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Even though Jordyn had already been on about 10 flights by the time we were heading to Italy I was still a bit worried as this would be her longest flight to date and at an age where she was extremely active. Not to mention after booking I found out I was expecting and would be 3 months pregnant on the trip. With the tons of walking that comes with Europe and knowing Jordyn’s want to be constantly picked up I was getting worried how I would make it.
How We Got There
We flew Delta non-stop from JFK into Venice. I booked the overnight flight so we could sleep the whole way and avoid jet-lag as when we arrived it would be morning. I got the bulkhead seat so we would have more space and so Jordyn couldn’t kick seats in front of us and then the flight attendant pops up and asks “How much does she weigh?.” I got a little nervous/annoyed thinking why does this matter but when I said 20lbs a miracle happened. She goes, “Great, I will get you a bassinet for her” (Delta’s limit is 20lbs and 26 inches). I never knew about these before or that you could actually request them when you book your flight so even if the bulkhead seat is taken they can move people around for you. It was a Godsend; I could now be hands free the entire flight and much more comfortable.
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How We Got From the Airport
We took the ATVO coach bus from the airport (mainland Venice) to Venice Island. These coaches have storage for your luggage and take you to the island where you can then take the water taxi to the stop you need to. You can buy your ticket inside of the airport near baggage claim and follow the signs outside to the waiting area for the bus, they come every 15mins.
Where We Stayed
Since there were 16 of us, we booked Airbnb in each city: Venice, Florence, & Rome. For reviews of the Airbnbs we stayed in click here. Sign up for Airbnb here and receive a $40 credit towards your first stay.
What We Did
Day 1: Rialto Bridge and Market, Gondola Ride
We landed around 9AM checked into our Airbnb and then got lunch. We still had most of the day and since the weather had rain in the forecast for our next two days but wasn’t raining now we figured it was the perfect time for the obligatory Gondola ride. Gondola rides are very expensive, expect to pay about $80 Euros for a short 40 minute ride. Since we were a group of 16, we got 3 and split the cost so it wasn’t as expensive.
If you wait until after 7PM, the ride goes up to $100 Euros. You can check the current price of Gondola Rides here. If you are traveling alone with an infant you might want to consider a shared Gondola Ride from Viator where kids under 1 are free and you only pay about $38 per person.
Afterwards we walked around Rialto Bridge where they have vendors selling souvenirs. They also have a market with vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Day 2: St. Marks Square: Campanile, Basilica, Doge’s Palace & Secret Itineraries Tour
On our second day in Venice we explored all of St. Marks Square. We started with the day exploring Doge’s Palace which was included in our Venice Museum Pass. Next we went on the Secret Itineraries Tour which covers the inaccessible rooms and chambers where the delicate work of some of the most important bodies in the Venetian administration was carried out. Children under 6 are not allowed on this tour so Jordyn did not go with me, my Aunt who was traveling with us was not interested and kindly watched her for me. The tour lasts 1 hour and 15 mins.
Next we visited the Campanile for breathtaking views of Venice 324 feet in the air. The cost is 8 Euros but the views are gorgeous (children under 5 are free). In July and August it’s open for 9AM to 9PM, in April-June and September-October it’s open from 9AM-7PM and in the winter from November to March it’s only open 9:30AM-3:45PM. The last elevator goes up 1 hour before closing. To avoid the long lines unless you arrive early you can purchase a skip the line ticket online here when traveling between April 1st and November 2nd, all other times everyone must stand on line.
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We took a vaporetto to our first stop, Murano Island, which is famous for glass blowing. From St. Marks Square we took a vaporetto to the Fondamente Nove stop and then transferred to line 12. We got off at Colonna since we wanted to see a live demonstration of glassblowing but you can get off at any stop in Murano. In Murano we also visited the Glass Museum, included in our Museum Pass, and walked around exploring the various shops.
Next we headed to Burano, a 30min ride from Murano. You can take the same vaporetto, line 12 to get from Muarno to Burano. There is only one stop in Burano so you can’t miss it. Burano is known for it’s lace and gorgeous brightly colored homes. The homes were originally painted so colorfully to prevent the boats from missing them and wrecking.
Next we headed to Florence to spend two days there. We traveled by train, taking the Trenitalia. It was very easy to take, only cost $37 per person and took 2hrs. Children under 4 ride for free and children 4-14 get a 50% discount.
Stroller, Car seat and/or Carrier
In Venice there are no roadways so you either walk to your destination or take a water-taxi. I bought a super cheap umbrella stroller from Tagret for the trip but after 30mins in Venice I realized the city was not made for strollers and used the carrier the rest of the time. The walkways are cobble stone and there are just so many stairs in Venice the stroller was inconvenient. We saw so many people struggling to carry the stroller up the stairs with their child in out or have to take the kid out have them walk up and down while holding their hand and the stroller. Also during the Secret Itineraries Tour at Doge’s Palace strollers are not allowed. It would also be hard to bring anything bigger than an umbrella stroller on a gondola ride. The Islands of Murano and Burano were probably the only places I feel like it could of made any real sense to bring the stroller but I managed fine with the carrier alone.
In Venice there are no roadways or cars, only canals and water taxis, so a car seat is unnecessary. The only time we got in a vehicle was when we took one of the buses from the airport to the water taxi station and you are unable to install a car seat on the bus. Venice is full of bridges and crowded cobblestone roads you will end up taking the baby out of the strolled many times to climb up and down the stairs and it may be difficult to navigate through the crowds during the busy times of the day. I was 3 months pregnant when we traveled to Venice and I managed to carry Jordyn (15 months) with my Ergo 360 carrier just fine.
Now there is a lot of walking in Venice so if your child can’t make it through the day walking on their own and you know you personally can’t manage carrying them in a carrier all day then I would bring a cheap, very small umbrella stroller. Anything heavy and bulky like a travel system or jogging stroller will be a real pain as you will have to carry the stroller up and down the stairs of the many bridges located throughout the city.