We are off again to Venice, our last stop in Italy. We took a taxi from the B&B to the train station (about one hour from B&B in Sorrento), then took the train to Bologna and a connecting train to Venice. As I am writing this we are on the train. I have some apprehension what will happen when we get ot Venice. There is no transportation set up for us, supposedly the hotel is walking distance from the train station. If there is one thing I have learned in Italy is walking distance to Italians does not seem be the same to Americans. Supposedly our hotel is near the train station.
Once we arrived in Venice we realized everything was pretty nearby, you just have to cross the canals. There are walking bridges…with lost of steps. We find a bridge nearby and our hotel is very close once we lug our luggage across the bridge. The hotel is OK, but they try to put us in their annex. This was just about enough for me. I felt like we were in the slums and the room was someone’s dorm room. I complained. I was so taken aback that any hotel would put anyone in this room. After much discussion with the manager at the front desk we were finally offered a room in the main hotel, but had to pay an upgraded price (it was deminimis). I was not thrilled, but at that point I would have paid anything not to be in the annex…I was pretty sure finding another room would not have been an easy task in Venice.
Needless to say, you pretty much walk everywhere in Venice or you take a water taxi, which by the way are not luxurious. The taxis can be pretty jam packed and standing is typically necessary, but it was a fairly easy way to get around. Not all taxis are crowded, I am pretty sure it depends on the time and location you are traveling to on the taxi that dictates how crowded the taxi will be.
We took a tour in Venice also. If there was a tour I was going to skip, this would have been the one, although we never would have likely seen this party of Venice but for looking for the tour. The tour included a walking tour through the streets of Venice and the Doges Palace. You could split the tour and only do one part. For us, I would have skipped the Doges Palace, considering we were just in Rome and saw so much there, the Doges Palace was not as much of a “wow” for us. I do not recommend taking the free Murano glass tour they pretty much offer you everywhere. You are on a rather cramped boat for a good 30 minutes just to get the factory to see glass blowing for about 5 minutes. The rest is a shopping visit where you can buy some of the Murano glass at discounted rates.
Disappointingly, this was my least favorite place for food. We only had one good meal here and this was from a bakery that made the best Caprese sandwich. The problem in Venice is, I am guessing, unless you are a resident, it is almost impossible to find the same restaurant twice unless it is on the main canal, so we were never able to get back to that bakery.
We, of course, took a gondola ride. Our gondolier was great. He could not have been more fun, entertaining and informative. He willingly answered all of Lightning’s questions. We had this set up ahead of time and I do recommend scheduling one. There are gondoliers pretty much everywhere, however, there does seem to be a wait at most locations for a gondolier to be free. Scheduling one through your hotel or when you pass by one setting one up for later might save you some time.
Before we left we even found a playground in Venice among the streets and waterways. I was surprised we were pretty much the only ones there. Honestly, we did not see a lot of local children or children in Venice. This isn’t to say this is not a city for children, Lightning enjoyed the city, but it definitely did not appear to be a city that catered to entertainment for children. There a lot of shops in Venice for the the adults. All in all, Venice was not my favorite part of Rome and ironically it was one of Lightning’s favorite places that she wants to go back to one day.