Ah Venice, Joe and I were totally blown away by you. Although we could have definitely done with another day to tick off a few more restaurants, islands and sample a few more scoops of gelato- being able to pack in as much as we could in little over 24 hours was a challenge we were happy to accept. Although a few of the recommendations are not ones we got to try- I can assure you they came from wonderful sources and are worth noting down!

Firstly! A beautiful place to stay...

Once upon a time, anywhere on a private island that requires a beautiful water taxi to get to would be something simply made for James Bond films. But alas, with no Daniel Craig in sight- Joe and I hopped in a water taxi over to the stunning JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa- easily one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever stayed at. Situated in the Venetian lagoon with regular shuttles over to the main island (so don't be off put by the fact it's not totally central)- it was refreshing to spend evenings away from the hustle and bustle in our own private haven.

With four different restaurants (one being Michelin starred), a cooking school (so you can learn how to make the most delicious pasta on a rainy afternoon), a rooftop pool and the largest spa in Venice- it's a stones throw away from San Marco with the relaxation of something worlds away. On top of that, as one of the perks of being Marriott Rewards members (which is free to join FYI)- Joe and I were also able to reap some of the perks including speedy free wifi (with other perks being free late check outs, upgrades, stays in over 5,700 hotels and experiences too, if you're interested)! Not bad for a flying visit to a beautiful new city (and if you did ever consider booking, it's worth noting that Marriott Rewards members gets the best rates direct from here)...

Isola delle Rose, Laguna di San Marco, 30133 Venice VE, Italy

Let's go island hopping...

With Venice being built over 100 small islands- you can bet there's a lot of boat hopping you can get on board with over a weekend. Although we only had time to visit Burano, we heard plenty of praise for beautiful Murano too- which is famous for its glass blowing- and is an equally quick vaporetto ride from St Mark's.

Seeing Burano...

Before we'd even arrived in Venice, we knew a visit to Burano would be top of our list. You can get a boat from two sides of the island, from stop A- near San Marco it takes 1 hr 20, and then from the opposite side (F.te Nove "C") it takes 40 minutes. Fortunately the weather was beautiful for us, and being able to explore the island with the sun out made it all the more magical. I'd recommend a good couple of hours if you can to properly soak it all up (most boats back are every hour)- but you're going to need plenty of time to soak up all of the beautiful houses (and get those Instagrams, naturally).

Also, if you fancy a bite on the island...
My beautiful friend Briony managed to do some eating here, and I saw she recommends Trattoria Al Gatto Nero & Riva Rosa Enoteca


Sampling the cuisine...

One thing we learnt with a lot of restaurants on our list, was to book. Venice has a lot of tourists and places get incredibly busy- so if there's somewhere you have your heart set on- plan ahead and get that reservation in. With a lot of larger restaurants (we ate at A Beccaficco on one evening which is one quite a large square with outdoor seating)- you can normally turn up during early opening and grab a seat, but it's definitely worth taking note of- especially as there are so many delicious places to eat! Alternatively you can head somewhere like Antico Forno which is known for it's incredible pizza slices (sadly closed on the Sunday we went along)- but I've heard plenty of good things if you fancy a quick pizza picnic.

It's also worth keeping in mind some of the gorgeous spots on St Mark's Square too. Don't be too off put by how busy it gets- as you'd be surprised how straight forward it was to grab a table at beautiful Caffè Florian around Sunday lunch time. With it's decor reminicessent of somewhere like Angelina in Paris- it's the perfect spot for a naughty sugar fix (they have amazing hot chocolate and delicious desserts too).

Some other lovely foodie spots...
Da Ivo, Cà D'Oro alla Vedova (famous meatballs and wine), Bistrot de Venise, ai merchant, De Pisis (for somewhere romantic with a view), Harry's Bar for drinks (in case you're a bit of a film fanatic)


And the sightseeing...

You really can't go to Venice without soaking up some of it's rich history and culture. It's not hard to stumble across some of the stunning builds- but making a stop for Piazza San Marco, it's beautiful bell tower and a visit along the Grand Canal (and the Ponte Di Rialto)- are pretty much obligatory. Other places to take note of (and keep your eyes peeled for) include Santa Stefano, Palazzo Fortuny, Musica Palazzo and Basilica Della Saulte too.

Joe and I were guests of Marriott Rewards for this trip!


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How To Spend: 48 Hours in Venice

(Top: & Other Stories, Skirt: ASOS (old but similar here), Bag: & Other Stories, Boots: River Island (old but similar here)

Photos by Joe Galvin

With our first full day in Venice packed with colourful houses, fresh spaghetti and terrible attempts at learning the basics of Italian- Joe and I spent our last few hours covering as much ground as possible- with an agenda of spoon-thick hot chocolate and pillowy crusted pizza topping our last minute lists.

As I mentioned, Venice really is a city to get lost in. With crams of tourists lining each bridge and square, it makes all the difference to wander a little aimlessly and avoid the sea of selfie sticks and leisurely paces (it's the Londoner in me, I promise). So- with a few hours we attempted to be as aimless as possible (as much as you can be with an airport check in time and a cab home booked)- and made a beeline for Dorsoduro, and corners we hadn't properly had a chance to scope out.

With Caffè Florian satisfying our need for something sweet after hopping of off boat from our hotel- we quietly nestled in this regal cafe (which felt incredibly Parisian and Wes Anderson) before picking up the pace to while away our last couple of hours...



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Autumn in Italy

(Glasses: Celine, Blouse: Topshop, Jeans: Topshop (Binx but similar here), Shoes: Chanel, Bag: Lulu Guinness, Belt: Madewell)

Photos by Joe Galvin

If there's one way to describe Venice, it's other worldly. Having studied art at A-Level, the whole city feels like walking inside a rococo or renaissance painting- with intricacies of the grand architecture, the glitter of the canals and the nod of the gondoliers all echoing something from a time long gone by (with the natter of wandering tourists bringing you straight back to the twenty-first century). With the city built upon a no-road system, and the bridges, lagoons and piazzas being the main connections from borough to borough- the distinct lack of engine hum makes wandering the city feel like a real adventure...

And speaking of adventure- if there's one thing I was told time and time again before we visited, it was to essentially just 'get lost in the city'. We had a handful of foodie recommendations (which will be coming up soon)- but were largely told to just hit the city by foot and soak it all up- a strange scenario when you're used to ticking off a to-visit list in a 48 hour time frame. But, upon hopping off of our water taxi, wide eyed and unknowing- it all clicked into place. With gaggles of tourists peppered on most corners (us included)- the city really is best discovered when you're really not looking for anything at all. We discovered restaurants we had noted down when we least expected it- and it was only during the evenings, when the city came to a stand still that we really uncovered the magic. With the canals still, boats covered and lights from windows twinkling down on the pavements- it's really when you least expect it that you can find something special somewhere new. Stay tuned for more adventures!



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Magical Venice

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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