In June 2020, I left my home and headed to Venice. After three months of lockdown, I knew it would be the city to enjoy. I knew that tourists around the globe, especially Americans,s Chinese and Australians were not coming due to Italy being hit hard during Covid 19. This was the best decision I have made in my life. One that will be with me to my dying day. I then returned in April 2021 after suffering void 19.

I stayed a further six weeks and once again Venice was not as quiet but wonderful to explore. On this occasion, Venice just opened up for business and the reality of no tourists for 17months was very clear. More shops closed and even the six weeks I was there, other restaurants and shops closed.

I met locals did business and explored other church’s, atelier shops, hotel’s and stayed in the Ghetto area which not many tourists even gravitate to. I experienced the Venice boat show and La Biennale. I learnt about handbag makers of the past. I watched the most Gondola race in the world, truly stunning to see.

Pay To Stay In Venice

Venice will charge an entrance fee of up to 10euro per person to visit it. To preserve the city from the mass tourism of the past. A new rule is tourist tax for entering the city. On top of paying the hotel, tax visitors will pay a daily rate. I am all for this to save this niche open-air museum from lagoon damages.

Staying here for three months and speaking to locals. Venice is seeking a new way of tourism. Where cruise ships are no longer allowed. Italian government are seeking tourists to spend money in the city over a few days. not rushing to see Venice for only one day. Let me encourage you that staying in Venice for seven days you will not get bored.

Walk Venice

This city is all about walking it. Get fit before you head to Venice. It is the only way for me to find hidden off the beaten experiences. This is why seven day stays in Venice will allow you to do this.

Make sure you choose stylish but very comfortable trainers. I walked with these Made In Italy clogs. They are so comfortable walking around In Venice and climbing the hundreds of bridges that connect the lagoon.

Gracie Opulanza Venice 2021 Covid 19 survivor (2)

Seven Day Experiences To See

During the three months staying in Venice, I want to inspire anyone when you come to Venice. Book a dedicated week in this unique open-air museum. There is so much to explore.

There is so much more than Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Basilica.

I’ve Had Covid 19 And I look And Feel Amazing

La Biennale

This happens once a year and La Biennale is all about the urban architecture of the future. It happens for several months.

La Biennale Venice – Architecture & Home Designs Trends

St Mark’s Campanile Bell Tower Of St Mark’s Basilica

Piazza San Marco venice 2020 covid 19 summer july gracie opulanza italy (1)

St Mark’s Campanile s the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica  In June 2020, I took this shot climbing the tower.   At 98.6 metres in height, it is the tallest structure in Venice and is colloquially termed “el paròn de casa”. There is a lift so you don’t have to climb it.

Before the pandemic, it would take five hours to access this Campanile. I climbed it twice with no waiting time at all.

Make sure you come to the square at night. It is truly magical and offers a different ambience.

Venice By Night - Idyllic Romantic Destination

San Marco Square Venice

Support Artisans

“I don’t do run-of-the-mill stuff, and I don’t do minimal.” I’m giving you as mum’s permission to be individual again.” Support these designers in Venice.

It is easy to buy luxury fashion like Gucci, Versace or Dolce Gabbana. The boutiques are former palaces and I do recommend going in. But if you looking for individual items like a bespoke ring in St Mark’s square by Boncompgni

You know that this gift to yourself or a loved one is truly Made In Italy.

Or go buy a made in Italy, designed in Venice bag from Michele De Fina. This former designer worked for luxury Italian brands of the past the big difference is that thee bag is slow fashion and niche.

Michele De Fina Venzia Rialto bridge 2021 leather orange bag made in Italy (1)

These are item’s that no mainstream luxury fashion can make or will make. As they support the masses of fast luxury fashion.

Coral From Italy

If you are seeking coral from Italy, a wonderful shopping experience is on the Rialto bridge. Where everything is authenticated and an amazing shopping experience of buying a quality item from Italy on one of the most amazing bridges in the world.

fifty hairstyles Pantene

Hotel Palazzo

I reviewed many hotels in Venice. Opt for a palazzo experience like Hotel Heureka. Don’t stay in any hotel. If you are seeking a memorable hotel stay also choose, Ca’ Sagredo Hotel Venice and dance the staircase away. Take a look at my knitwear photoshoot I did.

Grand Canal view from Ca' Sagredo hotel.

If you are wanting to replicate the Venice film festival then head to hotel Excelsior in Lido. This hotel is famous for Hollywood stars all over the world coming here for the Venice film festival.

The Dock Reception Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido 2021 review Italy (3

Wonderful swimming pool and access to a private beach. This is how I got to the hotel, thanks to the Riva private boat waiting for me.

Festa del Redentore

Festa del Redentore is the most spectacular gondola race in the world.  They build a bridge so everyone can cross to the other side of the lagoon. This is a one-off lifetime experience.

Festa del Redentore – Venice’s Beautiful Gondola Race

This was taken in 2020, it normally was so packed. Truly stunning experience to watch.

Festa del Redentore - Venice's Beautiful Gondola Race MENsTYLEFashion 2020 Italy summer (7)

Murano Glass Jewellery

There are so many trashy and fake Murano glass items on sale in Venice. I bought unique items from unbranded artists.

Murano glass necklace Venice Gracie Opulanza 2021

Trust me this was a gem to find and not seen anywhere in Venice, I bought it from a very off the beaten track boutique.


Don’t just book a gondola for 30min, book it for an hour or two. Ask for a fair price and support the locals.

Gondola Venice – How To Choose Your Gondola Style?

Ask to go through small canal’s it is wonderful. Ask for live music to be played too. This is once of a lifetime experience of the celebration of life.

Riva Boat

The most stunning classic boat in the world. Book a private Riva boat even if it’s through the canals to your hotel.

Riva Italy – The Most Beautiful Motor Yachts In The World

This is the city that can not be replicated so when in Venice don’t rush it. Take your time to explore and live in it. Being here for three months was purely wonderful.

If you have gone through a tough two years. This is the city to heal, embrace la dolce vita.

Dress Up

Venice is wonderful to dress up. you can never overdress in Venice. Make sure you explore the Alta Moda of Venice when it comes to headpieces.

Venice - Head Piece Art Gracie Opulanza summer 2020 Italy Ego Boutique Hotel (9)

I bought this from an artist who has been making hat’s like this for over 50years. Take a piece of stylish Venice home with you.

Buy A Gondola Bag

The fashion house Roberta di Camerino was founded in 1945 when the Camerinos returned to Italy, Venice her birthplace.
In 1945 she founded the historical Italian brand (a play of words between the title of the movie Roberta, 1935, starring Fred Astaire and Irene Dunne and the designer’s last name after marriage) in Venice.
Owning a vintage bag made out of the very same Gondola materials is truly gorgeous and unique to Venice.
Roberta Di Camerino Gondola clutch bags venice vintage interwoven leather lace