performances, the Duomo of Verona, boutiques and designer outlets for some one-of treasures and restaurants & cafés for some local delicacies. A visit to the Antica Bottega del Vino is an absolute must! This charming ‘gem’ has a long history that has its roots in the 16th century. It became our go-to place on our trip where we enjoyed the best Italian fare and the greatest wine selection in all of Verona! Visit their website for more information: www.bottegavini.it
A short car or regional bus ride from Verona will take you to the charming resort town of Bardolino on the picturesque Lago di Garda. This area is most famous for its wines ‘Bardolino & Valpolicella’. We stayed at the lovely Hotel San Pietro (www.hotelsanpietro.eu/en) located just outside the town centre. The property has its own restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a small garden, beautifully furnished rooms and parking facilities. A short walk to the town center and the charming lake front opens up a whole new world with shops, restaurants and an active waterfront with plenty of attractions. For an interesting day trip, board a ferry to any of the surrounding lake towns with more exciting things to discover!