Venice, Italy

  • By Wendy
  • 31/07/2016
  • Comments Off on Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Without a doubt the most unique place I have ever been. Life carries on as normal where roads are canals and cars are boats. Where else would you see a stereotypical ‘white van man’ builder with his cement mixer on a speedboat?

Having arrived by train from Munich, we felt the best option for accommodation would be a hotel close to the station rather than humphing our suitcases on the vaparetto (a water bus if you like). The Hotel Florida fitted the basic requirements of proximity to transport, reasonably priced and decent reviews. Nothing fancy but I’m ever hopeful of staying at the Hotel Danieli during the Venice Carnival and attending a masquerade ball one day.

So, food & drink in Venezia. It’s lovely, as you would expect and has the usual Hard Rock for those who would like to tick that one off the list or admire & have dinner beneath Jon Bon Jovi’s leather trousers as I did. I would recommend staying well away from St Mark’s Square having been skinned 10 Euro for a 220ml bottle of Sprite which I don’t think I will ever get over or be ready to joke about. A couple of streets back and things are more affordable.

The Bellini cocktail was created at Harry’s Bar in Venice and was a favourite haunt of famous folk such as Ernest Hemmingway, Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote and Orson Welles. I however, was distinctly underwhelmed. I did find it quite entertaining in a twisted sort of way to order a 2nd Bellini and observe the disappointment of other tourists who felt the same way and left after 1. It’s nice to say you’ve done it then carry on your afternoon browsing the fabulous shops but really, it’s nothing special as far as bars go.

What did knock my socks off though was the Murano glass. Absolutely stunning! So cleverly and expertly done. Yes, purchases occurred including a beautiful little gold trimmed swan made & certified by a Maestro. There is no need to pay over the odds to book a tour before you go as you can simply hop on a vaparetto which is cheap as chips and take a tour independently. It’s amazing to see these highly skilled people at work. Mesmerising in fact. Having read a lovely book called The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato I was in my element.

With great canals come great bridges. The Bridge of Sighs could easily be walked past but has a fascinating history and The Rialto Bridge is magnificent on one side but covered in graffiti on the other. I did not feel the urge to jump in a gondola with a cornetto ice-cream and burst into song but I did have a very lovely Peroni Nastro Azzuro sitting outside a lovely bar at The Grand Canal which I enjoyed immensely as it did not cost an arm and a leg. Very chilled & pleasant indeed on a hot day.

I would recommend a visit to Venice before it completely disappears at least once. It’s my 2nd favourite city and is as interesting to wander around at night as it is in the daytime. It takes on an altogether more dramatic atmosphere after dark but does not feel scary or dangerous…. As long as you don’t get lost that is, which is actually very easy so keep a map handy. There is a route from the station to St Mark’s Square which is marked out with directions on the walls of many buildings along the way which can be helpful too but I feel more comfortable with a map. Go, enjoy & have Baci chocolate on me!

 

Top Tip : Wear sensible footwear on the Vaparetto. I nearly lost a Birkenstock mid jump.

 

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Categories: Italy

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