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Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Toronto, Canada
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Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

This is a continuation of my trip reports posted in the Rome and Florence forums. Following as responses on this thread are the daily details of our time spent in Venice, from June 10 to June 15.

We are a family of four - myself, my husband and our two boys aged 9 and 14. It was my fourth visit to Venice, the second time for my husband, but the first time for our kids.

Many thanks to the contributors here who answered my questions, either those asked directly or asked by others.

I apologize in advance for the length of the report. I've included lots of details about what we ate, and how much things cost, just for my own memory and so that others planning their trip might get a sense of how much they may need to spend.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Monday, June 10. Left our apartment in Florence and took the taxi to the train station. Took the 2 hour fast train to Venice.

We arrived at Santa Lucia station, and headed to the info kiosk to buy our vaporetto and museum passes. We bought four 7 day vaporetto passes, plus spent the extra 10 euros each for the Dell’Arte vaporetto, and then bought the museum passes which were 24 euros for 2, and then 18 euros for the other 2. Total expenditure was steep at 324 euros, but we knew it in advance, and it was handy for travel whenever we wished, and to skip the lines at museums.

We hopped on the vaporetto to San Stae and met with Christine who took us to our apartment a short walk away. The apartment was owned by Gloria and Pierantonio whom we met a short time later. We had booked it through Airbnb, and I will post a full review shortly. But suffice it to say, we loved this place!

We settled in, and then headed out to Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio. What a fabulous square this was, and just 2 minutes from the apartment! We picked up groceries from the Coop store in the square and stopped back briefly at the apartment.

Then we were off on the Vaporetto dell’Arte which we caught at San Stae. It was great being able to take this wonderful, nearly empty vaporetto, and to listen to the headsets for commentary of some of the sites we passed by. We went in the direction of Piazale Roma first, and then just stayed on to go back down the Grand Canal.

Hopped off at San Marco, had a quick wander through the Giardini Publici (does anyone know what those strange and HUGE bees are? The sign said they weren’t dangerous but OMG the size of them!) We wandered through Piazza San Marco for the kids’ first view of it. We went up the Campanile (24 euros for 2 adults and 2 kids) for a wonderful view. A little loud though when the bells went off! :-)

We walked over to Ateneo di San Basso to purchase our tickets for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for Tuesday (90 euros for the 4 of us – I think 25 for DH and I and 20 for the boys).

We then strolled through the neighbourhood, and past San Zaccharia. We popped into the Palazzo Priuli where DH and I had stayed 5 years ago. It was such a neat place inside, so I asked at the front desk if I could show the large main room upstairs to the kids. He kindly obliged so we walked up the wonky yet wonderful staircase for a quick view of it. We thanked him and were on our way.

We had a nice dinner at Campo San Provolo. I had the menu – soup, chicken and salad, pasta for the boys, and a fish and seafood dish for DH. With water, soft drinks and wine, it was 107 euros. While enjoying our dinner, a man came by with a guitar and sang a few songs. He had a great voice, and seemed to have a song for various nationalities. He sang Imagine by John Lennon, Au Champs Elysees which the French at the next table enjoyed (and we did too), an Italian song, a Spanish song. He passed his hat around, and most people gave him a little money. In another of our “small world” episodes on our trip, we were able to enjoy his music during lunch a few days later at a restaurant on Burano. :-)

We caught the vaporetto home, and relaxed with a Spritz at the apartment.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Tuesday June 11. Headed out around 9:10 and caught the Vaporetto for our visit at the Basilica. Realized about 2 stops into our journey that I had forgotten the email confirmation of our booked time to get in. We bailed at Rialto and made our way quickly back to the apartment on foot to get the paper. Raced back to the Vaporetto, and realized there was no way we were going to make it in time by taking the boat. Jumped off at Rialto again and raced through and made it just in time. From then on we realized that it was not that difficult to get from our apartment to San Marco on foot.

So we entered into the Basilica easily with our email, and bought tickets to see the Loggia dei Cavalli first. Wandered through there with the great view both outside and inside from up top. Then we walked through the rest of the church.

After our time at San Marco, we strolled around, bought a few souvenirs, then had a snack at Bar Oasi (drinks, coffee, cornetto, biscotti, etc. for 29 euros). Wandered back to the Doges Palace, and entered easily with our museum passes. The boys enjoyed seeing the ornate rooms of the palace, but also the prison cells and the Bridge of Sighs.

We headed back to the apartment for a rest, and I made dinner there.

Later we wandered over near the Frari, then back to Rialto and over to Piazza San Marco. We saw Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and loved it (again). DH and I went 5 years ago, but since our kids are familiar with the music, we wanted them to see/hear it too. It was a wonderful performance, and afterwards we planned to splurge on some drinks and dessert at Café Florian.

In my four visits to Venice, that was my first time actually sitting and ordering something there. The orchestra was great, the night was beautiful, we enjoyed just being in the square at night time – it was wonderful. We each had a drink and a fancy dessert, and the bill was 107 euros. We knew this was a “renting the scenery” type of cost though, and we were prepared to pay it.

A truly memorable evening in Venice for all of us.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Wednesday June 12. Out around 10:00 a.m. and caught the Dell’Arte to San Giorgio Maggiore. Saw the huge inflatable art entitled “Alison Lapper Pregnant”. That was…um…quite something. Not really my kind of something, but there you have it.

Went up the Campanile (20 euros for 2 adults, 2 kids). What a spectacular view of Venice that is! I had never seen it from there before.

On the way back, we decided to take the Vaporetto along the Giudecca and picked a stop – San Basilio – to wander through that area back to the apartment ,. Stopped at Café Noir for Panini and drinks (25 euros), then went off to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. DH and I loved this place the last time we were here, and wanted older DS to see it. Younger DS wasn’t much interested, but he had no choice...LOL. It was 20 euros for DH and I and the kids were free.

We then stopped for ice cream nearby at Mille Voglie, where we had also visited the last time. They had great ice cream and decent prices.

Next was a quick trip inside the Frari (7.50 euros for 3 adults and 1 child).

Back to the apartment for a Spritz and some rest. Then we were off to “our square” San Giacomo del’Orio for dinner at Taverna Capitan Uncino. We all loved this place – both the restaurant and the campo. Kids were playing, dogs were running around, it seemed to be the place for families to just hang out.

Dinner was wonderful – Cotoletta and fries and pasta for the boys, mixed grilled meats for DH and veal marsala and grilled veggies for me, with wine, water and soft drinks. Total was 95 euros.

We walked back to the Rialto bridge to meet up for our Ghost Walk. Had an interesting tour with a bit of history and some legends, with our guide Francesco. Older DS especially enjoyed this tour. We started near the Rialto, saw a few key places in the Rialto/San Marco area, the Bovolo staircase, etc. and finished up back near the Rialto bridge.

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4. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Thursday June 13. Up and out at 9:40. Walked to San Zaccaria and took Line 7 to Murano. Got seats right in the front of the boat. Spent the morning walking around Murano, popped into several glass shops/factories. Bought a few souvenirs.

Then caught the extremely crowded boat from Murano to Burano. Looked around this pretty little island. I had been many many years ago, but it was a first for DH and the kids.

Had lunch at Bar Sport. Small world – 3 of the guys who had been on our ghost walk the night before were at the table two over from us. Further small world, as mentioned, the singer from 3 nights previous in Venice began to sing at that restaurant on Burano. Lunch was quite good – pizza, pasta, chips and a fish dish with water, soft drinks and wine for 59 euros.

Strolled around a bit more, then caught the boat to Torcello. It was a nice little walk from the dock in towards the church, and the church itself was really interesting. I believe it was the first church in the Venetian islands.

Walked back to the boat docks, and caught the Vaporetto from Torcello back to Burano, then another boat from Burano to Venice Fondamente Nuove. Walked back to the apartment from there.

Rested at the apartment for a bit, then headed out back to “our square”. This time we walked a little further to a restaurant on a canal called the Trattoria al Ponte Del Megio. The food was good, service a little slow though waiting for our bill, which we had to ask for a couple of times. Had lasagna, cotoletta and roast potatoes, veal al limone & veggies, and spaghetti with oil & garlic. With water and wine – 54 euros.

Back to the apartment to relax.

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5. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Friday June 14. Our last full day in Venice. :-( Went to catch the Vaporetto to Ca Rezzonico, but there was a strike. We walked there, but didn’t have our map and got lost a couple of times. Finally found it. We had been before but wanted to show older DS the old pharmacy (he wants to be a pharmacist), and the bust of the Veiled Woman by Corradini which is a sculpture both DH were mesmerized by the last time we were there. We couldn’t find it, so I asked one of the guards who told me it was in Padova being restored. That was too bad.

Stopped for lunch in a Piazza not far from the Rialto – forgot to jot down the name and the cost. I made an unfortunate choice of the gnocchi in cheese sauce. It was a starchy, gluey mess. Everyone else thought their meals were fine though.

After lunch, we went looking for a couple of stores to purchase specific souvenirs that the boys wanted. Older DS was looking for a watch, and we had passed by a jewellery store that had one in the window he liked, but the store was closed. When we went again today, it was still closed.

Younger DS wanted something from a Ferrari store we had passed by, but it too was closed. When we went again, there was a sticky note on the door that said “Back Soon”…only every time we went back, nobody was there.

We decided to walk over to San Marco to try our luck there. It turned out to be a very successful outing, as we found three stores in Piazza San Marco that each had something we were after. Firstly, there was a big Ferrari store, so younger DS got his hat. Next, there was a store that sold Christmas ornaments of Santa on a gondola. We bought one 5 years ago, but it didn’t survive our trip home. We bought a replacement this time and had it well packaged, and thankfully it arrived back home in one piece.

Finally, we found a watch for DS. He had saved up some money, and he wanted a watch that had Murano glass on it. Every place we looked in on Murano sold only women’s watches, with very flowery glass pieces on the face, and they were cheaply made. I think we found the only Murano glass men’s watch made, in the store in San Marco. It was actually a really stunning watch, made by a local and sold only in that store, and appeared to be of decent quality. It was a fair bit more than DS had, so we agreed to cover the difference as his grade 8 graduation gift. I hope he has the watch for many years to come – it really is special.

We had one more thing on our list for the boys to experience – a gondola ride. So we found a big collection of gondolas with a slew of people ready to get in them, so we walked a little further over, and found a gondolier on his own. We confirmed the price (80 euros for 40 minutes), and then got in. So the gondolier then took us down into the big clump of gondolas we had just passed earlier. :-) There was quite a traffic jam at first, but after we made our way through it, it was a really great ride. I think with the vaporetto strike, it also made the part of the trip on the Grand Canal a bit more calm. The kids loved it.

We wandered back to our apartment for a rest, then had dinner at the Pizzeria just around the corner from us (Ai Oche). We had a really enjoyable last dinner in Venice – pizza, pasta, fries, and DH and I each had mixed grilled meat with polenta. We had wine, water and soft drinks, and it was 75 euros.

After dinner, we headed back to the San Marco area to find an internet café we had seen at Campo di Fava, as we wanted to print out our boarding passes. Internet cafes are hard to find in Venice!! We arrived at 9:00 p.m., and it unfortunately had closed at 7:30.

So we capped off our night with some gelato near the Rialto bridge then back to the apartment to pack.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Saturday, June 15. We tidied up, packed and left the apartment at 10:00. Our plan was to catch the Vaporetto dell’Arte to Piazale Roma, but it didn’t show up. We waited a fair while for another, as the vaporettos were all packed, but we eventually gave up and just had to catch one of the busy ones. We arrived at Piazale Roma and the plan was to store our luggage and spend our last few hours enjoying Venice. Bought our bus tickets to the airport, and then went to baggage check. It was full. So we thought we’d drag our luggage across the bridge and over to the train station to store it there. We did that, then reached the huge line up at baggage check there and realized we’d be waiting forever to check it, and then have to wait forever again to claim it.

So we dragged our luggage down the street from the train station and stopped for lunch at the first available place with seating in the shade. It was already very hot that day. Had our final meal, then dragged our luggage back to the bus and headed to the airport.

I was sad to leave Venice, as it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. It was also too bad our plans didn’t quite work out to have a few more hours there. :-(

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7. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

If I ever win millions in a lottery I'm hiring you as my guide for Venice! I only spent a few hours in Venice many years ago so I enjoyed your report immensely... grazie!

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8. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

we are leaving tomorrow for Montegrotto terme and will spend a few days back and fourth to Venice , I enjoyed reading your trip report ..thank you..

manchester
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9. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

I enjoyed reading your fantastic report. We leave for Venice on Monday, can't wait, so excited. Thank you

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10. Re: Extremely Long Trip Report - June 2013

Do put this report on the thread at the top of the Venice forum, Reviews Past Present etc,