My trip to Venice was so amazing. It was busy and relaxing and I had some really memorable experiences. It will be hard to blog about all the things I have experienced in the past few days, so I will just try and get to the highlights. This is part one.
On Sunday (December 16) I took the train from Trieste to Venice. It was a nice two hour train ride. After leaving the train I hopped on the vaporetto and headed to Venice. My hotel provided excellent directions and I made it there easily. On a recommendation from a friend I stayed at Hotel Mercurio. It was the perfect place for me. Just around the corner from the Fenice Theater and minutes from St. Mark’s square. I had a nice small, comfortable room with breakfast included.
After checking into the hotel and getting my bearings, I went out exploring. Many people had told me to “just get lost”, so I did. I wandered around the streets in the San Marco and Rialto neighborhoods. Taking pictures and taking in the sites, sounds and the cold! I was getting very cold (it was a big change from the warm desert to the European cold) so I stopped in an osteria to get a drink to warm up. I noticed many gondoliers in this osteria so decided I had to check it out. The staff was very friendly and my glass of local white wine cost me 1 Euro. I really liked the place, and in fact went back multiple times.
I went back out to explore after getting warmed up and then decided it was time for some dinner. I headed back toward my hotel looking for something to eat. I have been reading the book The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt and I wanted to check out some of the established eateries he talks about in the book. One of these places is Antico Martini and upon arriving I saw that they offer gluten free noodles! I was sold. After a delicious dinner at Antico Martini I headed back to my hotel to get ready for the following day.
On Monday morning, I met up with a semi-private tour that I’d pre-booked. We toured the Palazzo Ducale and the neighborhood known as the Jewish ghetto. After the tour I stopped in a cafe for some delicious hot chocolate to get warm. After I was warm, I headed back toward St. Mark’s square to try and find a good lunch place. I ended up back at Osteria da Baco and had a delicious panini.
I then headed to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and the Accademia bridge area. The museum was really interesting. I saw some nice art and put a wish on the wish tree (which was given in Peggy’s honor by Yoko Ono).
After the museum I wandered around St. Mark’s listening to Rick Steve’s podcast and learning about the square. I stopped at Harry’s Bar, the home of the Bellini, and had the signature drink. I checked out some shops and then headed off to find some dinner. Then to bed. Because the next morning I had my gondola rowing lesson and I needed my beauty rest!