While talking of Italy, one of the places that always comes up in conversation is Venice.
You often hear stories that seem diametrically opposed about this particular place, but it is always high on the the conversation list. We decided to visit and see what was up.
We stayed at the Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio. A very nice hotel with all the things that one could want although maybe a bit far from the main areas (makes for a quiet sleep) for those who don't like to walk. Being a bit outside the main attractions does allow for the walking through areas that you may not ordinarily see. This was a big bonus when looking for affordable dinner with great food (read; locals eat here). Arriving at night in the rain it was a bit hard to find, and hauling luggage up and down stairs to cross the multitude of small canals was not much fun. Some of the streets were so narrow that our umbrellas were touching both walls.
Venice is not for anyone who has trouble with stairs as handicap access is almost non existent. Upon arrival we were welcomed and quickly set up in our comfortable and roomy rooms. Our rooms were on the second floor and so one last hauling of bags was in order as there is no elevator. Being 11pm at night dinner choices were a wee bit limited, but the Hotel staff had us squared away with directions and choices in short order. Panini's and beer it was and we were happy.
|The very unassuming entry.|
The Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio was a nice comfortable place to stay with very helpful staff and we would definitely "go back". While located a bit away from the main tourist spots it is within a 10 minute walk of most attractions and nothing is more than a twenty minute walk away.
|The only WiFi in the house|
Located just on the edge of the Jewish Ghetto area made access to some good eateries fairly convenient. One such restaurant was Al Faro. A nice place with good food and very reasonably priced, even more so when compared to other Venetian restaurants. The father son team took great care of us and were very attentive and we give it a "recommend". The Calzone's and the wine and the pastas were excellent.
Another great spot to eat, this time close to the Grand Canal is Ristorante Giglio. A bit more upscale and priced accordingly as well as only half a block from the water the food and service were wonderful. Chosen initially for its balance of cost and location it was a great find and we give it a "recommend". The cost issue speaks for itself, the location was chosen for its proximity to a Gondola Ride we had had booked. The gondola ride story will be posted soon. (the good the bad and the lovely)
Venice is quite small and walking anywhere is easy except for knowing how to get to where you want to go. A good map is important as nothing is in a straight line and crossing the little canals and walking in the maze of buildings can be very confusing but fun if you just relax. We were lost more than we knew where we were. It seems most of the negative stories revolve around the heat, smell, crowds and the blood sucking mosquitoes but we were there in late March and had none of those.
Our new friends at Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio also arranged a trip to the Murano Glass factory for us which is on another Island about a ten minute boat ride away. If you have time it is quite interesting to see, just know going in they are hoping to sell you some of their glass art. Buy some and they arrange a nice comfortable boat ride back to Venice. Don't buy any and you will be riding the water taxi (expensive) or the water bus. The day we went they had a public transportation strike and luckily Kiwi fell for some art and we all rode back in comfort.
Venice is one of those places that if you are near enough and you can, we think you should, go visit that is. Unique and full of history it also offers mystery and intrigue as well as romance albeit sometimes with a bit of a tired look, but it is after all, Venice. We'd "go back".
To great Adventures,
Kiwi & Koala
|Al Faro Monster Calzone|
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