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Staying at the La Calcina in Venice for 3 nights..what should we do and what should we EAT!?

Staying at the La Calcina in Venice for 3 nights..what should we do and what should we EAT!?

Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Staying at the La Calcina in Venice for 3 nights..what should we do and what should we EAT!?

My husband and I booked 3 nights in May at the La Calcina in Venice. We are casual tourists and not so casual eaters. We would like to see some great stuff in our short time, and okay, eat some great food too! What would be a good itinerary close to where we are staying? Thanks!
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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May I suggest that you click on "Destinations" here at fodors.com and read the section about Venice - points of interests, restaurants, etc.

If you insist on staying close to La Calcina, you will see 10% of Venice. Almost all of Venice is easily walkable, and you can always take the vaporettos (public water buses) and the traghettos (public gondolas that cross the Grand Canal at certain points).

Why are you going to Venice if you know absolutely nothing about it?
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 06:06 AM
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Um, Thanks for the reply,
But should I be insulted by your question? We want to go there to experience it and learn something about the place that my recently deceased Father said was his favorite place in the world.

I go lots of places that I know nothing about!? Of course I'll look up info on Venice, but I have been impressed with suggestions I have gotten from Fodorites. Thanks again...I think.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Funny thing is, if you stayed inside the Dorsoduro (the neighborhood of La Calcina) you would see plenty to fill your 3 days, but it would be a shame not to visit the basilica at San Marco.

In addition, I would recommend to you that you visit the scuolas of Venice, San Rocco and Carmine, visit the Accademia museum (quite near La Calcina), and if you like modern art, the Peggy Guggenheim museum, also nearby and with a beautiful terrace where you can have lunch. Also worthwhile is a a visit to Santa Maria dei Frari, which has very famous picture of the Assumption painted by Titian.

Gondola rides are expensive, but if you would like to experience Venice as its historic residents did, that's how to do it.

As for food, Venice is not known for it's outstanding chefs, and what few recommended restraurants there are, people argue about incessantly whether they are overrated, and they tend to be very expensive.

Some famous Venetian taste treats are drinking a bellini at Harry's bar and a coffee at Florian's. (I only tasted the latter, and it was fantastic). The Venetians also snack on little sandwiches in wine bars, although I have to warn you than at least one person I know got quite an upset stomach eating fish from those bars.

La Calcina is where John Ruskin stayed when he wrote his famous book "The Stones of Venice." You might enjoy taking a look at this book before staying in his space.

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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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We were in Venice last year. Bought 3 day vaporetto passes and used this mode of transportation quite a bit (you need to walk, too, get lost and discover new gems around every corner).
Suggest Piazza San Marco, definitely a drink outside at Florian's, the Basilica, Doge's Palace (we enjoyed the
Secret Itineraries Tour - book in
advance), the Guggenheim and Accademia
if you like art, Rialto Bridge and the Market. We particularly enjoyed going over to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, taking the elevator to the top of the belltower for incredible views of the city. Take a gondola ride along the side canals. For restaurants, we really liked Alle Testiere. Very compact space, great service and great seafood, pastas and dessert. Also ate at Ai Gondolieri, which is near Accademia, and was good. I'm sure you'll find Venice as wonderful as your father did. Did he ever mention his favorite places there?
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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I understand that La Calcina has fairly recently begun to serve dinner on their deck, and I think their guests are offered a reduced price.

Here is a thread from the archives with many Venice restaurant recommendations:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34746665

Additionally, you may want to type "Venice restaurants" (without the quotes) into the search box at the top of the page. Look on the left-hand side of the page for zillions of past posts related to your question about food.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Hi Seeksocean,

La Calcina is a good choice; be sure to ask about the rooftop terrace that you can reserve for private use for an hour or so. Try to book it just at sunset; walk up the Zattere to the Billa grocery store for a bottle of wine and something for an antipasto, and enjoy a lovely view over Venice while you relax before your dinner.

To the sights already mentioned, I would add the Basilica of San Marco, expecially the outside balcony where you are among the replicas of the famous horses, and looking out over the piazza. The real, and much-traveled, horses are just inside.

The more you can learn about Venice before you go, the more likely you are to love and appreciate this wonderful city as your father did.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Thank you so much for all the thoughtful recommendations!! It is truly appreciated!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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You might want to try a meal - we had dinner there 18 years ago and I've heard it's still great - at Antico Martini near La Fenice opera house. The web site is: http://www.anticomartini.com/

The dinner was not inexpensive - in fact, at the time, probably the most expensive meal my wife and I had ever had at around $150 - but it was incredible and well worth the price. The meal included antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci and wine. The service was impeccable, the setting was divine (next to the opera house), and the whole experience just magical. They serve lunch and dinner.

One meal you might NOT want to try are any labelled as "turistico" (sp?). Apparently years ago the Italian government attempted to increase tourism by requiring/requesting restaurants (some restaurants?) to offer simple, inexpensive, but tasty meals. Only one of those three objectives were met in our experience - but of course we only did that once.

KC
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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I love that hotel! While you are staying on the Dosoduro, all of Venice is only a short walk away.

I am a very casual tourist also. I suggest you just head out walking around, is how I've seen the city (twice now). Check a map, and attempt to head in the general direction of major landmarks like the Rialto bridge or San Marco square (tip: watch for the painted arrows on the corners of buildings pointing the way).

Remember L'Accademia bridge will be the closest landmark you use to find your way back to the hotel.

Definitely ride the vaporetto on the Grand Canal one time. It's a cheap way to get a wonderful city tour.

I/we (once solo, once with a companion) didn't have much luck with restaurants in Venice, so will leave that to others.

That said, breakfast at La Calcina is lovely. If the weather's nice you can eat on the patio over the Guidecca canal. But the little dining room is sweet too. If they are offering dinners now (they weren't the two times I stayed there several years ago) I would definitely try it.

The rooftop terrace mentioned above is a fantastic hidden gem ammenity of this hotel. Make sure you arrange with the front desk to use it at least once.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Have a sgroppino after dinner (aka Singing Gondolier). I had my first at La Calcina, and you know what they say..."You never forget your first!"
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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I had a delicious seafood risotto in Venice at a place quite near La Calcina on the bank of the Giudecca canal. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of it, it was not well-known or fancy, but something we stumbled upon. It was one of the best meals of the whole trip though! I think there was a picture/symbol of the sun in the logo/name of the place, if that helps at all . YOu will love Venice!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Hi Seeks,

You will love Venice! My best dinner was at Al Covo, expensive, but very good, wonderful service. You will need reservations. It's roughly between Piazza San Marco and the Arsenale.

Three days is enough to see lots of Venice.
Buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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I've heard the Riviera restaurant is quite good and is near La Calcina. It might be the one beachysis mentions.

I too had a wonderful meal at Antico Martini, but that was for New Year's Eve and it is pricey. Friends traveling with us ate at La Rivista, the restaurant in the 'Ca Pisani hotel, not far from La Calcina and thought it was great.

Ai Gondolieri is the one place we ate that we thought was grossly overrated. Very expensive and not all that good.

Da Raeffele is one place often mentioned that has a lovely setting.

When you arrive, if you decide to take the Alilaguna (waterbus) from the airport rather than a private taxi, make sure you tell them you're going to Zattere. Your hotel is very close to that stop which makes it convenient.

You will love Venice.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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After much research, on our last trip to Venice, we ate at Osteria Anice Stellato, which is an out-of-the-way restaurant in the Cannaregio area. It felt less touristy (at least, there seemed to be not many other English-speaking customers), and the food was inventive and delicious. It was a nice walk there, along the canal.

As others have said, nothing in Venice is very far from anything else.

Wandering around is the best way to visit Venice. On that last trip, we wandered around (sort of using a route from the Doris Kindersly book on Venice) the Castello area; slightly less filled with tourists, but beautiful sights, nonetheless. We especially liked San Zaccheria, and the ancient crypt underneath.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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Hello maitaitom and everyone, the best sgroppino of Venice is to be found at Capitan Uncino on Campo S. Giacomo dall'Orio. Nice restaurant not only in this respect (especially with warm weather when you would sit outside on the campo, with all the kids of the neighbourhood playing soccer around you, the dogs are quarreling, the senior citizens are chatting) - and the food is high above the average, the dessert even more than that: they are quite certainly Venice's best.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Topping for myself because I have to have the best sgroppino in Venice!
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 05:09 PM
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Thanks so much..! Gee, while I am on a roll, how about places to eat near Hotel Casci in Florence? We already have museum passes, so I am hoping to find some good eats near the hotel. I love you Fodorites!!!
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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I think I'll start a new post for Hotel Casci food desires!!
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