The Trip So Far – Day 2 In Venice, Italy with My Wife and Three Kids
Hello everyone! This is Day 4 of our European Vacation where me, my wife Erika, and our three kids go on an epic adventure the islands of Murano and Burano in the Venetian Lagoon. So far, we spent the first two days of our trip in Paris and now find ourselves in Venice, Italy. Be sure to check out our entire series of blog posts documenting this incredible trip and our write-up on Day 1 in Venice.
Breakfast and Shoe Shopping in Venice
We start our day having breakfast at our hotel. The food was great, and Erika and the kids were buzzing about their new shoes they bought in Venice yesterday. It’s funny, even though we have a Nike outlet three miles from our house back in San Diego, my wife and kids came all the way to Venice Italy to buy full price Nikes!
Venice Travel Tip – Complimentary Hotel Breakfast
Complimentary hotel breakfasts are a great way to save when travelling with family. Many hotels offer a variety of breakfast options, including continental breakfasts, hot breakfast buffets, and made-to-order items as well as coffee, tea and a variety of juices. When choosing a hotel, be sure to factor in the breakfast options to get the best bang for your buck.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to complimentary hotel breakfasts:
- Breakfast offerings can vary in quality and variety from hotel to hotel.
- Breakfast service is typically limited to a few hours a day in most hotels.
- Some hotels may require you to make a reservation for breakfast.
Venice Day 2 Itinerary: Exploring Murano and Burano in a Single Day
Since this was our last day in Venice, we wanted to make the most of it and explore the islands of Murano and Burano. They are one of the many islands that dot the Venetian lagoon, accessible by vaporetto (water bus) or water taxi. Each island has its own charms and attractions, and Erika and I were determined to explore both by the end the day.
Our First Stop: Murano
Normally we would take the water bus, or vaporetto as they are locally known, to Murano. Water buses can be found all over Venice and are a quick and cost-effective way of getting around the city. Today, however, the tide was particularly high, making travel by vaporetto impossible, since the higher water levels meant that they would not have the overhead clearance to cross the many bridges that line Venice’s canals. With travel by vaporetto out of the question, we had to opt for an alternate mode of transport: the humble water taxi. The kids’ excitement was contagious as we hopped onto a water taxi, ensuring our adventure continued despite the tide’s whims. Zipping across Venice’s canals or the Venetian lagoon at high speed was a lot of fun!
Venice Travel Tip – Water Taxis
Water taxis in Venice are a private motorboat that can be reserved or boarded from specific docking pontoons, some of them known as municipal taxi stations. The private taxi stops are scattered in a couple of locations around the historic center. They are a convenient way to get around Venice, but can be expensive when compared to a vaporetto (water-bus). The fare is based on the distance traveled and the number of passengers.
Upon arriving at Murano, our first stop was at one of the many glass factories in the area. Murano is famous for its exquisite glass artistry and is home to expert glassmakers who operate small scale glass making factories and workshops. We took a guided tour of a glass factory, where we witnessed the creation of Venetian glass figurines hand created by sixth-generation artisans. Each hand-crafted piece is a work of art and a masterpiece in its own right. The vibrant colors and intricate craftsmanship left us in awe and thankfully our two hyperactive boys didn’t break anything in the shop attached to the factory.
We stopped for a quick lunch at a nearby café, explored the canals some more (the kids were amazed at the fact that Amazon deliveries happen in Venice via boat), bought a chandelier for our home back in San Diego, explored the waterfront and watched people fish before boarding on a vaporetto for the second leg of our journey: the island of Burano.
Venice Travel Tip – Don’t Fall Victim to Pickpockets!
Be mindful of pickpockets when travelling on a crowded vaporetto in Venice. Pickpockets often target tourists in water-buses and water-bus waiting areas. They are extremely skilled and can easily relieve you of your wallet or purse in a matter of seconds.
Here are some tips on avoiding becoming a victim of pickpockets in Venice:
- Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially in a crowded vaporetto and other tourist hotspots.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables – store them in your hotel room safe.
- Wear your backpack in front of you.
- Use a money belt or a cross-body bag that can be worn under your clothes.
Our Second Stop: Burano
At the waterfront we boarded a vaporetto and headed off to the Burano, the second stop of our journey. Burano is a small island located at the northern end of the Venetian lagoon. While Murano is known for its glass working, Burano is famous for lacemaking, which has been practiced there for centuries. It is also famous for its iconic brightly colored homes that cover the island. We explored the charming multi-colored streets and alleys of Burano, stopped off at a roadside bakery for some excellent chocolate chip cookies, took a bunch of photos and eventually boarded another vaporetto back to our hotel room in central Venice.
A highlight for me was spotting the leaning bell tower of Burano. I had no prior knowledge of this building and noticed it while we were exploring Burano. Further research showed that the tower is called Burano Bell Tower or “Il Campanile Storto Venezia” (Google it!) Towards the end of the day everyone was rushing to get the last vaporetto off the island – including us! Luckily, we made it and spent a relaxing trip across the water to our hotel in the main island of Venice.
Back to Our Hotel Room After Murano and Burano
After a day packed with adventure and travel, we ended our day with dinner at Ristorante San Silvestro, a quaint restaurant tucked away from the bustling canals. This restaurant is a hidden gem offering authentic Italian cuisine at the right price. The food was excellent – the best we had during our stay in Venice – and the wait staff made us feel like family. By venturing off the beaten path and busy tourist trap areas, we found a magical spot that makes travel truly memorable.
Venice Travel Tip – Beware of Overpriced Restaurants Serving Mediocre Food!
Restaurants along the canals in Venice cater exclusively to tourists and have a bad reputation for high prices and mediocre food. To avoid falling victim to these tourist traps it is important to do your research and read online reviews before choosing a restaurant. Look for places that are off the beaten path and don’t be afraid to walk a little further to find a good value restaurant. This way you’ll find a great little spot that provides excellent food and service at a reasonable price.
That’s it for Day 2 in Venice. We hope we have shown you that it is possible to have an enjoyable vacation with young kids in tow. Join us as we continue our journey through Europe with our kids, creating unforgettable memories, and sharing tips to inspire your own family adventures. Stay tuned for more stories, insights, and recommendations from our epic journey across Europe – and if you haven’t already, you can read other stories in our European Vacation.
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