Venice Trip report

Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 450
Venice Trip report

We just came back from Venice - spent 3 nights after cruise.

we arrived to Civitavecchia. We had breakfast. Unlike other cruise lines we've been before, Breakfast was not continental but full like every day. Disembarkation was very simple since after you get your passport at reception desk and settle account, you just walk out. The bags were already taken out early morning. We found our driver (we had some problem finding us since there were 2 Seadreams as we learned that day in port). Soon we were on the way to Rome. It took about 1 hr to get to Termini. We bought tickets in tickets machine (almost no lines and it is has instructions in English too). Otherwise you need t ostay in long line to buy ticket and not clear if the clerk will be English speaking.

We boarded our train for 4 hr trip to Venice. The first class train was very comfortable. We bought some sandwiches in restaurant car. On arrival, to Santa Lucia train station, we bought 3 day vaporetto pass 22 eur per person. We boarded vaporetto 82 to Piazza San Marco with our suitases. My advice to anyone going to Venice - travel light. We had one smal suitace each on wheels and that would be enough. However beacuse of cruise, we also had one garment bag. Not full, not heavy, but still 3rd place. In addition, we had 2 backpacks each on the back. The luggage was manageable, not heavy but still a hassle to get to the hotel. Our hotel Anastasia, , was located few blocks east of Piazza san Marco, and I saw the stop on the map Calle Valaressa - San Marco. However, for some reason, the vaporetto atendant told us that our stop is San Zaccharia - San Marco so we walked with suitases passing bridges for 2 stops!!!! It was hot. We made it. That's why I do not recommend too much luggage, otherwise take water taxi. But it is also a pain to put and get luggage to/from water taxi.

Hotel was small, 3* but charming, with 2 large windows, and one window opening into small extension like a mini-balcony. It is located in a small campo which shares back entrances with Europa and Regina. This campo did not have people, since no restaurants, or shops there. As a result, it was very nice to sleep at night, it was quiet.

Our guides said that Guggenheim museum is open until 22:00 so we decided to have dinner in the evening in Accademia sestierre and then go to museum. We ate in Taverna San Trovaso, which got high mark for some reason in fodors forum and good reviews on . Well, maybe we were overfed on cruise however, the dinner was not much to write home about. The service was good but not that warm. We tried specialty - fried seafood and venetian liver. I like fried liver with onions, but venetian liver was stewed in some sauce and it was tough. Fried seafood came with fried zucchinis, but waiter also suggested side dish, we ordered bolied potatoes and relized it was too much. Food was kind of bland. We did not want experiement with desert so we left. We tried to get into Accademia, however contrary their schedule (Sat open in June untill 22:00), it was closed. We headed to San Marco looking forward to romantic evening on "the most beautiful living room of Europe" as Napoleon said about it. As you probably know, there are 3 dueling orchestras plating wonderful classical music and you just get a seat in cafe (prices are steep, but, hey, you are paying for a concert) and enjoy it. years ago, we had our teenager with us who ran around Piazza San Marco in the dark and we kept keeping eye on him, feeding pigeons, and resisting constant nagging to buy some staff in nearby souvenir stores.
This time we could really relax and it was wondeful. The stars were bright and the moon was birgh, half-moon. Just perfect. First day we had tea and some desert in Cafe Florian, the ocrhstra is playing more classical music than others, more serious. It is one of the oldest cafes in Europe, by the way. Dickens, Byron, Heminghway sat there and now we did

After tea, we went to hotel and fell asleep.

Next morning, June 12, we had continental breakfast at hotel. OK fresh croissants, other staff is not exciting. Good coffee. We went to Guggenheim again and my guidebook said it opened at 9:30 but the sign at the door said 10am! We went to Accademmia instead, it was very interesting. Venetian art is different from Renneisance, more venetian scenes, wealthy merchants, etc. After that we went to Rialto bridge, we used Rick Steeves "offbeat itineraries" and realized there were quite a few people sharing same itineraries with us! We used route through Fenice Theater. One of the highlights on the way - we visited Scala Contarini del Bovolo
- this is a Venetian tower/staircase/house ,located in a small courtyard very close to Campo Manin. It dates back to 1499 and is so special because of its very fine and original winding staircase. It shows many arcades and a parapet with little columns that follow the line of the staircase. George stayed below and I climbed steps (forgot how many) and took pictures from there. Splendid views of Venice from the top.

We went to Rialto and watched tremendous traffic there on grand Canal - ambulance, post boats, gondolas, transportation boats , even furniture movers. Incredible. That area of Rialto also was crowded with people. We spent about 30 min in internet cafe and walked towards Canareggio. We decided to take quick snack - pizza or something and have early dinner since we were not very hungry and we also had few gelatos on the way. Of course we could not agree on pizza place! We also were moving towards Canareggio to see ghetto. Some of the area there was very quiet, which we would otherwise liked but when you want something to eat.. We finally found a small restaurant with sitting outside and wanted to share one pizza since they would not sell by a slice. But they said no sharing, if we want to share, we can eat inside. We were upset but still ate there. Pizza was good but no relaxed surroundings. The place I think was called restaurant Vezuvius. Fortified, we went to ghetto and bought some glass figurines in David's shop. We bought las time some figurines of Jews and some broke. We bought more. David said if broken, we can ship to him and they will fix it. Or we can order anything else we want by mail.
Their prices are actually much better then for the same figures in other stores.

We came back to San Marco, went to the Cathedral San Marco, spent some time there. Then we had early dinner in one of the small restaurant behind piazza it was Ok but nothing spectacular. Rest after dinner and second trip to San Marco in the evening to listen at another cafe. That cafe had more like performance than classical concert but it was lovely. Went to bed.

June 13.
Last day in Venice was spent in the morning by visiting Palazzo Ducale and then shopping for souvenirs. Next morning, we had early flight at 6:50am therefore we ordered water taxi for 4:30 and requested wakeup call at 4:00 . Yuk!
We walked to the market behind Rialto and did some shopping in the streets behind the market.
These shops are good quality and a little bit less expensive then in tourist areas.
We tried to have an early dinner in a nice restaurant but most serious restaurants with waterfront dining start only at 7:30pm.
We tried Cipriani, Europa and Regina and Bauer. All of them were closed at 5-6pm. We walked to Al Gondolieri near our hotel which is a nice unpretentious restaurant by canal. When we found it, I recognized it - we ate there on our previous visit with our teenager and it was fun to watch gondolas coming and going. So we were happy we found it, food was so far the best during these 3 days in Venice. It was open at 6:30pm so we had a lovely dinner. We noticed that majority diners were Americans, many with young adult children or teenage children. Probably beacuse of early opening hours. We watched gondolas. One party chartered few gondolas and ordered musician and singer! The concert floated by. It was great time spent.

That's it, next morning we got our water taxi and went to airport. For someone who is contemplating logistics - either to get transfer all the way to airport or only water taxi, I recommend - hire both water taxi and assistance to the terminal.
We paid 95 eur to water taxi guy. Then we thought we will get a free shuttle to the terminal, so we had again to find shuttle stop (dragged luggage again) and the stop sign had info that next shuttle will be in 30 mins. We finally gave in to the guy who was offering us a transfer for whooping 15 eur but after that, we did not have to touch our luggage again until check-in!
We also gave few euro to next porter who took our luggage from shuttle to the check-in counter but at least he loaded all our luggage to the check-in counter and knew where to go.

That concluded our 2005 European trip to Dublin, Riviera, cruise and Venice.

emtravel is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,463
great trip report Sophia, and thanks for the link to your hotel. If you don't mind posting, how much was the rate per night? It sounds like a great location.
TexasAggie is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:37 AM
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It's a pretty short walk from the quay to the terminal.
I don't bother with the shuttle bus.
There are trolleys available with a one euro deposit.
Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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the hotel Anastasia in Venice sounds interesting.
Their website is

there are also good comments at
elaine is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for sharing, Sophia.

ira is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the trip report, Sophia. Sounds like you had a lovely time.
Statia is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Very nice trip report, Sophia. Thank you for sharing.

Woody is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 01:04 PM
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great report - thanks! not to be greedy, but are you going to do a report about your cruise and the rest of your trip? I would love to read it!
radiofanatic is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 450
Thanks Everybody!

Hotel Anastasia website is :

and the prices are there.

230 eur per night.

The rooms are smallish like for all 3* hotels, but location is perfect. It is off campo San Moise (sp), in the nack of Europa and Regina. Close to everything : The campo is great. I have some pictures on the whole trip

but you have to scroll to the end since Venice was at the end. You will see my husband standing at the window which is like some extended window/balcony. The rooms had a/c and the bathroom was very modern. The hotel is in very good condition.

As for my other trip report - cruise - I thought cruises are not allowed here ?

I am still working on my report with pictures, but here is blog I was writing during the trip - it is draft to keep track on our friends where we are.

emtravel is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sophia, you could always post the cruise portion of your trip report both here and on the cruise forum. I'm looking forward to reading your blog tomorrow when I have more time online.
Statia is offline  
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