Rooftop Terraces & Gondolas in Venice

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I have a confession to make: I’m not usually a guided tour person. I am totally a free spirit, I love doing things on my own time, and I enjoy exploring and discovering things in the places I visit. I always thought of tours as something super touristy and boring. But after going on my first guided city tour in Venice, I have to say that I am a total convert. While it was a private, personal tour as opposed to a group, I was very surprised by how much I liked the experience. I felt like I learned so much I never would have if I had not done the guided tour.

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I booked my tour through Livitaly (the tour was comped, I was not required to write about my experience; I just enjoyed it so much that I had to!) and was assigned Marie for the day. We were a little late to the tour due to some confusion and getting lost (oops!), but Marie was super nice and flexible. She was available on Whatsapp and told me exactly where to go and came and met us right at the boat stop. Although Marie is not a native to the area, she was extremely knowledgeable in the history of Venice, as well as lots of cool pop culture facts. We talked about lots of things and the tour was completely catered to us.

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Marie gave us tons of suggestions and even kept in touch after the tour. How sweet of her! Although it wasn’t part of the tour itself, Marie told us about a free rooftop terrace on the top of a department store, Fondaco dei Tedeschi. It has 360 views, so we knew we had to check it out. From the terrace, you can see “Support,” a very special art installation by Lorenzo Quinn. Large hands are affixed to buildings as if they are holding up the sinking city. It’s very cool to see in person. And an added bonus is that the entire department store below the terrace gives non-EU shoppers tax back forms to turn in at the airport. Hello new Gucci bag!

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{dress c/o South Moon Under // earrings c/o Mignonne Gavigan // bag by Rebecca Minkoff }

What was part of the tour was a gondola ride. I mean, you can’t come to Venice and not ride a gondola, right?! This was what I was looking most forward to for the entire trip. It was so incredibly charming and relaxing to ride through the canals and listen to the gondoliers sing. Marie told us that the gondoliers here are very wealthy and completely rule the canals. They have the right of way everywhere and don’t have to obey the laws of the canals, like one-way canals. Who would have guessed?!

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I can’t recommend the tour we did enough. It was such a perfect way to kick off our visit in Venice! If you’re heading to Venice, be sure to check out Livitaly and use code lushtoblush for 10% off! Next up, Croatia.

Have you ever been to Venice? What was your favorite part of your trip?