Ciao bellas! & Welcome to How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy. I’m currently traveling through the beautiful country of Italy with @ablondeandherpassport, sponsored by Rail Plus. On this ten-day trip, we will cover a lottt of Italy, all traveling by train. There are so many places in our itinerary that are new to me, and I’m so excited to share all the tips and tricks and things that we get up to! This one is all about how to spend one day in Venice, Italy.

What to do for One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

Venice was one of my stops on my three month Euro trip back in 2016; I’d previously spent a week wandering through the canals and eating all the pizza and pasta. Coming back to Venice, I knew exactly where I wanted to eat and what I wanted to see.

We landed at the Marco Polo Venice International Airport at 12:45 pm on Monday. By 1:45, we were speeding through the water by boat en route to our hotel, Hotel Splendid. We checked in, showered, and by 4pm our tour guide was there to greet us.

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

As the sun lowered in the sky, our boots clinked on the cobblestone streets while we passed bakeries and pizzerias, cafes and buildings that made our jaws drop. We learned about the history of Venice and why it’s bad luck to walk between the two columns in San Marco Square – it used to be an execution location! We took photos of the gondolas and watched as the sky turned pink and orange and finally faded to black.

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

Sprinkles started to fall from the sky just as our tour was wrapping up, so we headed to my favorite cozy restaurant in Venice: Rosso Pomodoro. We ordered pizzas and warmed ourselves up with a glass of red.

I’ve eaten at quite a few places in Venice, but none of the pizzas compare to those at Rosso Pomodoro. They do a slow rising pizza base, which makes for the most chewy, gooey, bubbly pizza dough. It is still the best pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Post pizza, we were in food and wine comas and severely jetlagged. Dragging ourselves out of the restaurant, we went straight back to the heaven that is Hotel Splendid to call it an early night.

What to do for A Day In Venice, Italy

What to do for A Day In Venice, Italy

What to Do During the Day in Venice

The next morning, we were ready to get to work and see some more of this charming little city on water. We woke up early and started with a hearty breakfast at the hotel.  We headed out just as the sun was rising for the most beautiful views of canals.

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

Our first stop was an insta-famous bookstore, Acqua Alta. This bookstore is filled to the brim with books old and new, and tiny nooks and crannies filled with wondrous things. Go all the way back and you’ll find the staircase of books. Walk up the staircase to see the best views of canals and bridges.

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

After sending some postcards from the bookstore, we headed to the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi for some epic views of Venice. This terrace is on top of a mall, and has absolutely stunning panoramic views of Venice. It’s free to go up and well worth a trip!

Pro tip: you have to book in a spot ahead of time, and the viewings are in 15 min increments. Book in your time slot here and don’t be late!  The building itself is also very cool and a great spot to have a hot chocolate or glass of wine.

What To Do For One Day in Venice, Italy

Il Fondaco Dei Tedeschi is located super close to the Rialto Bridge, so that was our next stop. This is a must-see viewpoint and a fun bridge to get a photo from (or in front of).

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

Post Rialto, it was getting to be our time to say goodbye to Venice. We grabbed a quick bite from another of my Venice favorites, Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta to go. It’s changed since I last visited almost three years ago, but it still has amazing pasta and is the best for a quick bite to eat.

What to do for One Day in Venice, Italy

After devouring our pasta with a view, we took the public ferry from Rialto Bridge to the train station for our first train ride, heading to Milan for a couple of days.

How to Spend One Day in Venice, Italy

We got tickets for business class on the fast train using our Eurail Pass. It was an incredible experience. The cabin was super comfy, we had loads of room, and we were served refreshments and snacks on the ride. Only two hours later, we arrived in Milan! Stay tuned to see what we get up to in this beautiful city.

And don’t forget to check out my post from last time I was in Italy!

 

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Jervis Bay is the perfect weekend trip from Sydney. It’s far enough away to feel like you’re in a new place, but short enough of a drive to make it an easy weekend getaway. This is how I spent a weekend in Jervis Bay.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay is all about:

  • insanely gorgeous beaches
  • loads of australian wildlife
  • lots of hiking and beautiful nature trails

Michael and I live in South Sydney, & it’s an easy drive further South. We got up early on a Saturday, grabbed takeaway coffees (in our keep cups of course!), and hit the road.

We drove for a little less than an hour before stopping at a viewpoint in Shoal Harbour. This is a great stop off point for some fresh air and a bathroom. The viewpoint isn’t bad either!

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

When we arrived in Jervis Bay, it was still too early to check in to our airbnb, so we headed straight to the attraction that made me want to go to Jervis Bay in the first place – the beautiful Hyams Beach. This beach holds the Guinness World Record for Whitest Sand Beach in the world. It is absolutely beautiful, and wasn’t too crowded when we headed down at the end of September.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

After a stroll along the beach, we hopped back into the car to grab some lunch. I was dying to try out Pilgrims, a vegetarian eatery with loads of vegan options. They are most known for their veggie burgers, and anyone who knows me knows that veggie burgers are my second favorite food.

Pilgrims Jervis Bay

Pilgrims is located in Huskisson in a nondescript little building – you’d have to be looking for it to find it. Though it’s a little hidden, it was still bustling with locals and tourists. The vibe is casual and chill. We grabbed a table, some menus, and a bottle of water with some cups, and picked out what we’d each have. We were pretty hungry from the long drive (and a tiny brekky), so we ordered a feast.

Pilrgrims Jervis Bay

Pilrgrims Jervis Bay

I ordered the Millenium burger (mine was the massive one with sprouts), and Michael ordered a vegetarian burger and a toastie. As soon as our food arrived, we dug in, and finished eating in record time – we were so hungry! The burgers were amazing and very filling – I’d highly recommend a stop here.

Next, we drove to our airbnb and checked in. How cute is it!

(Get $25 off your first stay with airbnb!)

After unpacking and freshening up, we picked out a few beach spots on google maps and set out for an adventure. I’ve since realized, google maps isn’t the best place to search for beaches. We stopped at a few places, but they didn’t even come close to Hyams Beach. We were mainly searching for some Australian wildlife, but so far hadn’t seen any.

While driving back toward our airbnb, we decided to pull in to a Holiday Park (aka a campsite for my Americans) and parked the van so we could take a short stroll to their beach. We had to register as visitors to enter, and while writing down our details, I asked the owner about kangaroos. He told us that there are tons of kangaroos living at the holiday park – and because there are tourists year round, the kangaroos are completely used to people, and are actually friendly with humans.

This weekend, dreams came true.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

Next, we headed into town for a look around Huskisson. We watched the sunset from the Husky Pub, and then went for an Indian food dinner before calling it an early night.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

The next day, we had a little lie in before a big day of beach touring. We checked out of our airbnb and had a relaxed brekky at Hyams Beach Store & Cafe. It’s a super cute place with great coffee and lots of locals reading the Sunday paper (it filled up right after taking this photo, promise).

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

After a big breakfast, we took the van out to our first stop of the day: Cave Beach. We saw even more kangaroos in the parking lot before taking the short walk to the beach.

Cave Beach is named after – you guessed it – the caves on the beach. There are a few, and they are big enough to walk into. We even saw a bat in one of them!

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

After a short time at Cave Beach, we got back into the van for our next stop: the Hole in The Wall.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

After the Hole in the Wall, we started heading North back to Sydney. But before ending our weekend away, we made one more stop at Honeymoon Bay.

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

How to Spend a Weekend in Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay has so many little gems, I’d highly recommend a trip from Sydney!

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I love city life – public transportation, the abundance of different styles of food, and the high energy vibes – it’s all good in my book. Still, sometimes it’s amazing to take a break from the city and escape for the day. This weekend, Michael and I hopped in the van and headed an hour south of Sydney to Wollongong. This little beach town is full of restaurants, shops, and a long stretch of yellow, sandy beach. This is what we did with a day in Wollongong. This is Day Trips from Sydney: Wollongong.

Day Trips from Sydney: Wollongong

The road to Wollongong is as scenic as the city itself. We took the Grand Pacific Drive – a bit longer of a drive, but 10x more beautiful. The Grand Pacific Drive goes along the beach, with opportunities to stop at ocean rock pools, adorable beaches, and the beautiful Sea Cliff Bridge.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

We stopped at a few photogenic places on the way to Wollongong. Sea Cliff Bridge, Bald Hill Lookout, and the Coalcliff rock pools are all places I’d recommend.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Bald Hill Lookout

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Coalcliff Rocks

Once you make it to Wollongong, explore the lighthouses along the beach, take a dip in the ocean, or grab a bevvie at the Illawara Brewing Co.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

craft beers at Illawara Brewing Co

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

There are loads of places to eat in Wollongong. Some of the most recommended are Diggies, Lee & Me, Lower East Cafe, and Pepe’s on the Beach. We opted to stop at Scarborough Hotel, which is on the way back to Sydney, and offers endless ocean views from the top of a cliff.

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

Day Trips From Sydney: Wollongong

A day in Wollongong is a great way to escape the busy city of Sydney. I’ll definitely be back to explore some more!

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Though I usually have a big smoothie for brekky, sometimes it’s a bit too cold for an icy drink first thing in the morning. When the temperatures outside drop, I like to cook up a big warm bowl of comforting oats for breakfast! I love the versatility of oats – there are so many different ways you can make them. Today, I decided to have a warm, chocolate banana oatmeal bowl.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

 

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

This is my first recipe of Plastic Free July – in this recipe, no plastic packaging was used.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

This recipe turned out even better than I expected – it’s so delicious! The flavors of the healthy supplements like flax meal and chia seeds are hidden underneath the overtones of rich chocolate and banana. Though it seems that this chocolatey bowl would be too good to be good for you, I healthified it in the following ways:

  • Cacao: this is the unprocessed, raw version of chocolate. It has no sugar in it, but has a deep chocolatey taste. Cacao has 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries, it’s a good source of iron, it’s full of magnesium, and is a natural mood elevator
  • Flax meal: flax is full of heart-healthy omega-3’s, and can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Flax has insoluble and soluble fiber, which will kick start your digestive system and keep your guts clean!
  • Chia seeds: A great source of fiber, chia seeds are a fabulous plant-based source of protein, iron, anti-oxidants, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Chia seeds are great for the skin, and they’ll boost your metabolism.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

I’m not sure we could make a healthier bowl of oats if we tried. So let’s get into the recipe!

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Ingredients

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp flax meal
  • One heaping tsp cacao
  • 1 banana
  • Maple syrup, to taste

Directions

Cook the oats according to package directions. I cook mine with water, but if you usually use milk, sub in your favorite plant based milk. When the oats have absorbed most of the water and are nearly completely cooked, stir in the flax, chia seeds, and cacao. Stir until fully mixed, and then pour into your bowl.

Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

Slice your banana and place it on top of the oats. Top with maple syrup to taste.

Viola! Let me know in the comments if you are going to try this out.

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It’s July and in the world of sustainability, that’s an important month. Plastic Free July is a thing, and I’m so excited to participate this year.

Plastic Free July: Why I Am Participating

One of the reasons I was so excited to move to Australia after 2.5 years of full time travel was to be able to nest, build a home, and decrease my carbon footprint even further. I’ve seen the effects of plastic on our planet and I don’t want to contribute further.

Plastic Free July

plastic covered beaches in Vietnam

While traveling, I knew that going vegan, using public transportation, avoiding plastic bags whenever possible, and carrying a reusable water bottle are ways that I was helping the environment. But I wanted to do more.

Lifestyle changes that I’m so looking forward to while settling down include: starting a herb garden; shopping bulk; devoting time to finding the best natural and eco-friendly skin, makeup & hair products; and increasing my health by having more control over what I am able to make.

Plastic Free July

plastic water bottle floating in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

When I moved to Australia, one of the first items on my agenda was to visit a naturopath and take a saliva test for my hormones. After getting my results back, I saw that I had high levels of estradiol in my body. This could be due to so many things. My naturopath gave me a ton of lifestyle factors that could be affecting this, but one that really stuck out to me was using plastic. I had no idea that the chemicals used to make plastic could actually be disrupting my hormones!

This is one of the biggest reasons I am so excited to participate in Plastic Free July. I really look forward to spending a month figuring out ways to avoid using plastic. Not only will this help balance out my hormones, but it makes such a difference to the planet!

Plastic Free July

ingredients for my Chocolate Banana Oats – from the bulk store

The Effects of Plastic on Our Planet

Did you know that all of the plastic that has ever been created is still on this Earth? Plastic takes 500-1000 years to break down. That means that it will live on this Earth for at least 5 times our lifespan, maybe even 10. And that’s not even the worst part. Plastic doesn’t ever decompose – it just breaks into tiny pieces of microplastic, which leeches into our oceans and affects the marine life. If you’d like to know more about this, I’d highly recommend watching the documentary A Plastic Ocean, available on Netflix.

The manufacturing of plastic, as well as it’s destruction, pollutes the air, waters, and land of our Earth, while affecting our bodies and the lives of other animals on the planet. Now seems like a great time to try out a month of no plastic.

What do you say, want to join me?

Plastic Free July: How To Prepare

To prepare for Plastic Free July, I took inventory of my garbage bin. I looked at what I was throwing away, and started to look for alternatives. I found a bulk store just a couple of train stops away and made a few simple swaps.

Plastic Free July

Here are the main changes I am making:

  • Switch out conventional skin care for simple, natural products from my kitchen
  • When my hair products run out, try package-free shampoo & conditioner bars
  • Make my own cold cream face wash
  • Swap out grocery items typically packed in plastic for items not packaged in plastic, examples:
    • Buying bunches of kale instead of plastic bags of spinach
    • Swapping plastic-packaged frozen berries for acai powder from the bulk store
    • Bringing my jars to the bulk store to stock up on oats, lentils, and cacao
    • Getting gluten-free pasta from the bulk store instead of the supermarket
    • Using acai powder from the bulk store in smoothies instead of plastic-bagged frozen berries
  • Look for package-free versions of things I currently use
  • Shop the farmers market before the grocery store

Some resources that helped me out were:

Instagrammers doing amazing work in this field:

During this month, look forward to:

Healthy recipes using bulk-store ingredients

Plastic-free and eco-friendly tips I learn along the way

A new section on the website devoted to sustainability

 

Sign up below if you want to try Plastic Free July as well (or just get semi-monthly emails about sustainability).

Vow to Go Plastic Free for July

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