Venice, Italy Travel Guide Fall 2022 .

Venice, Italy was high on my list of places to visit during my four-month stay in Europe. If you’re new around here my name is McKenzie and I am a full-time content creator who is currently finishing up her Fashion Merchandising degree at Kent State University’s Florence campus. Studying abroad has been quite the wild ride so far!

One of the classes I am currently enrolled in, Italian Fashion & Culture brings all of its students on several different field trips throughout the semester. Our first one was to Venice and it was an incredible few days! Although our schedule was crazy busy, we were able to pack so much beauty into a few days.

I know my travel guides are typically centered around my personal travels but Venice was too good not to share with you! Today I’m breaking down my three-day itinerary + packing list and sharing all of my recommendations, including the best time to grab a gondola!

Where We Stayed 

Typically in this section of a travel guide, I’d share a chic hotel or cutesy Airbnb as I’m usually in charge of securing the lodging. However, this time around I didn’t have a say—our school stuck us in a hostel, Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli. Although called a hostel, this was really more like a hotel with twin beds. The rooms were incredibly clean and surprisingly very spacious. Each room had its own bathroom and the windows were huge!

The building itself was huge and the interior was beautiful, full of typical Venetian architecture and decor. We were given breakfast each morning—a selection of meats, cheeses, croissants, and pastries. Although I wish we could have chosen our own roommates rather than our school randomly assigning them, it was a smooth stay and an affordable option if you’re traveling Europe on a budget.

Transportation To/Within Venice 

Florence is currently my home base, meaning Venice is just an hour and a half train ride away. Our entire Fashion school left Florence at 7:30 am, arriving in Venice by 9:30 am. I always knew that Venice was a city surrounded by water but, as silly as it sounds, I never realized that meant literally the entire city functions by water transportation.

Like there are no cars in Venice whatsoever. While we did water taxi from the train station to the other side of the city where our hostel was, the rest of our trip we navigated by foot, walking a minimum of 20,000 steps a day. Comfy walking shoes are an absolute must as you will be on your feet literally all day.

There are also ferries that can transport you to some of the neighboring islands. We ferried to Burano one morning and had a beautiful hour-long ride. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much insight on booking this type of transportation as our school handled all of the transfers but I’ve been told by everyone to book these things in advance to significantly reduce the cost.

venice italy travel guide

Things To Do

My trip to Venice was quite different than most of my travels, considering this was a school trip. Our days were super structured with a tight schedule of various museum visits and appointments with different professionals in the fashion industry. These were certainly once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially since some of the things were offered specifically to study abroad students.

In addition to the evenings, we also had a few hours of free time scheduled in the middle of our days to eat and explore the city! Here’s a full breakdown of our three-day itinerary.

Palazzo Mocenigo

We arrived in Venice on a Tuesday morning and went straight to the Palazzo Mocenigo after dropping off our bags. This is a 17th-century palace that was turned into a museum. There are a series of rooms full of the family’s original furniture, utensils, chandeliers, linens, and more. The walls are covered in fabric, an interior trend that was very popular in Venice at the time.

Another one of the things that Venice is known for is its perfume—this palace had tons of antique bottles and a whole exhibit where you could learn how to distinguish one scent from another. This museum has a lot of cool history behind it, especially if you are involved in the fashion industry. However, I will say it’s not a “must-see” if you’re only spending a few days in Venice.

Ca’Pisani Rubelli 

From there we went to The Ca’Pisani Rubelli where we learned about different lace and fabrics made in Venice. We were shown the typical dresses of 17th-century Venetian women—this is actually when and where corset tops originated. They were designed to be worn underneath these full skirts, accentuating the tummy. The fuller a woman was, the more beautiful she was seen, as a woman’s role was solely to create children at the time.

This specific style of dress was to be worn during Venice’s yearly ‘carnival’. The materials of this dress alone cost around $27,000.

This is also a upholestry factory where several popular fabrics have been handmade—including an academy award-winning costume that Marie Antoinette wore and the fabric used in Tiffany & Co’s stores across the globe. Very cool stuff!

Fondaco Dei Tedeschi

From there we visited the Fondacco Dei Tedeschi. This building was once a headquarters and has since been turned into a three-story department store full of some of the chicest brands on the market—Prada, YSL, Chanel, and more. They have an entire floor of perfume as well.

However, the coolest part of visiting this store is walking up to the rooftop with a 360 view of Venice. We visited around 6 pm and caught the most amazing golden hour light you could imagine. So many people recommended this spot so I’m very happy our school already had it on the list.

Ca’ Macana 

On Wednesday we started our day off by visiting a mask factory. Venice is known for its carnival which happens once a year. This is what Mardi Gras, celebrated in New Orleans is derived from! At this festival, Venetians would wear their expensive costume dresses and handmade mask to conceal their identity.

At this place, we were given a lesson on how these masks are made— from the paper mache right down to the hand-painted details. After the tutorial, we were able to stroll through their storefront and try on different masks as well as purchase one if we wanted to! These ranged anywhere from 30-200 euros depending on the detail and technique used to create them.

Gondola Ride 

When in Venice, you must go on a gondola ride… it’s just a given. They can be very pricey depending on what time you get on one—although we would have loved to be on the water around sunrise or sunset, it worked best with our schedule (and our wallets $) to go during our lunch break. It ended up being 80 euros for our 30-minute ride. There were only three of us, so it factored out to be 27 a person, however, they can fit up to six!

Our gondolier was the sweetest man who told us all about Venice’s history as we rode past it, appealed to our 1,000 photo ops, and even let us “drive” the gondola. Yes, this is a super touristy thing to do but it is so fun and one of those things you just have to do while visiting.

Giardini Della Biennale 

That afternoon we went to the Giardini Museum. Admittedly, I didn’t really know anything about this museum prior to visiting but it turns out it is a huge deal in Italy! Each year, an artist from each country is commissioned to create a piece centered around a specific theme/prompt. These are essentially entered into a sort of competition and voted on for different awards.

We had a walking tour for this and saw so many different exhibits. Each one was incredibly different and the artist Simone Leigh from the United States was actually the 2021 winner. Her installation was beautiful to see up close and in person. As our tour guide reminded us, art is meant to make you feel something!

Visit The Island of Burano

Almost everyone who left me Venice recommendations said that ferrying to the small island of Burano was an absolute must and boy were they right. This quaint, colorful town was absolutely breathtaking. It’s a rather residential area with just a few strips of local artisans, cafes, and small shops.

This is also home to some of Italy’s finest glass and handmade lace! We came here with our school for an appointment but ended up having several hours to explore and it was amazing. Definitely a must-do and just an hour ferry from the mainland.

Martina Videl Lace Factory 

While we were in Burano we had the chance to see one of the oldest/last lace-making factories in the world. Everything here is handmade with love and wow were these pieces just incredible to look at. There is a small shop attached where you are able to purchase different dresses, tops, wraps, and other small souvenirs. Most pieces are around 200 euros since they are made by hand. But, they are such high quality that they are designed to last a lifetime.

I ended up picking up a few bookmarks while I was here to gift to family members this Christmas season. Sucha. a sweet, thoughtful gift that means so much to me!

Stop In La Dama 

While popping in and out of these shops I stumbled into one called La Dama, owned by the sweetest old Italian woman. She had jewelry, small knick-knacks, and the most amazing hand-crocheted purses for sale. I was instantly taken aback by these—they were so incredibly unique, unlike anything I’ve seen here in Italy.

I felt so different visiting Burano, compared to other cities that I decided to treat myself and buy a bag in remembrance of this study abroad season of life. She had two different sizes and a few different colorways, I ended up going for the larger yellow one as it was so “me”. The interior of this is made of a waterproof lining making it the perfect bag for me to bring to the beach.

Venice, Italy Travel Guide Fall 2022

I’d been on the hunt for one for nearly a year so this was an exciting find. Definitely an investment at 280 euros but a purchase that I will never forget + a bag that I will keep in the dress-up box for my kids someday! I made a Tik Tok about this immediately after purchasing that went super viral. Unfortunately, she did not have an Instagram so there is no way to purchase online— you’ll just have to make the trek, hehe!

I’ve scored hundreds of compliments on this from strangers since purchasing so I’d say it was a good purchase!

Where To Eat 

A good meal out is one of my few guilty pleasures in life and I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed with the food in Venice. There are so many tourists here, so much so that actual Venetians are actually being pushed out of their city as the prices and real estate are increasing at a rate they simply cannot keep up with. Becuase of this, the entire city depends on tourism, so in turn, most restaurants are tourist traps.

We know better than to go to a restaurant with pictures on it but boy was it hard to find them in this city! We had a few below-average meals I won’t mention, and a few incredible experiences too!

Osteria Doge Morsoni

On our first evening in Venice we went to a restaurant in a town square near our hostel. The atmosphere was nothing special but the food, wow! I go their shrimp, pesto, cherry tomato gnocchi and it was incredible. This was one of my favorite meals I’ve had by far and this restaurant itself was very authentic!

Menu // Directions

Vino Vino

On our second evening, we wandered for over a mile to find the perfect spot and stumbled across this quaint restaurant. It had the most amazing exterior with a super intimate vibe. Note to self, most outdoor seating in Venice requires a reservation in the evening so be sure to call beforehand.

Thankfully we lucked out and were able to get a seat inside their garden and it was beautiful! I ordered their buffalo mozzarella pizza and it did not disappoint. I absolutely love this cheese and have been getting it as much as possible while in Italy. I also ordered a peach bellini that was delicious. The atmosphere was amazing and the vibes were high. Definitely a chic level 10 experience all around.

Menu // Directions

Things To Pack

I will say, of all the European travels we’ve had so far, Venice was the trip I packed most accurately for. I actually shared an outfit guide earlier this week, full of outfits I wore during my time in Italy. You can check it out here for four outfit ideas with links to shop.

In the meantime, here are a few general guidelines to follow while packing for your trip! For reference, we visited in mid-September and temperatures were in the mid-seventies and sunny all week.

  • Easy Dresses: Highly recommended lightweight dresses while you are here. Preferably something that is cotton so that it’s super breathable! I brought a few different ones and felt most comfortable in these! Plus, Italy as a whole has a “dressier” vibe so you’ll fit right in!
  • Comfy Shoes: Comfy shoes are not a suggestion but a requirement for Venice, lol. I will say, no matter how comfortable your shoes are, after ten miles of walking and ten hours of standing, your feet are going to be sore regardless. I ended up wearing my favorite gold lace-up sandals—although these have minimal support they don’t make my feet sweat and have never given me blisters which were ideal for this trip!
  • A Crossbody Bag: It’s crazy touristy here so I highly recommend bringing a crossbody bag that you can wear across your chest. This way you’re able to keep an eye on it at all times. I wore my favorite Polene bag and absolutely loved it. Super classy and the perfect size for “just the essentials”.

Watch The Week

Want to see my trip to Venice + get the inside scoop on our school trip? Check out this vlog and hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on more travel content coming your way soon.

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There’s nothing I love more than getting to share my travels with you… these study abroad adventures just keep on coming! We are off to Milan for our next school field trip so I will be back then with another outfit + travel guide covering all of the details. In the meantime, be sure to check out my Travel tab to stay up to date on all of my most recent trips!

With love, McKenz

Latest Post: What To Wear In Venice, Italy
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