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Travelling during COVID: an (almost) empty Venice

We travelled to Venice in August 2020, the summer that COVID-19 “stole” from us. We had heard that popular tourist cities around Europe, such as Venice, were completely empty and it seemed simply too good to be true. We decided that we had to go, as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We quickly booked 3 days in Venice – you won’t need much more than that, as Venice is a rather small city. Venice was not completely empty as it was in June and July (from what we saw on other people’s Instagram stories), but it was still quite empty. It was really nice to be able to explore this historic city without the 30 million tourists that usually visits Venice. You can check out my Instagram highlight to see our full experience in videos - and of course find more photos in my feed :-)

If you choose to travel during COVID only travel to countries that are open to you and is living up to your home country's restrictions! Always check up on the restrictions of where you are travelling, as you in many cases need to show a negative COVID test or fill out some health forms. Remember to stay safe and travel responsibly.

We of course researched in terms of travelling to Italy, and it said online that we had to fill out a health form that we had to show at the airport. We both did it, but I don't know if it was because we landed really late, but we never showed the health forms or even our passports to anyone (as you normally don't have to in Europe).

From Venice Marco Polo Airport, which is on the mainland, it’s easy to get out to the Venice island. You can either take a train with Treno Italia, a cab or a water bus, which is called Vaporetti. Once you’re in Venice it’s easiest to walk around or to take the Vaporetti - but they cost 8€ for a single ticket.

Where to stay in Venice

We had booked a cute Bed and Breakfast through Airbnb (B&B Best Vacations Venice) in the area called San Polo, which is the most central part of Venice and close to the famous Rialto Bridge and the Rialto Mercato. We wanted to be able to walk to the most popular spots in just a short amount of time.

If you are new to Airbnb, use my link to sign up and you get a 70€ discount! (Affiliate link)

Other areas we considered staying in Cannaregio (La Ghetto) and Castello, because we had heard that they were lively and trending – however a bit out of the city centre (even though nothing is really far in Venice).

Where to eat in Venice

Venice is quite touristy, so finding really great places to eat can be bit challenging – but just avoid places with photos of the food in the menu and you should be kind of safe. As usual I had researched a lot before going, but we also found some good places simply by walking around. In Venice they eat a lot of seafood, as there’s shortage of that on the islands – we did not mind at all.

Something you HAVE to eat when in Venice

- is Cicchetti! It’s Venezian style tapas, so it’s just small pieces or dishes you choose yourself. By the Italians it’s often eaten as an afterwork thing, where they pop by their local bar to have a few cicchettis with a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz. Definitely a habit I can get behind! The cicchetti in Venice is often seafood, so I hope you like seafood - if you don't, I promise you it's really good!

Cantina Do Mori

The first place we got Cicchetti in was Cantina Do Mori and it was amazing! Super cute and local - and cheap! Both the wine and Cicchetti was amazing.

Address: Calle Do Mori, 429, 30125 Venezia

Osteria Alla Staffa

I found this place from another blog, which said it had some of the best and cheapest pasta in Venice - so naturally we had to check it out. It completely lived up to our expectations!

It was a small local place on a quiet street, but the restaurant itself was quite busy. We passed it one night but they told us they are always fulled booked, so go by and book a table for another day. We chose to have our last meal here and it was amazing!

Address: Calle Ospedaletto, 6398, 30122 Venezia

Regina Sconta

If you're looking for something more fancy or fine dining, Regina Sconta is it! We came across it by accident, saw they had truffle pasta on the menu and went in. We also got some fish carpaccio for starter and it was amazing!

Address: Calle Regina, 2259/A, 30135 Venezia

Ai Do Archi

This place was another fortunate passing, were we ended up getting a cozy table outside, where you sit next to a cathedral. The food was really really good - it was by far some of the best seafood pasta we had in Venice (and we had a lot)!

Address: Barbaria de le Tole, 6359, 30122 Venezia

Un Mondo Divino

Un Mondo Divino was by far the best place we found for Cicchetti! The man behind the bar was so nice and friendly, all the locals were hanging out here and everyone were talking and saying hi to each other. We really loved sitting there getting a glass of wine and being part of real Italian culture in this small wine bar.

Address: Fondamenta Trapolin, 5984A, 30121 Venezia

Enoteca al Volto

Another great little local spot for Cicchetti is Enoteca al Volto. It's located just around the corner from the Rialto Bridge, but it's still somewhat quiet and really nice. Pop by here for a quick glass or wine or a few Chicchetti.

Address: Calle Cavalli, 4081, 30124 Venezia