The Berger Bungalow

Venice Travel Guide
Posted on:7.19.2017


When you book a trip to Venice, you will start to hear advice and comments from your friends and family. People will probably say things like "the food is awful" or "it's too busy and touristy." Well, I am here to tell you: DO NOT LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE! Venice is one of my all time favorite cities that I have ever visited and I am eager to go back.

Ian and I had just about 24 hours in Venice, so this guide is all about what to do in 24 hours. Next time we go back, we will probably stay for 2 days, but that will probably be enough time to soak it all in. So, here is my post on what to do if you have one day (or more) in Venice:

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

- There are a few ways to get to the middle of the city from the airport, but we decided on taking the Alilaguna water bus, which was the most inexpensive option. You can order tickets online, or directly at the airport. Another way to get to the center of the city is by purchasing a private water taxi at the Consorzio Motoscafi when you are at the airport.

- Venice is easy to walk, but you can also purchase a pass to their vaporetto (public transport), which I highly recommend. This definitely came in use the day it was raining while there and also when we had to go to the train station.

- Venice uses the euro, so make sure to exchange currency at the bank or an ATM. Most places take cash and some take card.

- A few scams to watch out for: Men handing out roses, ATM skimmers, and men handing out bird seed.


WHERE TO STAY:

- There are many small neighborhoods within Venice and we tend to lean towards the sections that were less touristy. We ended up staying off of the road Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, which was amazing. I could not recommend this area of the town more. It was quiet, but still had great options for food and things to do and it was a quick walk to the touristy areas of the town. I know of one small hotel on this street, but we chose to stay in an airbnb which we will definitely do again next time.


WHERE TO EAT:

Places we tried that I recommend:

  • Vecio Trani - We loved this place! It was really close to our apartment and it was one of the best paninis and cicchetti we had the entire trip.
  • Nevodi - Great restaurant! We ate dinner here and it was fantastic. Highly recommend the tiramisu! 
  • Do Spade - Great little place to get cicchetti. We really loved it!

Other places on my list:

  • Al Merca
  • La Cantina
  • Ca' d'Oro
  • Lino Fritto
  • Ai DiVini
  • Banco Giro
  • Cantinone-già Schivavi
  • Remer
  • Gelateria da Nino
  • Bigoi

WHAT TO DO:

- If you read my Rome Travel Guide, you will know that I put "eat and drink" on there, as well. I truly believe that if you are eating and drinking al fresco in Italy, your life is perfect. Therefore, I am adding that to this list, as well. Eat and drink in Venice!! If I could go back today, I would bar hop and get cicchetti at as many places as I could! 

- Head to the greenhouse, Serra Dei Gardini and grab a cup of coffee and relax. This is the first place we had coffee in Venice and it was so nice! Our tour guide for the day, Lorenzo brought us to this place and I am so thankful we found it! This wasn't one of the places originally on my radar, but it was gorgeous.

- Go on a tour of Venice! We booked Lorenzo through Italian Days Food Tours and he went over and above our expectations. We were not supposed to meet him until the evening we arrived, but as soon as I stepped off the plane, I had a message from him explaining how I could get to the water bus station. This ended up being really helpful because Venice's airport was a bit confusing to navigate. Once we arrived at our stop (Lorenzo even told us where to get off!!!), he was standing right there waiting for us, making sure we arrived safely. He then asked if we wanted to go to coffee with him later that morning as a "welcome to Venice." We were already blown away. Fast forward to our tour: Lorenzo was HIGHLY knowledgeable on all things Venice. Each site we saw came with a full description of what it was, the meanings it had/has and some background on it. If you want to see the main places of Venice, that is great, but honestly, you will not get any information on what it is and why it is there. If you want to fully understand what things are, I highly recommend booking with Lorenzo. After our tour, he even came back to our apartment and made us peach bellinis AND booked our dinner reservation! He was AMAZING and I am so thankful that we found him! Please, please, please, if you are going to Venice and want a tour, book him. You will not regret it. 

OUR VENICE ITINERARY:

Day 1: Our plane arrived in Venice right around 9am. Per Lorenzo's instructions, we made our way to the water bus station at the airport and it transferred us to the center of Venice! We met Lorenzo and our airbnb host and then dropped our bags off at the apartment. While we were waiting to check in, we had lunch at Vecio Trani (on their sign it says the name is Spani, so don't get confused!) After that, we met Lorenzo for coffee at the greenhouse and then finally checked in, explored some more, got gelato from a random stand and checked out the Coop for some wine and beer. YUM! Later on, we met Lorenzo for our tour and we saw SO many amazing things in Venice! During our tour, we went to Do Spade for cicchetti, which was fantastic. We ended our tour with amazing Peach Bellinis (do you want the recipe?!). We had dinner at Nevodi, which was by our apartment and then we were exhausted, so we went to bed.

Day 2: On Day 2 we were headed to Bologna, so we didn't have much time, but we had coffee and breakfast and then headed to the Vaperetto to catch a morning train. I was SO sad to go because I really did fall in love with Venice, but that just means that I have to go back very soon!

















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Rome Travel Guide
Posted on:7.12.2017

This post is sponsored by The Beehive and Walks of Italy, but as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting brands that work with The Berger Bungalow! <3



Rome is amazing. You hear about so many historical landmarks, but you never see them in person until you visit Rome. The city is so full of history that it is just impossible to cover it all in one visit. To be honest, Rome is probably my least liked city out of all the places we visited, but it was just a dream to see all of the amazing places we saw. It will never be forgotten. If you headed to Rome for a weekend or more, hopefully this travel guide will be of use to you. I will also be adding many detailed posts over the next few weeks about everywhere we went in Rome, so don't worry if this isn't enough information for you! ;) 


WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

Rome is a BIG CITY. If you have Rome at the beginning of your itinerary, I highly recommend taking some sort of public transportation to save your feet. We walked most of the time and I feel like some of us had tired, blistered feet by the end of our three days. I know I for sure had some blisters (thankful for compeed that helped!!). Just so you know - Rome has Uber, so take advantage of that! 

- Bring a water bottle with you because Rome has drinkable fountains all around its city. This is one thing that I absolutely loved about Rome! Bring a water bottle and fill it up when you need it - such a great perk. 

- A lot of people in Rome speak English, but not everyone does. Make sure you learn a few basic Italian phrases before you come to help you, but don't stress out about it too much!

- The currency in Rome is the euro, so make sure to exchange $ at the bank or an ATM. A lot of places do not accept cards, plan to use cash most of the time.


WHERE TO STAY:


We stayed at The Beehive ho(s)tel and cafe and loved our stay. Our rooms, The Sweets had a separate entrance just around the corner, which was really convenient. Since we had two rooms (one for myself + Ian and one for Tori, Ginger + Mike), they put both rooms right next to each other. We could even walk to each others balconies. Each room had comfortable beds, AC that was the best we had the entire trip, clean and efficient bathrooms, and the cutest little balcony ever! We also had a safe in each room, which was really important to us. The Beehive is only two blocks away from the train station which was amazing! It is also only 20 minutes from the Colosseum and from The Trevi Fountain, both places we visited. One thing I noticed about The Beehive was the attention to detail they had - they have an app available in the app store that is so helpful! We used it for restaurant recommendations (and they were amazing!), but the great part about the app is that you can use it offline. Along with that, when you book, they email you instructions on how to reach their place. It was beyond helpful! They host Tuesday Teatime, Wine & Cheese Wednesday and Thursday family style dinners and in addition to that, one of the owners, Steve offers cooking classes that can be arranged. We had an amazing stay at The Beehive and highly recommend it for your stay in Rome, Italy.










WHERE TO EAT:

Places we tried that I recommend:

  • Bar Fondi - Our favorite place to get cappuccino's in the morning and drinks at night! It is so close to The Beehive!
  • Marzapane - Fanciest restaurant we ate at, but such a great experience!
  • Alfredo e Ada - Amazing family run restaurant and so inexpensive.
  • Pinsere Pizza - Best pizza we had the entire trip!
  • Gelateria Come il Latte - Amazing gelato and pretty close to The Beehive.

Other places on my list:
  • Trattoria dell'Omo - This is supposed to be a family run trattoria.
  • The Beehive - They serve organic breakfasts here in the morning and drinks throughout the day. I really wanted to try breakfast here one morning, but we just ran out of days!
  • Piccolo Buco - I had so many amazing recommendations about this restaurant! We tried to book it one night, but it was full.
  • Pinsa 'Mpo - supposed to be amazing and inexpensive. When we went it was the top rated pizza on Trip Advisor.
  • La Proscuitteria Navona - Proscuitto. No need for an explanation.
  • Essenza Wine Bar - This place has amazing reviews and all of the pictures looked immaculate. I'm really disappointed that we didn't get to try this place.
  • Le Mani in Pasta - Authentic pasta is supposed to be served here. It has great reviews, as well!
  • Colline Emiliane - This was probably the top restaurant on my list while in Rome. They were unfortunately closed on the day that we wanted to go.
  • Gelateria Fata Morgana - This was on The Beehive app for food recommendations.
  • Hostaria Costanza - One of our friends recommended this restaurant and said it was the best food he tried while in Rome!



WHAT TO DO:

- Eat and drink! One of our most important things while in Italy was the food - we loved just sitting at cafes drinking, eating and people watching.

- As you can see in our itinerary below, we opted to do tours with Walks of Italy while staying in Italy. Rome is such a big city with so many amazing things to do that we just felt like it was best to have someone guide us through the city, and it was a great decision! I will post detailed reviews on all of our tours, but for now, just know that I highly recommend checking out their website! :)

- Head over to all of the historical sites. Everything in Rome has history, so this are A LOT of places. If you have a short time in Rome, prioritize your spots. You will never be able to fit everything into just one trip, so just see what is important to you. While in Rome, we saw The Trevi Fountain, Casa di Augusto, Casa di Livia, The Colosseum, The Roman Forum, Palantine Hill, Arch of Titus, Santa Priscilla Catacombs, The Capuchin Musuem, The Capuchin Bone Crypt, The Sistine Chapel (twice), Raphael Rooms, Belvedere Courtyard, Pinecone Courtyard, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, St. Peter's Basilica, and St. Peter's Square. This was a lot to see in our few days, but it was worth it!


OUR ROME ITINERARY:

Day 1:
We arrived in Rome relatively early - right around 9am, so we walked to The Beehive to check in. Our room was not ready yet, so they allowed us to leave our bags while we explored the city a bit. We were pretty hungry, so we went to Cafe Fondi, which is right around the corner from The Beehive - SO convenient! After we had a cappuccino and a panini, we headed to The Colosseum for our first tour with Walks of Italy. The tour was amazing; we learned so many interesting facts and saw so many things that you always see in movies. It was such an honor to see them in person. After our tour, we started our walk back to The Beehive, stopping along the way for pizza and wine at Bakery's Pizza. Once we arrived back at the hotel, we had a bit of time to relax before going to dinner at Alfredo e Ada's. We finished the day with some gelato and a trip to Bar Fondi for a nightcap. 

Day 2:
Because we loved Bar Fondi so much, we had breakfast here again. Ian's mom, Ginger and sister, Tori slept in, so we brought them a croissant and cappuccino before heading to Borghese Park with Ian and his dad, Mike. Tori and Ginger met us at the zoo during our walk in the park and we started walking back the same way we came, heading to our lunch spot, Marzapane. After lunch, we relaxed for a bit before our second tour with Walks of Italy. This tour was the catacombs tour and it was by far by favorite tour in Rome. It was an evening tour and we didn't make reservations for dinner, so we ended up at Le Lanterne by the trevi fountain. We ended our night with gelato from Come Il Latte.

Day 3:
Our last day in Rome was short and sweet - we had our last tour with Walks of Italy and it was in Vatican City! After the tour, we checked out of our hotel and had lunch at Pinsere Pizza, then headed to Florence.





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How I mix it up when eating alone
Posted on:6.25.2017

This post was sponsored by Tai Pei as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


As all of you know, Ian has been in grad school for the past year. He goes to work five days a week (six during busy season) and then 2-3 times a week after work, he is in class from 6pm-11:30pm. On his free time, he studies constantly for the CPA exams that he is taking and works on projects and homework for grad school. #Dedication

This leaves me eating by myself quite a bit and while I love to cook, I don't necessarily love to cook for just myself. Most of the time, I am tired from a long day and just want an easy and fast dinner, so I tend to lean towards leftovers, or frozen meals. The issue with frozen meals is that most of them have a lot of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients in them, so they don't really agree with what my body needs to thrive.

I thought all frozen meals were the same until I found the all-new Tai Pei single serve line of Asian inspired entrees. They are made with real, quality ingredients and do not include any of the bad things like preservatives and artificial ingredients. I purchased five of the entrees to try them out for myself and I was really shocked by what I discovered - they were great! Every one I tried had amazing flavor (I really loved the infused rice) and on top of that, they are super easy to make. With the new packaging, I just pop them in the microwave and 5 minutes later, yumminess is in my bowl, ready to eat! 


One of my issues when eating alone is that I tend to eat the same thing over and over again and I end up getting bored and then splurge on things I really shouldn't be eating. With Tai Pei, there are so many different choices to choose from, so it really does prevent me from being bored with what I'm eating by helping me mix my dinners up! 

One more month of eating by myself, but even after that, Tai Pei will definitely be in my meal plans. I am not kidding when I say that these babies taste just like asian takeout without the raised prices and long wait. SO GOOD. 

If you guys are interested in trying out Tai Pei single serve (you totally should), check out the store locator to find where it is available near you (in the frozen food section). You can also save $1.00 on ONE (1) Tai Pei® Entrée (7.9 oz. or larger) or Appetizer with this coupon!




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House Adventures // Half Bathroom
Posted on:6.14.2017

This will probably be my shortest house post yet because there is just not much to say about it, but I had to post it anyway! Our half bathroom is downstairs, right in between the stairs, our entryway, future playroom, office, dining room AND living room. It's in the middle of everything, but tucked off to the side so it's not the center of attention, either. 




There is a lot that I want to get done in this bathroom, but thankfully, they are not big ticketed items, so we are good to go! When we first moved into the house, this bathroom was the exact same as it is now, except for the paint color and popcorn ceilings. We haven't spent much time investing in this bathroom yet, but the time will eventually come. Here is what we have planned:


Plans & Inspiration:

1. Replace the toilet
This is an easy fix. We have already replaced all of our other toilets in the house, so this one is next! When we first started shopping for toilets, Home Depot told us that we should invest in the toilets that allow you to flush a basket of golf balls if you are eventually going to have kids, so that is what we did and we LOVE them! I highly recommend. This is the toilet we get (and no, I'm not paid to share that - we just love it so much!)

2. Change out the countertops
When we do our kitchen countertops, we are also going to do our bathrooms! Hopefully this will get done in the next 6 months or so! :) 


3. Replace the flooring
This is probably my biggest issue with this room. I HATE the floor. I have scrubbed and scrubbed it and it never looks clean. Also, I hate the way it looks from the wood to the bathroom floor. 


4. Maybe change out the vanity and mirror?
This isn't a huge deal - I'm fine replacing it, or not replacing it. The vanity has a bit of paint on the front of it (I didn't get a good enough picture for you to see) AND it's peeling a tiny bit, so my gut is telling me that we probably should replace it, but then again, I don't really care that much, so I'm not sure. Same with the mirror. It's not the most trendy, but it's just a bathroom...


There you have it - our downstairs half bath! 

If you want to see other parts of our house, check them out here:

If you liked this post, check these out:

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May Recap + June Goals
Posted on:6.01.2017

Hey y'all! So sorry for the lack of posts lately -- I am going to try my best to keep up with it now, but you know how life goes. I have been working NONSTOP. Seriously, nonstop and when I am not working, we have had event after event after event - I just have not had a chance to just sit down and write on here, or even relax, BUT today I am back and I will try my best to keep up with it. Hopefully, it will become a bit easier because Thursday is my last day at my job woooohooooooo, so I will officially become a "full time blogger" (for the most part). Super excited about this! 

May Recap:

May was full of fun events and A LOT of work. Here are a few fun things we did over this month --

We went to TWO graduations - one for my sister, Jenny who graduated from UGA and one for Ian's sister, Tori who graduated from high school!!! Congrats, guys!!


We went to quite a few Braves games and watched them on tv almost every night they were not in town! 


We ate really well! Check out the two recipes I posted: Chocolate chunk ice cream cookie sandwich and tapas-style scallops


We went to Zac Brown



I went to a Dining Out Atlanta Mixer (I will post about this as soon as I get a chance!)

We went paddle boarding

We had our first beer olympics


We celebrated my birthday at dueling pianos!


and we spend a lot of time with friends! 

Also, before you go, check out this video Ian made of me of my birthday. It includes a little bit from paddle boarding, beer olympics and dinner.


Here's how I did with my goals:

- Finish a 3 day juice cleanse
This was A LOT easier than expected and I really enjoyed how my body felt after. Would you guys like a review?
- Find time to work out more
nope. :(
- Feel more tone at the end of the month
Definitely not.
- Write twenty freelance articles
I knocked out SO many!
- Share at least two recipes on the blog
I linked them above :) 
- Keep my house clean!
I think I did a decently good job at this!
- Go to at least two Braves games
We went to more than two! 
- Save at least $500 more for Italy
I met this goal in the first four days of May!
- HAVE FUN!
We definitely had A LOT of fun in May! 

June Goals
  • Write 5 more freelance articles (at minimum) - I technically have 3/5 due today, so I'm really close to meeting this.
  • Plant my hydrangea and peony plant. They have just been sitting out and need to go in the ground.
  • Host our friends from out of town this weekend and have fun!!! 
  • Enter into the world of full time blogging - super excited about this!
  • Celebrate our neighbors wedding wooooohooooo! 
  • Get my hair done again before our trip
  • GO TO ITALY and eat lots of cheese and proscuitto and wine and stuff.
  • Seriously start working out and eating healthy. I couldn't find the time this past month at all, but it's going to happen this month.

What's on your June Goal list?!


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