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After three consecutive visits, I think I have a pretty good idea of the best tours in Venice!  Whether you’re a first time or returning visitor, there’s always something new to see.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you book one of these tours.  I only recommend tours I have personal experience with.

journey of doing - best tours in veniceP I N I T

Best Tours in Venice – Venice by Night Walking Tour

We booked and missed this tour twice due to transportation issues.  (This is why the Hotel Danieli was SO perfect for this trip!)  Third time is the charm, right??  Hands down, this is one of the best tours in Venice.  We were the only people signed up on the tour, and Andrea did an incredible job tailoring the tour to areas we had not explored on previous trips.  We learned about Venetian doge history, the origin of casinos, explored the Castello Sestieri (district), and ended near San Marco.  Andrea was a fantastic guide, and we really enjoyed exploring an area of Venice that we haven’t spent much time visiting.  Everyone needs to spend more time exploring Venice in off-peak hours and this is a great introduction to why its such a magical city at night!

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

Best Tours in Venice – Venice Walking Tour with Gondola Ride

This was one of the first tours we took on our honeymoon in Venice, and it is one of my favorites.  We opted for the early evening tour. It started at the Accademia, wandered through Dorsoduro, and ended with a shared gondola ride during blue hour. A shared gondola ride may not be the most romantic, but this a great way to have the experience on a budget!

My husband and I both love the Dorsoduro Sestieri – it seems very liveable.  There’s a large promenade overlooking Guidecca, beautiful canalside walks, and many galleries and museums.  Our favorite restaurant, Da Gianni, is also in Dorsoduro, as is my favorite gelato shop, Nico’s.  (Try the bacio.  I love the bacio.)

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

Best Tours in Venice – Venetian Island Tour

I visited Murano on my first two trips to Venice (2004, 2010), but I don’t think I “saw” Murano.  Individual vaperetto tickets are 7.50 euro each, so a tour including Murano, Burano and Torcello seemed like a great deal!  Our tour was delayed by 40 minutes, so our times were a little abbreviated but it was still a great introduction to the Venetian islands!

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

Murano – 35 minutes

We arrived at Ducale and were ushered in for a glassblowing demonstration.  The prices in the showroom didn’t seem too bad, but we wanted to explore the island instead.  There are several churches with Byzantine influence on the island, so I would encourage you to skip the glass, too.  If you’re going to Murano for glass, another one of our tour guides warned us that the mark up is 20-30% on Murano, so negotiate!

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

Burano – 40 minutes

As soon as you step off the boats in Burano, you’re greeted by lace shops galore.  Again, we skipped the shopping and headed off on a walk through the island to enjoy all the brightly colored houses.  We found cheap gelato for 1.50 euro, but it was the worst gelato ever – no flavor, icy, and the cone was of the boxed variety.  I didn’t even finish it.

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

Torcello – 50 minutes

This was my favorite Venetian island!  From the boat dock, there’s a 10 minute walk to the more populated area.  It’s so serene and completely different from Murano and Burano.  The best part, however, is the oldest Byzantine church.  There are no photos allowed inside, but it’s 100% worth visiting.  Make sure you get the audio guide.  It was possible to complete it in the 50 minutes, but I could have easily stayed there longer.  It’s incredible.

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

journey of doing - best tours in VeniceP I N I T

For more on the Best Tours in Venice (and tips + tricks):

 honeymoon in venice, hotel danieli, best tours in venice

venice postcard photos – 2015, venice postcard photos – 2016

venetian island postcard photos, venetian night postcard photos

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April adventures included a Hilton Head wedding for my sweet friend Amanda!  She and Jay married on the beach at sunset followed by an intimate reception at Crave.  Since today is her birthday, I thought I’d share some of the dreamy pictures from her Hilton Head wedding!

Her mom MADE her dress to replicate one that she fell in love with online.  Yes.  Her mom MADE that dress.  Amazing, right?  She also added sparkles to my dress.  I bought a sample from A Bridal Closet (the Stardust Bridal outlet) for $35 and had it altered down to my size!  Win of the century!

I was honored to be Amanda’s matron of honor and join her sister as part of the bridal party.  Jay’s best friend and his son were best man and groomsman.  One of her best friends from college officiated the ceremony.  Allie, her best friend since first grade, made the trip with two of her young children.  Her nieces were the sweetest flower girls.  Her dad played the saxophone for their first dance.

All photos by Hilleary Photography.

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

journey of doing - Amanda and JayP I N I T

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  • Amanda Elizabeth - Meet at the Barre - Wow!!!! These pictures are absolutely dreamy!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - It looks like such a beautiful wedding, especially being on the beach! I can’t believe that her mom made her dress! It’s beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Her mom MADE that dress?!? Insane! Beautiful bride and you look gorgeous!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren @ Bookmark Lit - Beautiful! I hope you loved HHI 🙂 My favorite place.ReplyCancel

  • Pinky - Such beautiful pictures, you look gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • SMD - Her mom made that dress? Good lord. Gorgeous!

    Everything about this is gorgeous. congratulations to them!ReplyCancel

  • 2017 Travel Plans » journey of doing - […] Hilton Head Wedding Recap – Amanda + Jay […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I can’t believe her Mum made that dress! The woman has serious talent. If she hadn’t already considered it, she should start her own business making dresses – and she could use your photos as marketing shots! Glad you all had a beautiful day, it looks like a good’unReplyCancel

  • Heather - Absolutely gorgeous and I love her colors!! I love knowing people that can still sew incredible pieces like that. I have a dress my grandmother made for me and I will treasure it forever.ReplyCancel

For more Vernazza Postcard Photos:

manarola cinque terre postcard photos – 2016, manarola postcard photos 2017,

riomaggiore postcard photos – 2017riomaggiore cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

cinque terre hike photos – 2016, corniglia postcard photos – 2017

monterroso al mare cinque terre postcard photos – 2016, monterosso al mare postcard photos – 2017

vernazza cinque terre postcard photos – 2016, vernazza postcard photos – 2017

For more Vernazza Tips + Tricks:

cinque terre trip planning, best place to stay in cinque terre

making pesto in cinque terre, wine tasting tour in cinque terre

best gelato in cinque terre, best restaurants in cinque terre

why you need to stay in cinque terre

journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
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journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos
journey of doing - Vernazza Postcard Photos

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And this weekend?  I slept the sleep of the dead.

I’ve been in meetings for weeks.  I’ve been collecting information, analyzing data, and considering what direction my leadership needs to go as we embark on some new and exciting things.

I had to make painful and agonizing decisions.

And now, they are done.

I know that I did the right thing, but oh my stars, life has been hard lately.


Yesterday I boarded a plane for the middle-of-nowhere California to present at a conference and be surrounded by people who believe in me.  And people I love.  And people who challenge me.

I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll be back in Dallas on Wednesday night – just in time to start a staff retreat designed to reignite the positivity and the dreams I had for my organization when I decided to take it on.

I’m looking forward to that, too.


In other news, the dry cleaner ruined one of my favorite dresses.  I knew I should have bought another one when I found it at TJ Maxx a few months ago.  I went on a search for it on Saturday, and while I didn’t find it, I did find two of my favorite Kate Spade shirts that work great with leggings, jeans, and shorts, so that was exciting.

P I N I T

I feel like there should be more to say, but there’s not actually.  I’ve had lyrics on the brain for awhile though – so I’ll leave you with a couple snippets of songs that I’ve been playing on repeat.

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you wanna go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.
But more than anything, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
-My Wish, Rascal Flatts

I don’t like my mind right now
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about me
Yeah, I drive myself crazy
‘Cause I can’t escape the gravity

I’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

-Heavy, Linkin Park

 

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  • SMD - Just keep going.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Oh, My Wish.. that was my dad and I’s song we danced to at my wedding and I still can’t listen to it (or read the lyrics apparently) without tearing up lol!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - Sorry life has been so heavy lately! Hopefully your conference & staff retreat will leave you feeling refreshed!! That stinks that they ruined your dress. I hope they are compensating you for that!ReplyCancel

journey of doing - postcard photo series link upP I N I T

For more Monterosso al Mare Postcard Photos:

manarola cinque terre postcard photos – 2016, manarola postcard photos 2017,

riomaggiore postcard photos – 2017riomaggiore cinque terre postcard photos – 2016

cinque terre hike photos – 2016, corniglia postcard photos – 2017

monterroso al mare cinque terre postcard photos – 2016, monterosso al mare postcard photos – 2017

vernazza cinque terre photos – 2016

For more Cinque Terre planning, tips and tricks:

cinque terre trip planning, best place to stay in cinque terre

making pesto in cinque terre, wine tasting tour in cinque terre

best gelato in cinque terre, best restaurants in cinque terre

why you need to stay in cinque terre


journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos
journey of doing - Monterosso al Mare Postcard photos

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