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How to spend my first evening in Venice after a long long flight?

How to spend my first evening in Venice after a long long flight?

Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:05 PM
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How to spend my first evening in Venice after a long long flight?

I'm traveling to Italy with my mother, and our flight from California lands at Marco Polo around 5pm. I'm sure we'll be beat, but we'll need to eat and wander at least a tiny bit. Any suggestions on a low-key itinerary, even if it's just a scenic walk to and from a casual restaurant? We are staying in Santa Croce, fairly close to the train station. It's my mom's first trip to Italy, and I was in Venice briefly almost 15 years ago. I'm mainly asking because I always find it so disorienting to arrive in a new destination when it's dark (except Vegas, of course!). I'd like my mom to experience some of the charm of Venice immediately. Thanks in advance!

PS Bonus points for any restaurants that are inexpensive and have vegetarian options (and pizza is fine by us)!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:08 PM
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I would follow the signs from your hotel to the Rialto Bridge to enjoy the view before or after dinner, and then return to the hotel and crash.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Depending on your comfort level with the temperature outside, a vaporetto ride down the grand canal is a nice introduction to Venice.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:23 PM
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The problem will be dinner; you don't want to get so relaxed that you fall asleep at the dinner table.

Once you check in, take a beautiful, scenic walk from your hotel, via the Rialto, to Piazza San Marco. If your flight arrives at 5, guess that it'll be somewhere around 6 by the time you get to the hotel, and you'll need a few minutes to settle in there. But even in the dark, your mother will be able to see and experience the beauty and magic of Venice, and some streets are so brightly lit, it's like daytime.

Quite near San Marco is Trattoria all’Antica Sagrestia; we had pizza for lunch there on our last trip. It was decent, and definitely had vegetarian options - I rarely have meat on my pizza. They have pizza and other kinds of food. Prices are on the menus on their website, so you can decide if it fits your idea of inexpensive.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:28 PM
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Great suggestions! Thanks very much. Hopefully it won't be rainy, as predicted.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:40 PM
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My wife and I just got back from Venice in June, it was my second trip. I would ask your hotel about local restaurants. Most appear like garages during the day and excellent restaurants in the evening. Also for the most part less expensive than the ones at the Rialto Bridge and St Marks. I stayed at the Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo , 100 meters from San Stae Valporata stop. The restaurant was latterly 100 meters from my hotel and the best of all the ones we ate at.

Everyone gets lost in Venice it is good to stay around the hotel on the first night unless you sue the Valporata. In my view if you are tired it is not a good idea to try and navigate the calle's and alleys of Venice,

I have traveled to Europe at least 70 times for my business and found what worked for me was to try and stay awake until at least 10 or 11 at night. This will force you be extremely tired and fall asleep and for the most part adapt to time zone. If you take a long nap you will feel it the next day.

Gene
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Gene, thanks for the suggestions. There will be absolutely no napping. Upon looking at the map again, I do think even the Rialto Bridge would be too far a walk for us on the first night. I may not remember much about my college trip to Venice, but I DO remember getting lost.

Our hotel is directly across from the train station, on the Grand Canal nearish the Ponte degli Scalzi. Hopefully we can amble around closer to our hotel. Is there any direction worth heading (or avioding) in that vicinity?

By the way, Gene, do you happen to remember the name of that restaurant? Al Bacco Felice came up as a nearby option on TripAdvisor.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Lingerer......I highly recommend Osteria La Zucca. One of my favorite Venetian restaurants with plenty of vegetarian options....and it's in Santa Croce.
http://www.lazucca.it/?lang=en
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Old Oct 2nd, 2010, 07:04 PM
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ps...make reservations....it's very popular. They have two evening settings.......
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Staying in S. Croce, I'd definitely dine at Capitan Uncino (around the corner from La Zucca, but contrary to the latter, they're serving authentic Venetian fare in excellent quality). It's one of Venice's better eateries, and the location can't be beaten - it's on Campo S. Giacomo dall'Orio, one of the nicest (and least tourism-spoiled) squares of Venice; real small-town life going on there, and the church in the center of the square is beautiful to boot.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:40 PM
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I second what franco said, we ate at Capitan Uncino that a Venetian bar owner told us about. They have amazing seafood pasta!
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