Our talented producer has put together a beautiful Guide to Venice to share with you all, with tips on where to eat, where to stay and things to do while in Venice – with some Free People fun thrown in for good measure :) Read on for Part One of Free People’s Guide to Venice!
The Free People team has just returned from a trip to Italy, Venice to be exact, and what an amazing trip it was! It was my 3rd time to the beautiful country known for its pasta, wine and enthusiastic, fun-loving people and the 3rd time was certainly a charm.
Venice. Despite the fact that I was there for work and our hours were long, I feel like I really got to see the best of the best. We ate the most amazing food, found some magical local drinking spots, and spent many late nights lost in Venice’s streets – as every good traveler should.
Here are some of my favorites … some places and things that I hope everyone can enjoy at some point in their lives.
It’s never a quick exit for our catalog team when embarking on a new shoot. There are months of prep that go into one catalog at a time and since we shoot 12 catalogs every year there are often 3 to 5 shoots in the making at one time! We never stop emailing, calling and texting about work until we are finally on the plane! Here is a quick peek at our morning before a flight … packing samples, making last minute calls, and finally at the airport and checked in we take a seat and talk about the week to come. Here is our art director, stylist and me on our way to Venice!
Venice appears to have hotels on every canal corner, but finding one that is reasonably priced, with large rooms is far less obvious. We found exactly what we were looking for at Ca Pisani. With a friendly staff, large clean rooms, and an amazing full breakfast included we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Located in the Dorsoduro section of the island, we were close to the Grand Canal, the Academia Art Gallery and at a perfect distance from the bustle of Piazza Margarita, The Rialto and the heart of Venice.
Oh… and they leave the best candies on your pillow at night!
The Hotel Danieli is known to be one of the most decadent hotels in the world. Its guest book includes a plethora of royalty and Hollywood icons from the past and present, and it has graced many films such as “The Tourist” and the classic James Bond film “Moonraker”.
On our scout day we were lucky enough to peek inside. They even gave us a tour of the Master Suite! … What I would give to be able to call that home for the night.
Dating back to the 14th century, the interior is breathtaking and intriguing … it tells a story of the decadent golden years of the floating city, of doges and Italian royalty. simply standing in its hallways made me want to put on heels, do my hair, put on some red lipstick and sip cocktails on the rooftop patio that overlooks the grand canal and San Marco square. Alas … it’s back to work for the fp crew!
The first time I visited Venice was with my family when I was young. Sadly, a huge part of what I remember is feeding the pigeons in Piazza San Marco! This time I took a moment to notice the magnitude of the architecture. Parts of this square date back to the 800’s! So, so incredible.
Just a heads up: you can no longer feed the pigeons :(
We got a handy tip from a local Venetian today and i wanted to share it with you all! As you learn quickly in Venice, getting from point A to point B may not be as easy as it looks on a map. Often times, right when you think you have finally maneuvered your way over bridges and through piazza’s there is a beautiful deep blue canal standing between you and your final destination.
A tip to remember is if all you need to do is go from one side of a canal to the other, it is common for gondoliers to take you for mere pennies opposed to the hundreds of dollars that a gondola ride usually costs you… the catch is that it is standing room only! But considering that the ride is only about a minute and it could possibly save you an hour of walking, it is a tip totally worth remembering.
Look for a line of locals at gondola stops … they are most likely hitching a ride as well!
Masks are everywhere in Venice, and are a very important part of the Venetian culture. Carnival is a festival that was originally intended to be a time of expression and celebration throughout all social classes of the time. What a beautiful idea! I love that anyone and everyone become equal when behind one of the many intricate and delicate masks. We stumbled across Ca’del Sol while shooting one day behind San Marco. The women that ran it were so kind and let us shoot in their store. We all fell in love with their masks that covered every inch of every wall … even the ceiling! It’s a breathtaking sight! And the perfect gift to bring home from Venice.
The many faces of Free People! While working on location on the 3rd day I decided to document the Free People crew Venetian style! What a good looking group! And what an amazing team <3
Part Two of Free People’s Guide to Venice will be posted next week!
*Photos in pages “Arrivederci,” “Welcome to Venice,” “Ca Pisani,” “Hotel Danieli” and “italian lovers” are by Thomas Northcut.