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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To Venice With Skye McAlpine

Venetian-English cookery writer Skye McAlpine shares her insider guide to Venice, taking readers off the city’s tourist trail.

Essential items to pack?

Some comfortable shoes. Venice is all about walking.

The best time to visit Venice is…

The depths of winter – you have the whole city to yourself.

Our first pitstop should be…

Hot chocolate with whipped cream at Café Florian.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

Hotel Experimental. It’s light and airy, the staff are super helpful and friendly, and I love the location.

For an early morning workout head to…

A run along the Zattere.

Where should we go for breakfast?

I love Rosa Salva in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo. They do great pastries and cappuccino.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

Al Covo. Everything on the menu is earth-shatteringly good.

And for dinner with friends?

A pizza at Muro Ai Frari.

A must-try spot for date night?

Dinner at Da Ivo. It’s super cosy and the food is unbelievably good.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

Budget: Ae Oke on the Zattere.

Blow Out: Harry’s Dolci.

Where should we head post-dinner?

For a drink in Campo Santa Margherita.

The drink to order at the bar…

A spritz.

The best place for people watching…

The terrace at the Gritti Hotel. I just love watching the boats go by.

The culture spot to rave about…

You really can’t beat the Basilica di San Marco – every time I go in it takes my breath away.

The best place to treat yourself is… 

Chiarastella Cattana – everything in the shop is so beautifully made and feels so unique.


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For great shopping head to…

Salizada San Samuele. It’s a quiet little street with lots of interesting independent boutiques.

Your favourite neighbourhood(s)…

I love Castello – it’s where I grew up, and more than any other neighbourhood it feels like real Venice.

The one place only locals know about… 

All’Arco by the Rialto Market. The best cichetti in town.

For the best views head to…

The top of the bell tower at San Giorgio.

For a change of pace try…

Lunch at Locanda Cipriani on Torcello.

Great day trips include…

Taking a boat out to explore the islands in the lagoon. Stop off at Mazzorbo for lunch.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Just walking around getting lost.

What’s your Venice secret?

The Focaccia alla Veneziana at Pasticceria Collussi – it’s as light as air and to die for.

In a word, Venice is…


Shop the Papier X Skye McAlpine collection here

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