Travel to Venice: 3 Tips for Shopping for Experiences

Last week, you joined our adventures in Chianti, Italy. This week, let’s travel to Venice – the city of love and romance! I’m sure you’re starting to see a theme here… Yes, my favorite shopping indulgence is looking for Experiences. 

gondolier ride in Venice, Italy
Photo by: Isabella Chan

Here Are 3 Tips to Help You Get Started Shopping for Experiences When You Travel:

  1. Get excited to experience something that is unique. Mindset is important and make Google keywords like “unique” or “off the beaten path” your best friends.
  2. Be purposeful – look for something both the kids and adults can enjoy. 
  3. Be intentional – seek experiences that allow you to spend time with a local. If you have kids, think about it as an amazing opportunity for a hands on, fun, and interactive history lesson in the real world. They will remember this better than what they read in the textbooks!

To make traveling with your own family easier for you, I’m going to include some of my favorite go-to companies that we have tried & tested over the years in each blog post!

2 Things to Do When You Travel to Venice

When we travel, there are 2 things we absolutely try hard to include. The first one is a cooking experience with a local which we all get excited about. Yes, even the husband who can’t cook to save his life loves this part of our trips! If you haven’t already seen it, I wrote about our Italian cooking experience (found on Airbnb Experiences) last week and shared pictures from that beautiful day at my friend Joana’s enchanting farmhouse in Impruneta, Italy overlooking the beautiful hills of Chianti. 

The second thing we try to do at least once a year is to get family pictures taken. When in Europe, I particularly love @localers as a resource. What’s unique about them is that the photographer also doubles up as a tour guide! We end up with a TON of amazing pictures both candid and posed. The best part is that we get to hear personal stories from our multi-talented guides woven into the incredible history of the city we are in. As a bonus, we also make pitstops at eateries that get the thumbs up from locals! If you find yourself in Venice, make sure you stop by Pastiscceria Tonolo for a desert from a famous bakery loved by locals. 

Localers: Local Tour Guides to Use When You Travel to Venice

Our amazing photo guide in Venice, Italy, was Chiara. I checked and as of the time this is being published, you can still book her through @localers so you’re in luck! Did you know that almost 30 million people visit Venice a year? What was extra special about this experience is that it did not feel like we were touring with a tour guide but rather taking an enchanting stroll through romantic Venice with a friend who also happened to be a talented photographer. We started at the Rialto Bridge then visited the over 1000-year-old market which is famous for its fresh fish and produce. 

hopping for Experiences When You Travel to Venice
Photo by: Chiara @localers

Beautiful Family Photos & a Local Tour Guide in One

She then expertly guided us through the maze of winding alleys that Venice is known for all while taking these incredible pictures you see above. I love candid shots the most, don’t you? We ended our time with Chiara at the Accademia Bridge and the kids were starving. We stopped by the very first restaurant next to it and had our first taste of Bresaola Pizza that you assemble yourself, over a bed of arugula and shaved parmesan.

We loved it so much, we’ve recreated this meal several times since. It’s not very easy to get bresaola though! I chanced upon some at Marlow & Daughters and Paisanos Butcher shop in Brooklyn, New York. If you know any other places that have it, do share in the comments below! I can’t recall the name of the restaurant but there was a glass harpist close by. I told our waiter that I found the music angelic and enchanting! “Madame, Imagine hearing this every day for 5 years. I’ve thought of hiring a sniper…”, said our equally (otherwise) enchanting waiter HAHA! 

Photos by: Mirfie Chan

The Stroll in Venice IS the Destination

My husband says that when you travel to Venice, the stroll IS the destination & I could not agree more. Time seems to slow down and somehow you’re more aware of the sights and sounds around you. You can’t help but to be swept away by the beauty around you – couples dressed up for a night out, women draped in such simple yet ethereal dresses made of fabric that would dance to the gentle breeze, laughter always filling the air, and families enjoying dinner by candlelight next to the canals. Ahh, Venice… you have certainly stolen a piece of my heart.

hopping for Experiences When You Travel to Venice
Photos By: Chiara @localers

P.S. Thanks for going on these journeys with me. Please introduce yourself in the comments below. I’d love to get to know you too!

Love,

Mirfie & the Chan Fam

You can learn more about our family story here!

Mirfie Chan

Hi, I’m Mirfie. Born and raised on the beautiful tropical island of Singapore, love led me to a magical winter wonderland in New York City. An unexpected plot twist in the love story and I found myself moving to NYC permanently. My heart refuses to choose so I call both these amazing cities home! Today, I share this imperfectly perfect life with 3 of my favorite humans. Welcome to my little haven – imagined in 2020 where I share the adventures, recipes and glimpses of our daily life.