Hello and welcome back, today I want to talk about the city I have recently visited for the first time and that is by now the most amazing and fascinating city I have ever visited. Yes, as you can imagine from the title, I'm talking about weekend in Venice.
I've always heard people talking about Venice, how amazing and unique it is, it's canals , the gondole and the magic atmosphere. But to be honest I did not realized all these things until I was there, out of the train station. What I saw immediately astonished me, I wasn't prepared for that. It is really a city build in the water. You see these big open space out the station then the canal and in front of you amazing coloured buildings from another time. And you don't see a single car, just boats or vaporetti sailing the canal. Nothing I've seen before!
I had booked an hotel next to San Marco square. This was possible only because I went there immediately after the carnival so the prices were kind of affordable. Once out of the station I thought to get a (boat)taxi to get to the hotel. I quickly changed my mind after they told me the cost: 60€ ! I said thanks and asked where I can get a public transport, the vaporetto! The ticket office was very close so I bought the ticket with 7,5€ and waited for the boat number 1 on dock E. It took about half hour to get to San Marco stop, but the boat sailed the grand canal and passed the Rialto bridge, so I had the chance to have a look around. Even if it was raining I have no word to explain my feeling. Maybe it was like when I was a child and I saw something new for the first time, that kind of feeling. When you know that you are in front of something amazing you have never seen before. And I can tell you that experience this feeling is not usual for me at the age of 32. But this is Venice, a jaw-dropping place unique in the world.
NOTE: You can easily walk all the city,so even if it's raining, take your time to get lost in the city's narrow streets, and maybe you will see something special. I was crossing one of the 435 bridges, when suddenly I saw a gondola passing with a man standing up and singing while another man was playing accordion. Unfortunately I don't have any video, because I was captured by the moment and I just enjoyed it. Old fashion!
PLAYLIST: Since I'm a great Woody Allen's fan, here some songs from Everyone says I love you. Put this on your headphones and enjoy Venice!
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I booked the Violino d'oro hotel in San Marco. This because it was the first time ever for me in Venice and I found a reasonable price in the most famous part of the city. San Marco is a nice area, but there ate too many tourists, and for sure I won't stay here next time. It is nice to visit, but there are for sure better places where to stay. I would suggest San Polo orDorsoduro. here you won't find many torists (especially in Dorsoduro), moreover the neighborhoods are full of osterie and restaurants and 10 min far by walk from the city center.
Let me tell you a secret. Venice is very expensive. I knew that but now I can say I've touched it with my hands. It's easy to pay 50€ for a lunch, so look at the men before booking. Having said that, here my suggestions. When I arrived the first night it was raining hard, so I went out with my yellow umbrella looking for a restaurant. Close to my hotel in San Marco there is La Caravella. This is a small restaurant with a small bar next to it, it should be good (and expensive) but it's impossible to have a table without booking in advance. I read great reviews on this one, but unfortunately I had to keep on looking for a good and warm restaurant. After walking around the neighborhood I decided to stop at Tavernetta San Maurizio. It is a touristic restaurant masked as typical venetian. The food is nothing special and the price are a little under the average for the city. In conclusion go there only if you are nearby under heavy rain, otherwise there are may other better choice. Definitely a better choice was the restaurant where I had lunch on Saturday: Trattoria le antiche carampane. This is a real venetian! If you are looking for the typical tourist menu with lasagna and something similar, this is not the place for you, but if you want to enjoy amazing food in a nice and welcoming environment, well, you are in the right place!
If you are not willing to spend much money for food, you can have different options. Osterie, vinerie and bacari are what are you looking for. These are small places where you can enjoy a good glass of red wine (my favorite is Valpolicella ripasso, give it a try) and eat cicchetti. These are like Spanish tapas, but better. You can try Enoteca al Volto in San Marco, Naranzaria and Osteria Biancogiro in San Polo, and my favorite one Osteria al Squero. It is almost impossible to find a seat, the place is very small, but wine is great, you have many different delicious cicchetti for 1,2€ each!
NOTE: Better to reserve in advance. And if you are able to book a table at Osteria Antico giardinetto, let me know how did you make it! This should be amazing but they have only 6 tables.
Well this is hard. Venice is a city you enjoy the most during the day, don't expect a great and crazy nightlife. You can go from winery to winery drinking and eating something. Campo San Giacomo di Rialto is crowded in the weekend so this could be an option for the night (Osteria Biancogiro and Naranzaria are here). Another option could be having a drink on the terrace of the Skyline rooftop bar in Dorsoduro, it worth a visit. Apart from this I don't have something more to share for nightlife, I'll try to explore more next time.