I hadn't been to Venice since I was a teenager so was looking
forward to another trip to this most picturesque, unique
island city. After an early morning, quick flight to Treviso
Airport and a short
coach transfer (€9 return) we found ourselves in
Piazzale Roma with our last view of wheeled transport for
four days. However despite the fact it only took us a few
hours to get here it took us almost as long to get to the
hotel to check in! Our hotel, The Residenza
Cannaregio, was situated in the Cannaregio neighbourhood,
spookily enough, a quiet, unspoilt residential area of Venice.
We knew the address but the Venice numbering system is up,
never mind on, the wall! We also knew that the numbers were
continuous along off shoots, alleyways and courtyards but
they didn't always follow that rule, drat. Still after having
a most needed relaxing cappuccino in the Oteria Bea Vita,
Fondamenta delle Cappuccine , and getting directions from
a very helpful waiter (the only one cheerful one we met
all holiday) we found the hotel not too far away.
After obtaining a very clear map and recommendations of
places to see/things to do from the helpful desk staff at
the hotel we were 'all set', as our American cousins would
say and started to make our way round this fabulous city
without further ado. Even in just the first afternoon I'd
run out of memory space on my camera (I'd left some cards
in the hotel) there was so much to photograph. As Lisa said,
the place was like one huge film set, every turn into another
canal, courtyard or alleyway offering more to snap at!
On the following day we got a 24hour pass for the Vaporetto
(water bus) which not only offered us a great overview of
the city, which allowed us to plan out where we wanted to
go for the rest of the trip but a chance to relax the legs
after all the first days walking! This ticket proved great
value at only €15. The vaporetto stop (San Alvise) is only
a 3-4 minute walk from the hotel and our first trip was
to the 'slumber style' (as in the Bond film) cemetery on
San Michele. Interesting stuff, but cover up if you want
to visit (same rule for the churches). Then we hopped back
on to the next stop of Murano, where we took in a visit
to a glass factory.. Flamin hot!
Later that afternoon we took a vaporetto (No 1) right along
the Grand Canal with its historical and famous past and
ended up on the Lido to get a glimpse of Venice in its lagoon
as the sun slowly sank. (Again an excuse to rest the feet).
On the third day our last vaporetto journey as time was
running out on the ticket, took us to Piazza San Marco for
a more in depth look at its treasures. A trip up the Campanile
(€6) gave us a cracking 360 degree view of the city well
worth all those steps (psst ok ok there was a lift). Also
we visited the Basilica, a breathtaking place glistening
with golden mosaics, leaning walls and uneven floor. Up
the stairs to the museum to see the original Loggi dei cavalli.
The horses that now adorn outside are replicas thus saving
the restored ones from all those pigeons no doubt. We took
lots of snaps of the Doge's palace but didn't go inside
but… did get to see the famous paintings of the Accademia
Galleries, higher up the Grand Canal such as the Tempest,
the miracle of St Mark freeing a slave and the last supper..
er I mean Supper in the house of Levi (ie bring your own
blasphemy party!). In each room of the Accademia there is
an English translation information sheet which really adds
to the enjoyment, making it more meaningful. Are those friezes
really shaped like that in Room 11 or it is just an optical
Our flight wasn't until four ish so we still had some time
on the last day to have a look round the Ghetto (So called
after the foundry that existed there.. Getto means forge)
where an increase in population caused an increase in, low
ceiling buildings to seven floors in height.
Oh and as for food and drink… Our first bill included an
overcharge, which I refused to pay. The beer was very expensive
but found the wine to be great value. We ate at Al Gazebo
(and fed their cute dog too!) and Lord Bea Brummel, Lista
di spagna, both recommended. Venice is not the place to
go if you like a booze up and a party (it only has one disco!).
We did find one bar, Moscacieka, near the Rialto which proved
useful to quench a lunchtime thirst!