After 5 days in Florence enjoying the city, the food and the shopping, we ended our Italian trip in the perfect way with a 2 night stay in Venice.
We took an early morning train to Venice from Florence – a two hour trip which we slept through. On arriving at the Santa Lucia train station in Venice we dragged our bags and sleepily emerged from the station building. I can tell you, Venice knows how to make an impression, the scene outside the station is so beautiful that it gives you a jolt. The Grand Canal is right in front of the station with the water taxi’s bobbing up and down. Across the canal is a wall of beautiful buildings displaying the Byzantine architecture Venice is famous for. Sleep vanished in a second as we joined the rest of the crowd taking iphone pictures of the beautiful scene.
We took a water taxi to our hotel the JW Marriott situated on the island known as Isola Delle Rose. We checked in to the hotel and spent 2 days enjoying Venice.
Below is a guide to my stay in Venice.
Things to do: I think it is important to get lost in Venice. Wander around the narrow streets and sightsee the glorious and opulent architecture. Without knowing where we were going we would stumble upon churches, museums, bridges, palazzos. The aimless walking is the best way to appreciate this unique city.
Take a gondola ride. The city sets the rate 80 euros for 40 minutes. The gondolier takes you to the backwaters, quieter canals, tells you a bit about the history of the city and if you are lucky sings to you.
Take the time to stand in line to enter St. Marks Basilica. No matter what time of year you go to Venice the city is always crowded. Therefore there is always a line outside St. Marks Basilica on St. Marks Square. The paintings, mosaics and fresco’s inside the church are beautiful. The church closes around 5pm, we found if you stand in line towards the end of the day the line moves quicker as the door men want to let as many people in as possible before closing.
Eat: CoVino www.covinovenezia.com is a small 20 seater restaurant with a delicious three course set menu and a charismatic, a little bit eccentric host who can charm anyone. His first question as you take your seat is, would you like organic procecco?
The small hole in the wall bars scattered around the city are charming and the best way to enjoy them is standing up drinking an expresso or eating a small sandwich. Not only is this cheaper but you are more likely to rub shoulders with the locals.
Stay: The JW Marriott Venice www.marriott.com was completed in March 2015. Therefore we were some the hotels first guests. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to take guest to St. Marks Sqaure at the historical center of Venice. Boats leave every 15 minutes with service ending at 1 PM. Even though construction is still going on, the buildings and gardens that are finished are beautiful. The rooftop of the hotel provides a fantastic view of the Venetian skyline.
In case you have not guessed, I love Italy. I could go there every year. There is so much to see a lifetime is not enough. I can’t wait for the next trip.