Visiting Venice in Summer - 5 Things You Must Pack
Flats, SPF and Mosquito Repellent
If you're lucky to be visiting Venice this summer, then make sure it's a trip to remember. In the evening, after a day of sightseeing, you want to enjoy your Bellini without being covered in mosquito bites, while nursing a painful sunburn and sore feet. Prepare in advance and make sure you don't leave home without these five Venice summer musts.
1. SENSIBLE SHOES
When visiting Venice expect to be doing a lot of walking. Absence of a traditional transport, such as bus, taxi or bicycle, means you'll have to rely on your feet to take you places. Sure, there is the famous water bus - Vaporetto, but it only covers the Grand Canal and the open sea due to its size. So unless you're willing to pay for a pricy water taxi to take you further by navigating the more narrow canals, you'll have to walk a fair amount of distance each day.
A good pair of shoes is a must if you intend to do some sightseeing in Venice. A sensible sandal or a pair of trainers with a sturdy sole will keep your feet from getting too battered. Venice is a maze of cobblestones, numerous bridges and stairs, so anything other than a flat shoe will leave your feet in agony the next day. I personally prefer my shoe to have a rubber sole as I find it very comfortable. And ladies, don't even think of packing heels or wedges. If you sprain your ankle, you'll still have to hobble to the nearest boat accesible canal for an ambulance to pick you up.
2. SUN PROTECTION
Venice can get pretty hot in summer, so a good SPF of at least 30 is a must. A long day of walking around and being by the water will maximise your sun exposure, so don't assume you won't get sunburnt. I've learnt that lesson the hard way, so I always pack a good sunblock. Try to pick one that is long-wearing and sweat proof, but you'll still need to reapply every few hours. A hat and some quality sunglasses are also needed to keep you safe from UV exposure.
I always pack some aftersun as well as I always manage to tan, despite all the sunblock I use. So don't underestimate the strong Italian sun. The aftersun lotion also comes handy after a few hours at the beach, but more on that later...
3. MOSQUITO REPELLENT
This is the item people tend to forget when travelling to Venice during summertime. If you plan to dine outside near the water, then don't forget to bring mosquito repellent. The lagoon is an absolutely charming place on a balmy summer evening, but unfortunately the mosquitos also agree. Unless you want to scratch away all evening, you better get friendly with the citrus scent. And if you still get nibbled on, while enjoying your alfresco dining, running an ice cube over the bite helps to soothe the area temporarily. A repellent for your hotel room, that you can plug in, is also a smart idea if you want to have an interrupted night of sleep. Which takes us to...
4. VOLTAGE CONVERTER
This is actually an all year must, when travelling to Venice. Italy has a dual or triple type of adapter and the electricity comes out of the wall socket at 220 volts, so a voltage converter is required if you want to charge your electric devices. Some hotels provide them upon asking, but I advise you to take your own. Could there be anything worse than your battery going dead in a place of such beauty as Venice? I hate to admit, but it has happened to me more than once, so now I always make sure to pack an additional battery and a power bank, just to be on the safe side.
And don't count on finding many general or electric goods stores in Venice. There are very few and even if you happen to locate one, it's bound to be on the opposite side of the city. Venetians also often have to shop outside the city, mainly on the mainland in Mestre, as there just aren't many everyday item shops in Venice.
This may come as a surprise, but Venice has a long stretch of sandy beaches, the nearest one on the Island of Lido. Just a ten minute Vaporetto ride from San Marco and you'll find yourself on a once famous summer resort for wealthy venetians. From the main water bus station it's a ten minute stroll to the free public beach, where you can enjoy a few hours of sun, sand and sea. The shallow waters are perfect for children to play in, but if you want a good swim, you'll have to walk further out. If you want, you can rent sun loungers and parasols and if you're feeling extra indulgent, there are also beach cabanas and private huts available for rent. Just don't expect them to be cheap.
Your Vaporetto day pass also covers all the bus rides on the island, if you don't feel like walking. Oh, and if I forgot to mention, Lido is the only Venice island that permits cars and buses. So if you're up for some refreshment and an afternoon break from Venice attractions, you can relax and watch the glamurous old venetian ladies enjoy their beach huts they rent for the summer. Sunbathing is a very popular pastime in Italy among all generations. And afterwards you'll get to use that aftersun lotion I recommended earlier.
Summer Fun in Venice
Now that you're informed and prepared, there's nothing holding you back from having the time of your life exploring Venice. Summer is a great time to do it and aside from those irritating mosquitos, there are many pros. The weather is nice and even if it gets hot during the day, the balmy evenings more than make up for it. The days are long so you can walk around and take pictures late into the evening. The Vaporetto rides are a delight, as you can sit outside on the deck, admiring the Palazzos on the Grand Canal with wind in your hair. Oh, and let's not forget the joy of sipping that famous orange Italian apertivo - Aperol Spritz on a historic venetian square, while people watching.
Before I get carried away, let me know if there's something I forgot to mention, something important to pack for a summer Venice trip? Feel free to share your packing musts and maybe I'll see you in Venice this August, when I take my annual trip to La Serenissima...
Tell me about your packing oops...
What do you usually forget to pack for a summer vacation?
© 2019 Tina Koren