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Trip Report Venice 2012

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We arose at passerine flatus to catch our flight in Manchester. At least it meant that we arrived in Venice around noon.
We took the Alilaguna blu line to Arsenale where we were to meet the agent for the flat we were renting.
I think that it is essential to approach Venice by water. Taxis are from 80 to 100 Euros, which is a bit ridiculous unless you are sharing. The Alilaguna fare was 25 Euros return. It takes just over an hour, but it’s a pleasant journey and a nice introduction to the city and some of the other islands.
The ticket office is fairly obvious. There is a shuttle bus to the boats, but it’s about a ten minute walk which is fine if you haven’t a lot of luggage.
We were told that the man who was meeting us had very little English, but I phoned him to tell him when we would be arriving and I was able to understand him when he explained about the appliances in the flat. My Italian is adequate if people speak reasonably slowly.
It was good that we were met, because the flat was in a maze of little calle behind the Arsenale and we would never have found it. The route also included just one small bridge which was a blessing.
The area was ideal. San Marco was within easy walking distance and we were close to Via Garibaldi which is quite a good shopping street with a little supermarket. Our noses also told us the way to a nice bakery.
Quite close by in a little campo not far away from the flat were shops like a little butcher’s shop, a grocer’s and, alas, a pasticceria. I’m sure that the extra weight I have accumulated is the fault of that shop.
The flat was comfortable and well equipped, but we were very puzzled by Venetian notions of security. There was a security gate into the little courtyard where the flat was. The windows were barred and shuttered and the complicated lock might have seemed slightly OTT to the Bank of England. Meanwhile, on the canal outside, boats were tied up with their out board motors attached.
We settled in and then went to have lunch in a small restaurant right by the Arsenale. It specialised in fish, and although not the best place we ate, it was quite pleasant.
We settled into a routine where we had a light breakfast, a nice long full Italian slow lunch and just a filled roll or some pasta for the evening meal,
By the way, a perpetual topic on this forum is dress and blending in. It may have been the time of year, but everyone was dressed perfectly normally. It was obvious that there were many tourists because they were the lost looking souls consulting maps. However, you honestly couldn’t tell nationalities until you heard them speak. For some reason, I am usually assumed to be French unless I am heard speaking English. I was actually asked for directions in Padua, so I must also look a bit like an Italian little old lady.
To be continued

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