No.1 heads to the most romantic and iconic city in the world for some lavish food, plenty of exploring and a whole lot of Prosecco
HOW TO SPEND A PERFECT DAY IN VENICE
Start early. If you’re staying on one of the small neighbouring islands (Venice is actually made up of 118 islands), jump on a vaporetto (water taxi) to St Mark’s square and grab a seat at Caffe Florian, one of the city’s oldest and most famous cafés. Order a coffee and a pastry and take in the awe-inspiring view of St Mark’s Basilica whilst the café’s famous orchestra provides the perfect musical backdrop. If you can finish up before 10am, you’ll miss the crowds. Just around the corner from Caffe Florian is the Campanile, the city’s tallest building. Pay 8 Euros to ride the lift to the top of the building and you’ll be met by an unparalleled 360 degree view of all of Venice. Next up, take a short walk to the famous Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal, pay 80 Euros for a gondola ride down the canal, yes it’s expensive but it’s a memory you’ll hold onto forever. By now you’ll be starting to think about lunch. You can always head back down to St Mark’s Square, but lunch there will be expensive and crowded, instead, check out the menus of the restaurants in the little side streets set back from the Square, here is where you’ll find the real hidden gems. The best sights in Venice are stumbled upon when you think you’re lost. Now, when it comes to ordering, of course most of the pizza and pasta options will be divine, but there are a few local specialties you could try if you’re game, one of which is spaghetti seppie in nero – pasta with cuttlefish cooked in it’s own ink, which gives the dish its distinctive black colouring. If that seems a bit heavy for lunch, tuck into some anti-pasto with a couple of glasses of prosecco instead. After lunch it’s time for a boat trip to the islands of Murano and Burano. There are many vendors near St Mark’s Square who offer the trip and most last around two hours. A tour boat will take you along past many gorgeous sights before first stopping off at Murano, which is famous for it’s glass blowing. After a wander around the tiny island and it’s glass museum, you could pick up some trinkets in the little gifts shops that line the waterfront. Then it’ll be time to hop back on the boat and head to Burano, which is famous for it’s pretty houses that are all painted various pastel shades. Take a walk through the streets and along the canals, invest in some of the amazing lace that’s on offer. Also, make sure you have a gelato stop on Burano, it really is second to none. Once you arrive back after your boat trip, head to your hotel to freshen up and then get right back out there, whether you’re tired or not, Venice is waiting! An idyllic spot for sundowner drinks is the Skyline Rooftop Bar at the Hilton Molino Stucky – watch the sunset with a chilled glass of wine from an amazing vantage point. The bar is cool and trendy so makes for some great people watching too. Lastly it’s time for a late and leisurely dinner, it doesn’t really matter where you choose, as long as you can get a seat outside, on the water’s edge and can partake in numerous courses of carby goodness – what a perfect end to a perfect day.