9 Oct 2016

Packing For Venice

Packing For Venice on vickiarcher.com

Packing for Venice; I am happy writing this sentence.

Next week my little team and I are basing in Venice.

Why? I thought, why not?

My right hand graphic designer is Italian, she lived in Venice for years and my niece, photographer extraordinaire, is visiting London so I thought why don’t we travel to Venice, think all things Italian and capture some beauty.

Next week we will be searching out the new and enjoying the favourites in a city I have come to love; especially as the crowds die down and the temperatures drop.

As for the packing, I am behind.

This week has me struggling with flu so I am not quite as organised, as I would hope. The good news is a similar wardrobe will work for Venice as I pack for Paris.

And, yes, I know I am spoilt with destinations.

I don’t want you to think I take the wonder of Europe and proximity for granted; never. It also makes me determined to see as much as I can as often as I can; hence our little Venetian adventure.


A couple of weeks back I told you about Garconne.

Can you believe it, my nails are still intact and other than growth not a fault in site. Amazing.

Venice has made me long for the depth of colour only the berry shades can give so tonight I am leaving Garconne behind and going all the way with Mythique.

I believe the deep berry shades will suit my Venetian mood very well; if nothing else my hands and feet will match the richness of Venice.

Lips will be coloured with the matte from Kevin Aucoin; I am going all the way with Bloodroses.

Timeless will be along for a lighter note during the day.

These mattes from Kevin Aucoin, I have mentioned them before, are some of the best in colour and lasting power.

The bags may not be packed, the wardrobe not entirely planned but the lips and nails are under control.

We will be posting lots on Instagram next week, so please join us and please do tell your Venetian secrets; we are ready to explore. xv

Packing For Venice

chanel mythique  //  kevin aucoin ‘bloodroses’  //  kevin aucoin ‘timeless’

image from venetian interiors, by rizzoli

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Anita Rivera

Oh Vicki, you know I am on board with you! Looking forward to a relaxed weekend and following your adventure. HAVE FUN! Anita


Hi Vicki;
I just spent a week solo in Venice’ it was amazing and the highlights were as follows (I planned nothing in advance and just went where the wind carried me that day so to speak):
La Biennale di Venezia -15th International Architecture Exhibit…take the tour of the curated exhibits.
Palazzo Fortuny- Contemporary art interspersed with his luxurious fabrics.
The island of Burano with its colorful houses and lunch at Al Gato Nero Da Ruggero (and shopped in a delightful little dress store next door with one of a kind linen pieces made by Mama, who has a great classic sense of style).
And an opera at La Fenice of course.
Enjoy your get away!


Venice NEVER disappoints – one of my favorite places in the world – eager to see your photos and hear your tales!
And if you like sunsets as I do, they’re unmatched in Venice! Plant yourself on the Zattere or at Bancogiro by the Rialto with an Aperol Spritz and send us some photos!


I’ve been to Venice once. I liked the Guggenheim museum. The cat lady was fascinating! I went for a gondola ride of course. I also bought a nice pair of boots because Venice is known for its shoes.


Have a wonderful time and fingers crossed for good weather. Agree about the Zattere. Lovely in good weather to stroll along and take a coffee break at a table canal side. A visit to the Redentore on the other side of the Giudecca is also worthwhile. Nearby one can also stop for a drink at one of the old grand hotels, eg the Cipriani. One day we watched 4 cruise boats go by from there, one after the other. Dreadful! Totally out of proportion to the size of the city and its buildings – and just imagine what damage they’re doing to the foundations.
It’s a few years since our last visit to Venice but a restaurant we’ve particularly enjoyed is Al Covo, a couple of bridges on past Arsenale in the direction of Giardini. Owned and run by a local Venetian chef (of the locavore movement) and his Texan wife. It’s very ordinary to look at but there’s a certain ambience inside and, best of all the food, was very good. It’s a restaurant popular at night with locals and not known so much by tourists/foreigners. But some years ago it had a v good review in the NY Times which is how we found it. Hopefully still good.
The islands are wonderful – tiny Torcello (opposite Burano) seems to be far enough off the track so it’s not usually over-run by the hordes from the cruise boats. There are beautiful ancient churches and a couple of quite good restaurants – one at the Locanda Cipriani and another on the other side of the little canal near the little bridge – can’t remember if it’s the Ponte Diabolo or Ponte nero. On a good day you can sit outside under the trees. Lovely – for Sunday lunch it’s best to book for either as they’re v popular with Venetian families.
You probably know already but perhaps not all your readers will – to be very careful buying glass at the markets and near the Rialto. It might seem a bargain but most in those locations (perhaps all) is in fact made in China not Venice. It’s important to go to a good shop – even in many shops now, sadly much of the glass is from China.
Another wonderful location for lunch or just a Bellini is the roof terrace of the Hotel Daniele. Spectacular views. I could sit there for hours on a nice day. Best wishes, Pamela


Thank you so much Pamela… :)
I am getting very excited.. it’s a few years since I have been too… I have a fancy to learn Italian… so this might be the start!


Ciao Vicki
Good luck with the Italian! we once spent three weeks at the Istituto Michelangelo in Florence learning Italian, local Tuscan cooking and classes in art. Living in a student apartment. It was wonderful. I could actually have a conversation in Italian after just three weeks and it was marvellously helpful for the rest of our time travelling around (that holiday Rome and the Sorrento/Amalfi area). Sadly, have forgotten moltissimo. Veramente, dimentico tutti. Buona fortuna in Venezia a lei! Pamela

Cathyanne Nonini

Buongiorno cara Pamela,
Anch’io parlo italiano (sono appena tornata dall’Italia e Parigi). Se volesse noi potremmo scriverci in italiano! Il mio indirizzo email è violincpa@gmail.com. Buona giornata.


Grazie Cathyanne. E molto simpatico. Ma penso e veramente vero, dimentico moltissimo, tutti veramente. Questo vacanze a Firenze e molti anni fa. Il mio Italiano e non buono – sicura e no possibile scrivere per me. Troppo difficile. Ma, lei simpatica e sono sicura parlato bene. Anche buona giornata a lei. Il mio francese e un poco meglior . Pamela

Victoria Ballinger

Love Venice! Was there a few weeks ago and just sitting in St Mark’s Square facing the Doge’s Palace with the live but gentle background music and holding a chilled glass of wine is a lovely way of relaxing! I envy you as I’d love to go back again.

La Contessa

OKAY, there is a BOOK STORE with a GONDOLA in it………..YOU MUST FIND THIS SHOP!JUST FOR THE SHEER BEAUTY of these old books…….a chair sits at the back door open to the CANAL.Hopefully, your ITALIAN will KNOW if NOT I will get my little Contessa in TRAINING to tell me the NAME!Now, they had velvet slippers for SALE in the streets be careful as they are mismatched meaning I got TWO left feet instead of one of EACH!Open and try them ON!I also found them at the airport upon DEPARTURE!I LOVE THESE SHOES for around the CASA!I’m an 8.5 if you have any extra ROOM!!!!!!I can send EURO!Enjoy ENJOY what FUN the GIRLS going to VENICE………….xx

Cathyanne Nonini

I have been to Venice several times and love it …. just try to avoid weekends there ;-). One of my favorite things is to hear a concert by the Interpreti Veneziani … an amazing group of string players that give concerts in la Chiesa San Vidal (near the Accademia in Campo S. Stefano. I am a violinist by profession and their performance of the Four Seasons is not to be missed!

I agree with Pamela about purchasing items in shops, not in the little tourist spots. When in Florence I always buy a beautiful scarf in I Cipressi, right across from the Baptistry of the Duomo, and ceramics from Le Mie Ceramiche in Via Giuseppe Verdi 8r.

Back to Venice … it is fun to see where Vivaldi taught the orphans and see some of the instruments and items of the children. Located in the Ospedale della Pietà, which is located right off the Grand Canal after the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà (you need a reservation which your hotel can do for you).

Bon viaggio!!

Catherine Baudet

I too love the lipstick colours, but do you wear a foundation during the day when you are on holidays? I hate foundation. I hate the feel of it, I hate the way it sticks to the iPhone , and I feel it exaggerates the wrinkles. I much prefer a clean and natural face- how does everyone else do it? I can understand for a special occasion wearing it to give you a smooth look, but on a daily basis I struggle.


I wear a light tinted moisturiser from Giorgio Armani every day… the CC cream and BB creams are excellent… light and effective with enough coverage… and only a foundation in the evening occasionally.
The lipstick colours give the look of being “dressed” but without a heavy make-up… :)


I, too wear BB creams. They are cream, tint and SPF all in one application. It feels like you have nothing on. Your face, that is.
Enjoy Venice! I travelled Italy about ten years ago. Loved the Almafi coast area. So much beauty! I toured Rome extensively but just touched on Florence and Venice. I really should go bsck and dawdle longer.


The very best views of Venice are from the top of the bell tower of The church of San Giorgio Maggiore. There are no long liens there. Easy to get to – just catch the water bus from near the Hotel Danieli. Fabulous spot. And la Contessa – I found that amazing book shop too! It’s hard to describe – the gondola fills the length of the shop – and the gondola is full of books. Outside there is a wall and a staircase – all made of old books! very quirky.


If you have time take the water taxi to the Lido, rent a bike and enjoy a day cycling the island. Faded grandeur and a lovely forest await.

Domenica Crossman

Vicki, I look forward to your daily posts in anticipation wondering what delights you will have in store. Today you made my heart sing! Venice, Italy, I am immediately transported again to my country of birth. Age 66 and still learning so much about fashion, beauty, arts, lifestyle – A visual feast – I am in heaven! Thank you Vicki.
Domenica – Australia

Terrel Drendel

Ciao Vicki,
Venice, my favorite city in the world, so over the years I have discovered some very special places. Here is the list of places and things that I share with people who are off to Venice.
1. Buy a vapporetto pass for the number of days you will be staying in Venice. No matter how lost you get, a given in Venice, you will always be able to find your way to where you need to be.
2. Download Rick Steves Grand Canal podcast. Get on the recommended Vapporetto and listen to what he is describing about the beautiful buildings as you glide down the canal. But…. for another grand entrance, you could do this in a private water taxi if the weather is nice.
3. Download his podcast on Piazza San Marco. Before or after all the tourists have gone, stand there and listen to what he has to tell you about the “Grandest Drawing Room in the world.
4. Make reservations for Urban Adventures evening Cicchetti and Wine tour. Several hours of discovering the appetizers, wines and history of Venice. Finally a way to find all those secret little wine bars you read about, but would never ever be able to find on your own.
5. Museum of Costume and Perfume. Lovely. Murano glass chandeliers in every room, no massive crowds of people, one minute straight walk from San Stae vapporetto stop and lovely little gift shop. Museo do Palazzo Mocenigo, Santa Croce, 1992.
6. Across from Palazzo Mocenigo, a few doors down, at number 1921, is the most amazing and delightful handmade puzzle shop. Vanni Morandin creates 3 D architectural puzzles that will take your breath away. Just to stand in front of his little shop and look in his window, will bring a smile to your face. Tell him Terry from Reno sends her love as I have sent 3 different people there in the last 3 weeks.
7. Libreria Acqua Alta, yes the book shop with the gondola and all the water damaged books from past Acqua Alta’s. Location: Calle Lungs Santa Maria Formosa.
8. My friend just found an evening, after hours, tour of St. Marks and the Doges Palace through Walks of Italy. Three and a half hours, 147.15 per person, small groups. Maybe something to check out.
9. Love opera at La Venice. It is darling inside and when you come home read the first of Donna Leon’s Venice mysteries, the one about one of the fires at the opera house.
10. Shopping: These days you have to ask, “Is this made in Venice?” So many things are now designed in Venice but made in China. Sad but true.
11. My favorite little hotel: Hotel Flora. A 17th century Palazzo, 40 rooms, run by the Romanelli family for 3 generations. Amazing location off Calle XXII, where all the amazing designer shops are located, so very fun to look at the shop windows. I just look! I maybe should not have shared this little gem with everyone!
12. Have an Aperol Spritz every evening. It is the number one aperitif in Italy. Started in 1919. Go on line and read the fascinating history of this cocktail. 13. If you can, before you leave, watch the 1955 Katherine Hepburn movie, Summertime. Filmed in Venice Italy with Rossano Brazzi. You will appreciate the clothing and how women used to dress when they traveled so don’t forget your gloves!
14: Have a lovely time and thank you to everyone who shared all the great information!

Terrel Drendel

I can hardly wait to see what you discover and share with all of us! And yes, as people have said, a Grand Enterance, in one of the private motorboats, is worth every penny! First time I did that, it was so magical, it brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy!


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