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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Venice 1 Day Trip

Italy was never on the places to visit during our road trip of Eastern Europe. However, after looking at a map and realizing how close we were to Venice we decided to take a day trip to visit the iconic city, as Alex and the kids have never been. We are often visiting places with canals through them and refer to them as ‘mini Venices’ so we thought we were a bit obligated to visit the main icon!

2 kids on Gondola at Rialto Bridge in Venice
On our Family Gondola Ride headed towards the Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy

Getting There From Croatia

Coming from the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia we could have taken either a boat from Rovinj to Venice or drive the 3 hours. The boat ride from Rovinj would have probably been the most convenient, but it is for people transport only and it was quite costly for a family – about $80 USD for one-way for each person or $95 USD for round-trip. Since we had the car we decided to just take the longer drive and spend 2 nights and 1 full day in Venice.

Coming out of Croatia we did go through a border crossing into Slovenia just south of Koper (As of end of August 2021). There would be a border check here normally; however, with Covid they did ask for our vaccination status. Then once crossing over into Italy we didn’t have any other border checks.

Covid Restrictions in Italy

Of the six countries we have visited so far, Italy had some of the stronger Covid restrictions in place. As of August 6, 2021, Italy has implemented a green pass program, which is required for dining indoors, indoor establishments like theatres, cinemas, museums, sporting events, swimming pools, gyms, theme parks, casinos, trade shows, conferences, etc. For Italians this is a QR code on their phone proving their vaccination status. However, as we don’t have this pass on our phone, Italy has been recognizing other country’s vaccination proofs, such as the CDC’s vaccination card.

Most of the time we were exploring outside, so we didn't have a problem, except when we went to McDonalds for breakfast (as we decided not to get groceries during our time in Italy because of our short stay). Both mornings we had to bring in our vaccination card and show it to the McDonalds employee in order to be allowed to sit inside and eat. Any children 12 and under were exempted from this, as long as their parents had the proof.

As of September 1, Italy expanded the Green Pass program to transportation and education settings. Therefore, people will have to show their vaccination proof to board an international or domestic flight from Italy, ferries, trains and long-distance buses passing through two or more regions, as well as charter buses. (It will not be required for local buses, trams, subways or regional trains.) It will also be required for teachers and staff at schools, as well as students in university.

Note: However, make sure to always do research before attending the country to make sure you're up to date with the ever changing Covid restrictions.

Exploring Venice

We didn’t really have an agenda as we set out to explore Venice. We parked on the edge of the Old Town for 22 Euros for the day and then took the people mover (1.50 Euro/person) into the Old Town to start our exploring. We mostly just explored the tiny streets and canals as we made our way to St. Mark’s Square and Doge’s Palace. With over 400 bridges, 118 islands and 150 channels there was no shortage of things to explore. We just enjoyed looking at the canals, grabbing coffee and looking at all the windows of the shops. It was easy to get lost just exploring, but thank goodness for Google maps.

Mom & Children looking for gondolas in Venice Italy
Exploring & looking for gondolas on the canals - Venice, Italy

Enjoying Rialto Bridge & St. Mark's Square.

Rialto Bridge Venice Italy
Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy

The kids especially enjoyed all the gelato shops -- this was a 2 ice cream day for sure -- and they found watching the gondolas going down the canals very interesting as well. And they liked finding a playground right on one of the central islands.

2 Kids Enjoying Gelato in Venice, Italy
Gelato in Venice, Italy

Gondola Ride

We didn’t go into museums or St. Mark’s or do a lot of official touring, but we did decide to do the iconic gondola ride through the canals. Although it is a super touristy thing to do, we really enjoyed the experience. The rates of the gondola are posted and regulated so it’s easy to know exactly what you’re paying for and there are several places around the Old Town that you can get on one. A 30-minute gondola ride is 80 Euros and after 5 p.m. the rate increases to 100 Euros for 35 minutes.

2 Kids Riding gondola under one of the bridges in Venice Italy
Riding the Gondola through one of the 400 bridges of Venice, Italy
Family on Gondola in Venice Italy
Family Gondola Ride, not as romantic, but still fun! - Venice, Italy

He shared different facts with us as we meandered along and he navigated and dodged other gondolas in the narrow canals. One of the more interesting things he shared with us was that many of the buildings along the canals aren't inhabited or used on the first floor level because the canals do flood at times.

Keeping Venice Beautiful

I had personally been to Venice in 2005 and one of my biggest memories of Venice was the pigeons who weren’t scared of people and would flock to the people in St. Mark’s square to try to get food. However, since then the city of Venice has implemented several rules to try to keep Venice cleaner – there are the typical no swimming in canals, picking up trash and no feeding of the pigeons. Doing any one of these prohibited activities can give you a fine. However, one that was a little surprising to us is that there is no eating on the sidewalks or stairs anywhere in the city. We found this out after we had purchased some pizza for lunch and found some steps to sit down and eat on. We were quickly approached by someone who worked for the city to let us know that this wasn’t allowed.

One other interesting part about our lunch experience was that we discovered the Venice seagulls were hard core. As Alex was walking with the pizza to the steps, one of the seagulls swooped down and grabbed a piece of the pizza!! Luckily, we had them cut the pizza into smaller bits, otherwise we would have been short a slice!!

Looking Ahead to 2022

One other initiative that it looks like will be implemented for 2022 is that Venice is going to impose requirements for pre-booking, a fee and entry via electronic turnstiles for tourists coming to the town to help control tourism. From reports, it sounds like the entry fee will be between 3 and 10 Euros, depending on the season. Residents, children under 6 years old and those tourists staying in hotels will be exempt from the measures.

Mom & Kids along large canal in Venice Italy with storm coming
Farewell to Venice until next time!

While it was short, but sweet, we did enjoy our time in Venice. While maybe not as romantic as the movies make it out to be, we think this will likely stand out in the kids’ travel memories for years to come.


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