Saturday 18 August 2012

A weekend in Venice- March 2012

Venice has always come highly recommended as a city break. It promises beautiful views, delicious food, lovely weather and plenty of history. A no-brainer when we chose our next weekend destination. We liked Rome, so why not Venice?

We arrived for a long weekend and the sun was there, waiting for us.Bellissimo! Venice airport is situated away from the centre of Venice, cut off by the Grand Canal. We were funnelled off with the other tourists to board theVaperetto (water boat). Now here’s something I didn’t know before leaving… it takes an hour and a half to actually get to the centre of Venice from the airport! Certainly not the worst way to start or end a holiday but worth bearing in mind when planning your flights…Arriving in Venice by boat was a good way to glimpse the sprawling city and get a taster for what our stay would be like.
If you pick up any guidebook, you will find that Venice is packed with are countless churches and piazzas. We enjoyed stumbling through these piazzas and getting lost in Venice’s maze of side streets, alleys and canals not knowing what we would find next. We had a vague sense of direction knowing whereSan Marcos’ square and the Rialto Bridge were but what lay in between started out as a mystery to us. We found picturesque bridges, spots to enjoy the water, lazy sun drenched piazzas where cafes served delicious bruschetta and the morning fish market where the fish and crabs were so fresh some were still gasping for their last breaths! I tasted delicious gelato and stuffed myself with meringues fresh from the patisseries. Ok so we ate a lot!! We spent three glorious days walking, eating, wandering off the beaten track and then finding ourselves at the heart of bustling centre just as quickly.
We stayed at Ca Alvise hotel which had a second building located right by St Marco’s square. A typically Italian hotel with rich decor and a comfortable clean room, we were impressed by the location and kept stumbling across it during the day.
My only watch outs for Venice would be: the extortionate Gondola rides (80 Euros for ½ an hour), the designer bag men touting their wares and the expensive cafes around St Mark’s square; walk an extra few minutes and you will find a cheaper place to stop!
Venice is now one of my favourite places and I will be telling everyone about it, I’ve come away with a full stomach, a few more freckles, a slightly dodgy knee and a smile. And, after all, that’s what you want from a weekend away isn’t it?

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