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Countdown: 40 days to fine tune our 19 day itinerary - Segment 2: Venice

Countdown: 40 days to fine tune our 19 day itinerary - Segment 2: Venice

Apr 3rd, 2011, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Countdown: 40 days to fine tune our 19 day itinerary - Segment 2: Venice

T-minus 40 days!!!

DH and I are headed to Italy for the first time for 19 days (including travel, so 17 nights total). We leave in just over a month, and I think we finally have everything sorted out. At this point, we're pleased with the number of nights in each city, accommodations and some MINI Fares are booked so I'm not looking back.

This is segment 2 of 6. I realize from searching other posts that it would be easier to follow if I have separate posts for each city (and I tend to be quite wordy, I'm sorry in advance ). This post will focus on getting to Italy and our 2 nights in Venice.

I think I've pretty much organized our daily itineraries, but that is the area where I'm looking for the advice and comments for the wise Fodorites

And yes, I know that no matter what I do there will be days that don't go according to my plan. That's perfectly fine, I can handle that. I just like to be planned and organized because IME its been easier to get back on track when things go wrong, or when we decide to deviate from "the plan".

Also, any dining recommendations are welcome, and wanted, as well. DH and I enjoy all types of food (I dislike the term, but I suppose we're foodies), but we like to try to find food that is authentic to the areas we're in.

FYI, I'm using the Frommer's guide, 24 Great Walks in Venice for this part of our trip. You'll see I refer to walk numbers, but I realize that they won't mean anything to most of you - its just easier for me. We wanted a looser itinerary and didn't want to have to many places we "had" to see in Venice, but wanted more to get a feel of the city. I think walking tours were a better way to go for us here, because we can stop when something interests us, or change direction whenever we want.

Ok, here we go:

May 16th:
Train from Milan Central arrives at Venice St. Lucia 9:22 am
Vaporetto to Accademia stop - Walk to B&B Dorsoduro 461

Frommer's Walk 2
Piazza San Marco
Basilica di San Marco (incl. Museum, Treasury, Pala d'oro)
Campanile (Bell Tower)
Palazzo Ducale

Return to Dorsoduro - settle into room
Vaporetto Grand Canal Cruise (from Rick Steves 2011)
Wander around Castello before dinner

May 17th
Rialto Market
Frommer's Walk 24
Walk along Strada Nova, past Ca' d'Oro to Campo San Marcuola
Frommer's Walk 5
Jewish Ghetto
Wander around San Polo
Wander around Dosoduro

May 18th
Train to Florence

Sometime during our walking and wandering we want to pick up a decorative mask and maybe some glass jewelry. I have a few ideas of where to go from searching past threads, but I would love to hear your recommendations for where to go as well.
abenedek is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I'd suggest that you buy a copy of "Secret Venice" by Jonglez.

It's fun, gives heaps of info that you'll not find in most guide books.

Here's a sequence from when I visited the Ghetto - it helped me to "connect" to the history there:

I sighted some sobering monuments in Canneragio, in the Ghetto, a sequence, a story.
Monument No 1. A tablet, let into the wall, generally detailing the things that Jews were allowed to do in Venice, and providing for a reward for anyone denouncing people (i.e. Jews) for blasphemy. The reward to be funded from the prpoerty of the blasphemer, punishment fully detailed, secret denunciations invited. It is dated 26 September 1704, but I find it hard to believe that such persecution was still happening at that time, but two hundred ant thirty years later it certainly was. Every Jewish child in the Ghetto would have understood fully the significance of that tablet on the wall. The restrictions on Jews only ceased in 1797, with the arrival of Napoleon, barely two centuries ago. The Lion of Venice has been hammered off this tablet, and I can imagine the enthusiasm with which this little piece of civic vandalism was conducted.

Monument No 2. A tablet, listing the names of Venetian Jews who died in the 1915-18 war, patriotic Italians, who happened to be Jewish, and supported Italy in spite of Monument No 1.

Monument No 3. A tablet, immediately opposite No 2, erected by the remants of the Venetian Jewish community, abhoring the deaths of 200 Venetian Jews, 8000 Italian Jews and six million European Jews in the Holocaust. The Venetian Jews branded as undesirables, in spite of the patriots named on Monument No 2.

Monument No 4. An apology by the Mayor of Venice, in Hebrew, Italian and English, to the 200 Venetian Jews who were carted out of Venice on the fifth of December, 1943, and the seventeenth of August, 1944. Signed by the Mayor, Mario Rigo, and I have to find out when he was Mayor. I anticipate it will be well after the erection of Monument No 3, but an apology none the less.

Monument No 5. A structure made of horizontal timber boards, bound with vertical steel straps. The names of the 200 Venetian Jewish victims are engraved on the boards. The whole effect is of a cattle truck, and is most profound - I spent a time reading the names, Elena Serini, aged 14, Scandiani Diena, aged 81. I have no idea what their story is, and possibly this is the only monument they will ever have.

Monument No 6 is not meant to be a monument at all, but I can’t help but see it in the sequence. It is a small kiosk in the Ghetto, to contain the three or four security guards on duty there all the time. That’s a monument to intolerance, and can too easily lead one back to Monument No 1.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 09:00 PM
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A couple of places to eat.

La Bitta in Calle Lunga San Barnaba - they don't do fish. But I've eaten smoked goose and it was pretty good there.

Also the Osteria San Barnaba, again in Calle Lunga San Barnaba, a couple of doors from La Bitta, is good.

To find these places, follow the signs "Ferrovia" from the Academia bridge, and they will lead you to Campo San Barnaba. Turn left into Calle Lunga San Barnaba.

Also there is a great bar that does little bites to eat, and it is very good. Great for lunch - but you'll be standing up.

Quoting from a review:
Cantinone–già Schiavi (992 Ponte San Trovaso), located on a canal in Dorsoduro, is another symbol of disappearing Venice: one of the city's last gondola workshops. Schiavi is really a wine shop that sells food on the side – although the cheese and fennel crostini were delicious. The walls are covered floor to ceiling by bottles, and there is a fantastic choice of 10 or so wines by the glass, mostly from the Veneto region, starting at €2. That, I noted, was the same price as the house, so I made a pest of myself and started to work through the labels (well, the glasses are tiny)."

We've been there a handful of times.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Peter, Your informatin is so thought provoking. I have toured the Venice Ghetto twice, and found it quite moving, but your description of those tablets is even more so.
Sassafrass is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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I was so moved by your post. Per your recommendation, I just ordered the Jonglez book on Amazon.

I'd just like to take a moment to mention that your contributions to these forums are quite invaluable to those of us visiting Venice. I've read your past few trip reports, and your feelings toward the city really shine through your words. Your recommendations are most appreciated
abenedek is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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My two favourite restaurants in Venice:

Trattoria Antiche Carampane in San Polo
Wonderful fish and pasta, tables inside or out but no view

Algiubagio on Fondamente Nove (on the "top" edge of Venice)
Also very good fish, wonderful service and a great view over to San Michele and the Dolomites on a clear day.
tarquin is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Thanks tarquin!

Algiubagio sounds perfect for our first night. We planned to wander into Castello from the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop. It looks like we could wander our way to Fondamente Nove and then walk to Algiubagio. Does that sound about right?

Do I need to make reservations far in advance?
abenedek is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 12:12 AM
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I would, especially if you want a good table on the edge of the water (you do!) We were there in July and reserved in the morning for that evening. They do a plate of all the cooked fish antipasta choices and a plate of the raw ones. Next time I am having both.
tarquin is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 12:51 AM
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thanks, Peter. I'
m ordering the Jonglez book as well!

Speaking of "secret"--Abe, on May 16, when you have the Duccal Palace scheduled, have you considered the "secret " tour? I havent been to Venice since 1970, am returning (at last!) in early June, and based on Fodorite reports, planning on the Doges Palace "Secret Itinerary"

The tour is in English at 9.55 10.45; 11.35.
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 04:53 AM
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Thanks Tarquin, I'll send an email next week.

@CaliNurse -
So glad you're getting back to Venice

I have considered the Secret Itinerary tour, but I've read mixed reviews so I'm still undecided.

DH isn't much of a tour person, and since we'll be taking several tours in Florence and Rome I didn't want to overwhelm him. I think what I'll do is let him read the description of the tour and let him decide if that's something he'd want to do. You never know, he may surprise me
abenedek is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 10:38 PM
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Abenedek, I'm traveling with DD daughter, who , like your DH, is not big on tours. However, the one of the Doge's Palce isonly an hour or so.
Worst taht happens, we'll cut out early, as we've done during previous guided tours in various parts of the world! (Wait'll she finds out i 've booked a three hour wlaking tour of Florence!!!!)
I wrote to the owner of the B and B in Venice, to get her take on the "secret Tour" based on guests' comments.
Thanks for the encouragement aboit a return trip to Venice. It and 1970--hope not a lot has changed in 40 yrs!
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM
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sorry--meant, Venice was great in 1968 and 1970--hope it still is. tayed ten days the first time, in the youth hostel on the island across the water. Bliss!!!
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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A bit of advice - ignore it at your peril.

Venetians see it as most unlucky to walk between the two columns - one with St Theodore plus crocodile, the other with the Lion of Venice - in the Piazzetta.

The space between the columns was once used for gaming tables. The space over the tables was once used for public hangings. So unlucky for some, at least.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 04:52 AM
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lmont is offline  
Apr 6th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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Duly noted, thanks again Peter. We will not walk between the columns.

Venice is the 2nd stop on our Italian journey, and I wouldn't want to risk the rest of our sojourn. I have bad enough luck already, so why take the chance
abenedek is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2011, 01:09 PM
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adenedek, we stopped at 2 places for cicchetti, both of which were excellent: Gia schiavi (aka Vini al Bottegon) mentioned above, which had a nice atmosphere and it was nice to sit at the edge of the canal and watch the world go by; All' Arco was also very good!
We had a wonderful lunch at Naranzaria near the Rialto Market - I would definitely recommend it!
Antiche Carampane (mentioned above) was our favorite restaurant of Venice. We had a wonderful dinner there.
I bought a pretty glass necklace at Giorgio Nason located at Dorsoduro 167 from Nason himself.
We also bought small masks at Tragicomica on Calle dei Nomboli. Great store just full of treasures!
ekc is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Thanks again ekc!

I think we're going to get to both of those cicchetti places

Thank you so much for the shopping recommendations - Giorgio Nason's shop is only a short walk from our B&B!
abenedek is offline  

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