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Venice Secret Itineraries tour (where to meet?)

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Apr 7th, 2016, 03:12 PM
  #1
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Venice Secret Itineraries tour (where to meet?)

We are leaving in two weeks (I call it the Mom Tribute Tour of Italy--she passed away two months ago). It is my husband and 12 year old twins.

I did book the Secret Itineraries tour (I hope the tour gives a decent history of Venice). My receipt doesn't really say much about WHERE to meet or when to meet?? Or much of anything? Anyone take it and maybe I don't have the correct receipt?

Lunch ideas for afterwards would be very much appreciated. I want to move away from San Marco because I remember the food being not great and $$ there. Happy to wander and get lost Although probably not hangry with empty stomachs.

I am so excited to share this with my children and husband. My mother loved Italy (and was Italian).
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Apr 7th, 2016, 04:19 PM
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hi did you buy the ticket directly from the doges palace website or a different site?? normally the tour starts from the main square of the doges palace .. the easiest way is once in st mark square you go to the entrance of the doge's palace ( the entrance is the one that is facing the water ... there you ll find the employees of the palace and they ll tell you where to go. regarding a place away from st mark square i would try oliva nera Castello, 3417/3447, 30122 Venezia
and you should try "local" wich is a brand new restaurant Castello 3303, salizada dei greci. you must eat al covo Castello, 3968, 30122 Venezia this are all pretty good restaurant in a non touristic area ... for any help let me know more than happy to help
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Apr 7th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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I presume you are from a low-context culture? If you have an Italian mentality, it would be more obvious to you.

You probably booked an English tour at a specific time printed on your receipt and the receipt needs to be turned into actual tickets? Given this, Italians would deduce that:

1. You go straight to a person tending the long queue and show the receipt. You will be shown which counter to go.
2. At the counter, show your receipt to receive your Palace ticket and the tour id of some kind, at which time you would be informed where to meet for your tour and when. It would probably be just inside in the courtyard, but this kind of thing changes often in Italy, so rely on what the ticket window person tells you on that day.
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Apr 7th, 2016, 04:37 PM
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Thank you. I bought directly from the Palace website. I am sending these restaurants to my Tripit
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Apr 8th, 2016, 01:35 AM
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I think (but my memory might be a bit hazy) that there is a "secret itinaries meet here" sign when you enter the courtyard.
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Apr 8th, 2016, 01:42 AM
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we did the tour a few years ago, having booked on line too.

I've no idea whether I'm from a "low context culture" or not, but we ignored the long queue entirely, and went straight to the ticket office, where we were directed to wait just inside the palace where there are some stone benches. There are loos and cloakrooms [to deposit back packs etc] just across the courtyard; it would be a god idea to take advantage of these before you set off with your guide as there are no other opportunities until you finish the tour. [they must have had strong bladders, those Doges]. The guide will arrive probably a little [but only a little] later than advertised and hand out headsets after which someone will decide that they suddenly need the loo, so you'll have another short wait [or long one depending on the length of the queue for the toilets] until you can set off.

The tour lasts 60-90 mins [my memory is a bit hazy on that] and once the guide leaves you, you can spend as long as you like wandering round the rest of the palace.
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Apr 8th, 2016, 07:46 AM
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I understand your hotel is near Accademia. Here two authentic and inexpensive restaurants in your area:

Osteria Al Squero (right opposite the picturesque gondola shipyard on Rio de San Trovase) is very popular among local students who feast there on the inexpensive Cichetti (plate of mixed Venetian appetizers).

A nice little place, also good for Chichetti and pasta, is Al Vecio Forner, right the street that connects the Accademia and the Guggenheim (Calle della Chiesa, reservation advisable - the place is very small).
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Apr 8th, 2016, 07:49 AM
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Rio San Trovaso, of course.
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Apr 8th, 2016, 09:15 AM
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You will need to check in with the ticket office. They will tell y0o where to meet the tour which is in the main courtyard near the sign. For a great lunch look up Al Covo. Its nearby.
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Apr 8th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Al Covo is wonderful, but it's a bit high end.

If you think the clan will be hungry immediately upon exiting the tour, it's a short walk to all'Aciugheta in Campo SS. Filippo e Giacomo. They serve pizza. It's a popular place, so I might make reservations the day before.
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Apr 8th, 2016, 11:20 AM
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Al Covo is a high end and also required a credit card to make a reservation last year, at least for dinner.
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Apr 10th, 2016, 06:19 AM
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NYCFoodSnob.... I think that all'Aciugheta may have gone down in quality... (just an FYI). I read a lot of angry reviews. I know how restaurants can be fantastic one year and change owners and go down the next. I appreciate your help though....
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Apr 10th, 2016, 07:12 AM
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"I read a lot of angry reviews."

Ah yes, Trip Advisor.

Just an FYI: If this is your criteria for selecting a "quality" place to eat in Venice, then expect a long walk to the mainland after your Secret Itineraries tour to feed your family. I don't know a single top-40 restaurant in Venice that does not get lots of angry reviews from tourists. Good luck.
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Apr 10th, 2016, 07:20 AM
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Al Covo for lunch after a tour??? This is a very fancy place frequented by George clooney etc and requires a reservation. Not a good suggestion. Personally we just walk and find a table but a few suggestions above may help.
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Apr 10th, 2016, 07:31 AM
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RubyTwins, forget the reviews on tripadvisor.

From many, many years of observing people at neighbouring tables I got the impression that many tourists simply do not know how to eat in Italian restaurants.

The main reason is that you find "Italian" restaurants everywhere on the world and everyone has eaten in such restaurants many times, but that restaurants in Italy are different from "Italian" restaurants in Northern Europe or in America. And this is especially true for Venice.

Never order lasagna or pizza in Venice. These are not Venetian dishes and you will be disappointed. Second, pasta is never a main dish. Most people are disappointed when they order pasta and see that it contains minimal amounts of meat or fish. This is because in Italy, you eat meat or fish as a separate main course.

So, you read so many negative reviews about restaurants in Venice because people have wrong expectations and order the wrong things.

Again, the Venetian signature dish is Cicchetti - a plate of small hord d'oevres, usually a mix of seafood, meat, vegetables and carbohydrates (like polenta). Somewhat similar to tapas in Spain. Easy to share, inexpensive and informal. A perfect lunch for a family, maybe followed by a bowl of pasta afterwards to fill the stomach.

In my post above, I recommend Osteria Al Squero at Rio de San Trovaso.

In the Italian wikipedia article about Cicchetti, I found a picture how Italian students have a lunch of inexpensive, simple Cicchetti on the wall in front of the restaurant, with the gondola shipyard in the background:

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacaro...cchetti%29.jpg

Al Vecio Forner serves them a little more sophisticated.
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Apr 10th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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trav: >>From many, many years of observing people at neighbouring tables I got the impression that many tourists simply do not know how to eat in Italian restaurants.<<

That's a reasonable observation. Some people go to Italy and expect the food they would get in a typical Italian restaurant in the US.

>>Never order lasagna or pizza in Venice. <<

Agree about lasagna. Disagree about pizza. I've had decent pizza in Venice. Not great, but decent. But if your point is that, for pizza, Venice isn't Naples, I agree.

Anyone who doesn't try the sliced artichoke hearts at a cicchetti bar is missing something. But that's just the sort of thing the typical tourist might avoid.
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Apr 10th, 2016, 09:36 AM
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O.k. o.k. I don't normally trust Trip Advisor but when I read "microwaved food" it does raise a red flag (I live in Brooklyn.... where we have a lot of sophisticated great restaurants). I definitely will be eating Cicchetti and thanks for the tip about the sliced artichokes hearts. In fact, I can't wait! My kids are not the most sophisticated diners but they do like seafood thankfully. We go to Japan every year and discovered when they are hungry enough... they try more food
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Apr 10th, 2016, 11:02 AM
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Ruby: It seems there are more and more restaurants in Italy, especially in heavy tourist areas, that work with pre-made, reheated dishes. That's what makes cicchetti so appealing.

Enjoy!
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