2 Days in Venice | Things to See and Do in Italy

Venice, Italy is a city of romance, good food, fine wine, and the epitome of la dolce vita;  a life of indolence and self-indulgence. It’s no wonder why people from around the world flock to this city every year. By using this guide, you won’t just be another face in a crowd full of tourists. We’ll share with you the very best of Venice in two days. 

Although a trip to Venice can be crowded and a little over your monthly budget, this floating city is so charmingly rustic that spending any amount of time here is worth it. From the iconic gondolas to the beautiful Doge’s Palace, getting lost in this city maze of narrow streets and tiny canals is truly magical.  

This Venice itinerary will give you the best of both worlds: the city’s local gems and tourist attractions. Our Venice 2 day itinerary will open your eyes to discover what makes this Italian city so enchanting.


Venice in 2 Days

Is 48 hours enough? What are the things to see in Venice, Italy in 2 days? There is plenty to do in such a short space of time and of course and since time is of the essence, you can definitely make the most of Venice in two days.

We recommend that within your 2 days in Venice, Italy, you avoid swarms of people during the day and rather sightsee at night. The buzz of the city during the day drops to a low hum at night. Two nights in this beautiful city is magical and if love is in the air, this is one way to busk in it.



Venice Itinerary 2 Days

The moment you land in Italy, we promise that you’ll be itching to make this city your playground. Luckily, Venice is a city run by pedestrians so wear your most comfortable shoes and put on your Fitbit; it’s time to get in your steps. 


Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Venice. There is so much history to learn here and with its marble floors and gilded walls, it’s a gorgeous sight as well. This is also where you can walk across the Bridge of Sighs and see the view it is so famous for. 

 Once open, people flood in and it can become a stampede of tourists eager to take in the enormity of the palace. We recommend booking a day pass ticket or joining a group tour to avoid long lines.


Piazza San Marco 

This is one place you will probably be passing by a lot through your 2-day stay. But nothing beats the sight of the Piazza San Marco when nobody is around. Try coming here early in the morning or at night to admire its opulence. If you time things perfectly, you can have a morning espresso from Caffe Florianthe world’s oldest coffee shop, and watch the sunrise.



Gelato di Natura

No matter how young or old you are, everyone has a sweet tooth and Gelato di Natura is happy to cater to its needs. Here you can sample some of Venice’s delicious, creamy rich Gelato flavors. Take note, there are dozens of Gelato di Natura shops pinned all around Venice. So if you miss one, don’t panic, there’s sure to be another around the corner.


Campo Santo Stefano

The town square of Campo Santo Stefano is a swift change from the Venetian maze-like passages and alleyways. This is an open area filled with an assortment of cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. All surrounded by multiple churches and brightly painted facades. 


Mercato di Rialto 

There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of local farmers or fishermans markets. The Mercato di Rialto specializes in fresh seafood, with a couple of stalls dedicated to organic produce. 

Even if you have no intention to make a home-cooked meal on your 2-day vacay, the market showcases a charm and authenticity to Venice that tourists rarely get to see.



Gondola Rides

It would be heartless of us not to mention a canal ride in this Italian city. When you think of Venice you cannot picture it without a gondola or two. If you’re tired of sightseeing on foot, explore the city this way instead. Pro tip: not all gondola rides are the same. There are three types available: a private gondola, a shared gondola, and the Vaporetto (a boat taxi). 

 The main differences of these gondolas are dependent on price and desired atmosphere. The private gondola is the most expensive of the three but perfect for a romantic time for two. Whereas the Vaporetto is the public transit of Venice. This is the cheapest and the quickest gondola experience. Perfect for efficiency on a Venice two-day itinerary.


Ponte Dell’Accademia 

This is yet another spectacular bridge in Venice to cross over. However, this bridge is famous for the panoramic views it provides, rather than its architectural design. From atop of the Ponte Dell’Accademia, you can view Venice in its entirety. Remember to visit both sides of the bridge to admire each unique vantage point.  

 No matter the time of day, sunset to sunrise, watch boats and gondolas pass along the canal and out towards the open water.



Italy Travel Visa

For most countries, traveling to Italy is fairly easy. As part of the Schengen Agreement, most countries outside of Europe can enter Italy for up to 90 days, however there are some complications if you have already been traveling in other Schengen zone countries for a total of 90 days.

To ensure a smooth trip, without any visa hassles, we always recommend checking to see if your country has any conflicts or restrictions for entering. The best way to do that is through a specialized visa company, such as Travel Visa Pro agency, to double check any entry or stay requirements.


Final Thoughts: What to do in Venice Italy in 2 days

There are dozens of honorable mentions that we didn’t get to in this post. Like the Grand Canal, Libreria Acqua Alta, or Basilica di Santa Maria Della Salute. But the beauty of Venice is that wherever you aimlessly wonder, you are sure to see these attractions and more along your way.  

 Whenever you have the opportunity to visit Venice for a couple of days, be sure to take some time to wander around the pretty alleys, bridges, and squares. Ultimately, this Italian city is a year-round destination, in rain or shine you’ll be in awe at how incredibly beautiful Venice, Italy can be. 

6 Must Do Activities in Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy is often on the top of traveler’s bucket lists. With the romantic canals and plethora of fine dining, it’s no surprise why this Italian city is so popular. Although you’ll get a taste of Italian cuisine, history and art, Venice’s cultural and geographical traits make it incredibly unique in itself. Although Venice is small, there is lots to do and some great Venice tours to experience. That’s why it’s so important to have an itinerary ready so you can be sure to hit every spot without missing anything. Here are our top favorite activities you can’t miss in Venice.



1. Gondola Ride

Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s touristy. But can you really go to Venice and not ride on a gondola? Venice is known for its canals that criss cross the city and cruising on a gondola is the best way to see them. Gondola rides in Venice are pretty much exactly as you’ve pictured them in your daydreams- the gondolier, (aka the driver), sports the iconic striped shirt with a red handkerchief tied around their neck and straw hat on their head. Using their long oar, they’ll direct you through the Grand Canal, under bridges and past houses located directly on the water. Gondola rides are a once in a lifetime experience and one you’ll regret missing if you don’t take one.



2. Eat and Drink with the Locals

Venice is incredibly touristy and with the influx of tourists comes the expensive, inauthentic restaurants that line the main streets looking to shuffle patrons in and out as quick as possible. Luckily, you can easily avoid these tourist traps by researching where the locals eat and drink. Most tourists stick to a few main drags, and while there are some delicious restaurants in those areas, it’s best to get off the beaten track.

Osterias in the less chaotic Jewish quarter are some of the best in the city. If you’re a fan of wine, try one of the Bacari, traditional wine bars located through Venice. Don’t miss the Rialto Market where you can try local produce, perfect for grabbing supplies for an afternoon picnic.



3. Piazza San Marco

As crowded and touristy as it is, you can’t leave Venice without visiting St Mark’s Square. Located in the square are some of the city’s most iconic attractions- St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace, as well as the Campanile de San Marco (the plaza’s bell tower). Dating back to the 11th century, St. Mark’s Basilica is one of Venice’s most iconic churches. You have to pay an entrance fee to get in and wait in a long line, but it’s absolutely worth it.  (pro tip: some Venice tours will let you skip the line and get in immediately).

The gorgeous architecture and Byzantine mosaics make it a visual wonder that shouldn’t be missed. Doge’s Palace is the former home of the Doge (the elected chief Magistrate of Venice). The palace is a symbol of the city and a icon of Gothic Venetian architecture. The Plaza itself is a great spot for people watching and feeding pigeons.



3. Burano

Although technically Burano is its own separate island, it’s only a short boat ride from Venice and a popular day trip. Burano is known as one of the most colorful islands in the world, with rows of houses boasting all colors and shades of the rainbow. Aside from being a photographer’s dream, Burano is famous for its artisanal lace making. You can pop your head in a local lace shop and hopefully get a free demonstration! Lastly, when the sightseeing works up an appetite, don’t head back to Venice without stopping at a local tavern to enjoy a delicious fresh fish meal.



4. Murano

Murano, like neighboring Burano, is another beautiful island close to Venice. Murano has earned its nickname as the glass island because of its famous glass making artesans. The history behind this trade started in 1291, when the Venetian Republic forced local glass makers to move to the island of Murano to avoid potential fires. Now the craft is the island’s main attraction for visitors, where they can see glass blowing demonstrations and take home beautiful souvenirs. The Museo del Vetro (glass museum) is a great place to start if you’re interested in learning more about the trade.



6. Get lost in Venice at night

Venice is gorgeous during the day, but even more spectacular at night. There’s something about the lights shimmering along the canals and couples taking a romantic moonlit gondola ride that makes you forget about the heat and the crowds, and lets you get lost in the moment.

Grab a gelato at one of the city’s many gelaterias (chocolate and pistachio is a great combo), and take a stroll through the cobblestone streets. Photographers will love the picturesque views of dimly lit plazas and serene bridges. Getting lost in Venice, day or night, is the perfect opportunity to get away from the crowds, explore where the locals live and shop, and have a serene moment to yourself to appreciate this truly remarkable city.

This article is a sponsored conversation between isango! and Don’t Forget To Move. As always, thoughts and opinions are our own and we would never recommend a product or service that we didn’t trust and fully support.

Where to Travel in Italy: The Ultimate City Guide

Italy, a word synonymous with rich pasta sauces, cheesy pizzas, decorated artists, ancient civilization and of course, delicious gelato! It’s no surprise for anyone traveling to Italy that one of the main attractions, apart from warm hospitality and beautiful landscapes, is the vast cultural aspects to this little Mediterranean country.

In a country with so many places to visit it can be hard to sketch out an itinerary that appeases all your needs. Are you looking to explore the remnants of one of the world’s most successful empires, or maybe you’re not a history fan and just want to stuff your face with amazing food.

Understanding where to go in Italy is the most important ways to make sure you make the most of your Italy trip. Each city represents something new and exciting about Italian art, culture and cuisine.

Traveling to Venice

At the Northeast tip of Italy, Venice is a perfect starting point for a trip through the country. Although very touristy, it’s absolutely worth a visit. It’s unlike any city you’ve seen before. The famous canals of Venice are just as charming in person as you’d imagine. Although crowded in the main areas, there are plenty of tiny cobblestone streets and small bridges for you to feel like you have a slice of Venice to yourself.

Come and explore the canals of Venice with us! And then subscribe for more awesome travel videos!

What to See in Venice

The best thing to see in Venice is just Venice itself. Walk around the streets, follow the canals and get lost. Before you know it you’ll be down some tiny little alley where an old Italian lady is hanging washing out of the window, as the sun begins to set on the glimmering water of the canals.

San Marco square is filled with people, but it’s definitely worth a look. You can enter the basilica, but chances are the line will be long. We skipped it. If you have time, take a boat over to the island of Burano where you can find Venice’s most colorful houses, as well as a taste of local life.



What to Do in Venice

Take a gondola ride down the canals. It’s touristy, it’s cheesy but you have to do it. It’s not cheap, about $80 Euro for a 40 minute ride (after 7:30pm that jumps to $100 euro). The good news is that you pay per boat, so if you are on a budget grab 5 friends (or random strangers!) and you’ll pay significantly less than if you did it solo.


Where to Eat in Venice

We heard from multiple people that the food in Venice was disappointing. Perhaps we’re just easy to please or got lucky with our restaurants, but we were generally pretty happy with our meals. For a cheap lunch there are plenty of shops selling pizza slices for $1.50 euro. For a quaint sit-down place we loved La Serenissima. Get the homemade pasta with creamy mushroom; it was one of our favorite meals in all of Italy.



Where to Stay in Venice

Venice has no shortage of places to stay, but it also depends on your budget. We loved our stay at Plus Hostels on mainland Venice. Although it’s a bit far from the tourist attractions, they have a shuttle that takes you to the island for 4 Euro roundtrip.

Plus has a wide range of options for all budgets. Our deluxe cabin was beautiful and cost a fraction of what you’d pay in Venice proper. We’d recommend saving the money of expensive inner-city accommodation and putting that towards a gondola ride or piles of pizza!



Traveling to Florence

If you only have time to visit a couple cities, you may be considering skipping Florence. Don’t! There is so much history and art packed into this city you could easily spend weeks in Florence alone. Florence is home to some of the most famous artworks in the world and was the spot to be as an artist during the Renaissance. The main plazas are packed with sculptures and installations, both old and new, and the city’s architecture is simply stunning.

We discover the ancient Florentine artisan scene, eat delicious food and get all cultured up!

What to See in Florence

Two of the most important buildings in Florence are the Cathedral and the Duomo. It’s worth paying extra to make the climb up the bell tower (as long as you’re not claustrophobic). Don’t miss Michaelangelo’s famous sculpture of David in the Galleria dell’Accademia. You can see the replica in the Piazza della Signoria, but it’s worth paying 8 euro to see the real thing.

If you thinking of heading to the Galleria or the Uffizi Gallery to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (among many, many other renowned pieces of art), it’s worth noting that most museums are free on the first Sunday of the month, although prepare for lines.



What to Do in Florence

Hike up to the Piazza Michaelangelo on the other side of the river for sunset, it is well worth the climb! You’ll be surrounded by a few hundred other tourists, but on a clear evening the view is totally worth it. While you’re on that side of the river, check out the very cool Oltrarno neighborhood and poke your head into the artisan shops to see a demonstration.


Where to Eat in Florence

Don’t miss a meal at the San Lorenzo Marcato Centrale located just behind the leather market. This two story in-door market is full of trendy stalls and shops offering just about any Italian food you want. The food is hit and miss, depending on where you choose to eat. Pro tip: avoid the cheapo food and spring for the homemade quality selection. Our personal favorite was the fettuccine with mushrooms and truffle cream!

For an easy to go sandwich, hit up All’ Antico Vinaio (there’s two, right across the street from each other). It gets busy at lunch, so expect to wait in line, but it’s worth it. Another Florence favorite of ours was delicious pizza from Fuoco Matto!

For some of the best gelato in all of Italy head towards Venchi in central Florence. Apart from having a running way of chocolate (think Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka), their gelato is amazing!

Scammer Alert: Whatever you do, do not get gelato from Caffe’ Maioli on the other side of Ponte Vecchio. They are massive scammers and charge made up prices for gelato. We got ripped off 17 euro for two single scoop gelatos. Don’t just take our word for it, check out their 1 star review on Google!



Where to Stay in Florence

We stayed at Plus Hostels Florence which, unlike in other cities, is in a great location and walking distance to many of the sights. Although freezing cold, they have a nice pool and their beautiful courtyard is the perfect spot to relax during a hot afternoon. The restaurant at the hostel is actually quite good and definitely worth a dinner if you’re too tired to go out (also, 6 Euro bottles of wine for Happy Hour!!).


Traveling to Rome

You simply cannot come to Italy and not travel to Rome. Being able to visit one of the epicenters of ancient civilization by day and enjoy the hip metropolitan capital at night is phenomenal. Rome is packed with sights you’ve no doubt seen in history books and movies countless times. But it’s also the capital city of Rome which means there are plenty of opportunities to get off the tourist route and see what local life is like in this bustling metropolis.

We find the best pizza and cannoli in all of Rome! We also hit up all the best locations and show you how to make the most of Rome. If you like, come and subscribe for more travel inspiration!


What to See in Rome

Although the famous sights are usually packed with people, being able to see wonders like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon in person is totally worth the crowds. Spots like the Spanish steps or Trevi Fountain may not be quite as photogenic as seen in postcards, but they’re are also worth a look.

Get lost in Rome’s beautiful neighborhoods like Trastavere and Monti. Honestly, there are so many amazing thing to see in Rome that we could write a whole book (many have).

What to Do in Rome

Embrace your inner tourist and throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure you’ll return to Rome someday. Just be a tourist. If you only have a few days you’ll never get to have a true locals experience, so just see the awesome things that bring millions of tourists to Rome every year. You won’t be able to avoid them anyway!

If you’re headed to the Vatican we highly recommend going on a Friday night when they open in the evening to the public (summers only). This gives you a chance to see the Vatican at sunset and avoid the mass hordes of tourists. The Vatican, the world’s smallest country, is home to Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel, which is even more beautiful in real like then you could ever imagine! For a more in-depth guide on what to do in Rome, check out this article from our Italian blogger buddy Claudia.



Where to Eat in Rome

Rome has no shortage of restaurants, but they’re pretty hit and miss. When you head to the Vatican, do not miss Bonci’s Pizzarium or their nearby bakery. The pizza is the best we had in all of Italy and their black cherry tart is incredible. Serious, it’s the best pizza we’ve ever had!


Where to Stay in Rome

Once again we found ourselves are Plus Hostels, taking advantage of a killer pool and nice travel feel in between exploring the streets. Plus Rome was quite a bit out of the center, but honestly it was a welcome relief from the chaos of the city. The pool is huge and a beautiful area to relax on a day off from sightseeing. The location is very family friendly and has a fun caravan feel. Just don’t stay in a room by the basketball courts unless you like to be lulled to sleep by the sound of bouncing balls.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of the best neighborhoods and best places to stay in Rome, this article from our buddies at Goats on the Road will get the job done.



Traveling to Naples and Pompeii

If you do a bit of research on Naples, you’ll find very mixed reviews of this city online. Naples may be grittier than the other tourist cities of Italy, but don’t erase it from your destination list just yet. Sure, there are sketchy areas of the city, but if you stay in the Old Town, you’ll be fine. There is some truly beautiful architecture around Naples and, perhaps more importantly, home to some truly delicious pizza. They say the classic Margherita pizza was named after Margherita of Savoy visited Naples and fell in love with the deliciously simple ingredients.


What to See in Naples

The Naples National Archaeological Museum is a good primer for visiting Pompeii. It will give you a good background you may not necessarily get when visiting the actual site, plus it holds the majority of artifacts in the museum. The Castel dell’Ovo by the water is definitely worth a visit, as sit the Cappela Sansevero chapel. If you don’t mind something a bit creepy, check out the Catacombs of San Gennaro.


What to Do in Naples

While there’s plenty to do in the city of Naples, it’s an especially good jumping off point for day or weekend trips. The ancient city of Pompeii, which was “frozen” in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, is only a 30 minute train ride away. You can also use Naples as a jumping off point for the Amalfi Coast.



Where to Stay in Naples

We didn’t love our accommodation in Naples that we found on booking.com. It was listed as a hotel, but ended up being more of an AirBnB/some lady’s basement room. So we don’t have any specific recommendations, except this: book ahead! Many travelers use Naples as a base for seeing other cities, so it gets booked out. Save yourself the headache and book in advance.


How to Get to Naples

The train from Rome to Naples is just over an hour (so quick, right?!). The Napoli Centrale station is also where you’ll catch the train down to Pompeii or Sorrento if you’re heading South. The station itself is fine, but in a bit of a sketchy area. We wouldn’t recommend staying in this area, but opt for further into the Old Town.


Traveling to the Amalfi Coast

When we were first creating our Italy travel itinerary there was one question we kept circling back to: Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre? Although similar destinations (seaside towns built on cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean), there was something about the Amalfi region that drew us in.



What to See on the Amalfi Coast

The Mediterranean Sea is the true highlight of this destination, with absolutely incredible views from above. It doesn’t get any more picturesque than these stacked Italian houses overlooking the blue turquoise water.


Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast

If you’re okay with a long day of driving you can probably do the coast as a day trip from Naples. Otherwise you can stay in Sorrento (or the tiny town of Piano de Sorrento, like we did) or on the coast in Positano or Amalfi!


What to Do on the Amalfi Coast

Besides soaking up on the sun on the rocky beaches, the Amalfi coast is all about leisure activities. Walk around the maze like streets, do some shopping, grab lunch with a view. If you want a more sweat-breaking activity than lying in the sun, there are hikes you can do in the area.



How to Get There

You can rent a car and drive the coast, although parking can be difficult and the drive is a bit nerve-wracking. There is also the SITA bus that goes back and forth between Sorrento and Salerno, stopping at the popular towns like Positano and Amalfi. The tickets only coast 8 Euro for a 24 hour pass and you can buy them at Sorrento train station where the buses leave from. Buses ran regularly and if you can, grab a seat on the right side on the way up, it has the best views!


Best Method of Transport in Italy

There are many different ways to travel through Italy. From renting your own car and flying between spots, to bussing it and taking the train. For us we opted for train travel in Italy.

We found the trains in Italy fast, comfortable, on time and one of our favorite ways to get around. On board the Trenitalia fast trains your trips are so quick you barely get time to relax. Taking the train to Rome from Florence was only an hour and a half, with a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a Kinder chocolate, we couldn’t have asked for more! If you’re looking to book tickets we recommend checking out ACPRail for an easy to use booking system.


Thanks to ACPRail for hooking us up with some train tickets while traveling through Italy. As always we only review and recommend companies that we use and trust. 

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