This Travel Writer’s Guide To Venice focuses not only on a guide to travel but specifically with the needs of a writer in mind. A traveling writer needs to know the history, where to find inspiration, a great place to write, and a great place to lay their head. That way all your energy can funnel into creating!
Venice, known in Italian as Venezia, as it is an island city, was once the center of a maritime republic. It was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and the continent’s commercial and cultural link to Asia. It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centers.
During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk to draw water for local industry, Venice began to sink. It was caused by the extraction of water from the aquifer. The wells were banned in the 1960s, which slowed the sinking however not to a stop.
The city might be completely submerged by the year 2100. Even today, the city floods heavily in the colder months.
Every inch of Venice feels like another world. It is nearly impossible not to feel inspired while reading on a balcony that overlooks the flooded streets. Overhearing Italian opera and conversations. Any and every walk taken and meal eaten within the city is out of a movie.
Here are some particularly inspiring locations, especially for the writers.
Though not the easiest to navigate, this book store has the most character you will find. The doors of the bookshop even open out to a gondola on the canal.
For a feel of life in old Venice, this wonderful museum exhibits artifacts from the exact time of Casanova’s prime.
Established in 1720, this is considered the oldest Café in Europe and a symbol of the city of Venice. Caffè Florian was the only meeting place of the time that admitted women, which explains why Casanova chose it as his “hunting ground” in his continuing quest for female company.
Caffè Florian introduced the traditional European “cafe concert” with a permanent orchestra that you can still enjoy to this day.
Surprisingly there aren’t many coffee shops with seating, there are more cafes with outdoor seating, and not many people doing work as this is a highly tourist-dense area. Much of the population living in Venice has left due to the rising water levels. A great option would be to get a hotel or Airbnb that has a perfect writing area (such as the one mentioned in Travel Tips). That being said, here are a few great writing locations within the city:
Quaint coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating on the canal
Beautiful coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating on the canal
A cafe with outdoor seating that is conducive to work, however not on the water
Where to stay: There are a few different areas in Venice to choose from. San Marco is the most central location to all of the tourist areas like St Mark’s. It is also the most beautiful.
Connected with San Marco is Castello. This area is near to the tourist area however it is a more relaxed area than San Marco.
Across the Grand Canal from San Marco is Dorsoduro. There are major art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife from the student population.
Home to some of Venice’s best restaurants is San Polo which is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Venice.
There are many hotels and Airbnb to choose from, however, if you are looking for a lot of space to unwind and write then we highly recommend this Airbnb in San Marco. With true Venezian decor and a balcony hovering over the canal, it will be hard not to feel inspired.
Getting around: You will likely arrive in Venice by train that takes you over the water to the island city. Once you arrive in Venice, there are no cars. Instead, you will need to either walk or take the public boats, private taxi boats, or gondolas.
When you first step off the train it can seem daunting. It will be best for you to ask the hotel or Airbnb exactly which boat stop to go to if you are taking the mass transit boats or just give the address to the taxi boat driver. However, be sure to ask the price beforehand as it can be steep.
From where you are staying you will most likely be able to walk to wherever you’d like to go. Also, if there are certain restaurants that you wish to go to across the water be advised that many of them are at hotels and have their own free ferry boats to and from.
If you are heading to the airport when you leave Venice, you can take the public boats which might take over an hour. The boats tend to be fairy packed which is not convenient when you have a lot of luggage. Another option is to schedule a taxi boat to bring you from the closest stop near your hotel/Airbnb straight to the airport for about 100 euros and this should only be a 20-minute trip. It’s also a great way to end your stay in Venice!
When to go: The best times to go to Venice are April, May, September, and October. You can also go in the summer months if you don’t mind the warm weather and some crowds. Be advised that in the winter months Venice will be flooded.