Italy: Venice, it’s worth checking out the hostels

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As someone who travels the world for a living reviewing hotels (I think her actual job title is jammy cow), this girl knows her stuff, however she wishes to remain anonymous. If you want to know more about her then by all means e-mail me and I’ll put you in touch. Here’s her take on Venice…

‘I remember my first trip to Venice, travelling around Italy a naïve 19 year old thinking I was an American socialite taking my first gap yah of many… this dream was shattered when I was hit by the 30 degree heat, on a packed cross-country train with my babycurls stuck to my forehead and an Italian man’s sweaty pit glued to my shoulder stronger that last night’s lashes with MAC’s Duo residue. This was worse than a hangover.

Then, approaching Venice, I had that dazzle-moment I was looking for. Off the train, and onto the waterbus, the only real way to reach the haven that is Venice. This time around, I did it right. My freshly blown hair intact, and face as fresh as any good MUA would envisage, I pulled into St Marks Square (Piazza San Marco) and was just as blown away as I was the first time. Picture town on a rare summer’s day, complete with the pigeons. Only this time they’re not gunning for your eyebrows or dropping a load on your perfect pedi. Then picture cliché little bars littered all around with Italian gods sipping an Aperol Spritz (the only thing to be caught drinking in summer).

The sights of Venice are obvious and you can find them on google easier than a picture of Kim K’s ass, but swerve paying £100 plus for a “romantic” gondola ride when you can pocket the money (Venice has more boutique shops than any girl knows what to do with) and see it all by foot or vaporetto (the city’s waterbus offers an all-day ticket for 20 euro).

Where to stay is always a tough one, and people usually go for the most central location. In my eyes, this is a mistake in a place as small and accessible as Venice, and true Venetian hotels are a rare find at any affordable price. Oh, and can you honestly picture a better city to get lost wandering around in than this one? Thought so. Your best bet is to try Generator Venice. Yes, yes, I know it’s a hostel. But forget what you think you know about hostels, there are no middle-aged half-way mings littering the floors, or locals ready to swipe your iPhone at this little gem. A converted old grain house, the hostel sits on the waterfront of a small island in Venice centre, just five minutes by vaporetto from San Marco.

Mosaic flooring gives a true Italian vibe and the local Murano glass glistens everywhere – giving the most flattering light to tired eyes. The hostel has live nights every week or so, and changing events depending on the time of year – take a look at generatorhostels.com for a timetable and some of the other fab locations like Paris, Berlin, London and Barcelona. Oh and I should add, shared rooms are an option but definitely not a requirement. The private rooms (starting 45 euro per night) promise affordable luxury, and even come with a 2 for 1 drinks voucher for the downstairs bar, complete with late checkout (knowing you’ll be battling a splitting head and spinny-room the next day).

I could go on and on about the sinking city, but my best advice is to get there before it goes under!

XOXO

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