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Gisela Beckermann | vividturtle
Aug 27th 2010 at 10:47 AM
Italy is full of American Tourists (and French, Canadians, British, German, Dutch, you name it) who love the Italian lifestyle, the culture, the sightseing and the art. It seems nobody can ever get enough of it.
Including of course myself. I have been to Italy many times over the years and always loved it and especially Venice has always been one of my dream vacation spots. There is nothing like it in the world.
This time around I am spending a week in Venice, my absolute favorite city in Italy. Its unique, crowded, even at this time of the year, yet it has a special place in my heart.
We are walking a lot, which is fun in Venice, walking through the tiny alleys, and getting lost is part of the adventure and the charm of this city, built on water. And of course, we are taking the waterbuses (vaporettos) which run just like a subway system, except they are ships mostly packed with locals and tourists alike. The views in Venice are best taken in from the canals. The Grand Canal is extremely busy, Gondolas, Waterbuses, Watertaxis, boats transporting goods, private yachts.
Even ferries and larger ships. And then of course, there are the large cruise ships docked along the piers bringing loads
of more tourists into the city.
Venice is expensive and the Euro against the Dollar makes things worse. So we rented an apartment for the week which gives us a much better value than staying in a small hotel room so typical for Italy. Our apartment is a newly renovated 2 bedroom with kitchen/living area in the Castello District, about 7 minute walk to Saint Mark's Square, a quiet neigborhood, mostly residential it seems. There is no elevator in the building, so be prepared to walk stairs or ask for an apartment on the lower floors.
We stayed at the CorteNovaResidences. There are 11 apartments accomodating parties of 2-5, all nicely decorated and recently updated. TV's (only in Italian) WiFi available. I'd go again in a flash, so that means, I recommend it.
There is a supermarket right around the corner and we have our breakfast "at home" before we embark on our daily sightseing tours around Venice and Murano. A flooded Saint Marks Square and everybody is walking on elevated planks around the square, the tide floods the square nearly every morning this time of year. The crowds are waiting patiently to get into St. Mark's Church.
Of course I've been spoiled by living too long in the U.S. where the service in shops and restaurants is so much better than in Europe and especially much better than in Venice, but all in all we try to be a nice as possible to the shopkeepers and mostly that works, even if they are at times a little short with us. I just keep telling myself "how would I be dealing with this on a daily basis?"
Today, I want to talk about food in Italy and of course specifically Venice. Frankly, I believe, that there is much better Italian Food around in New York, San Francisco or Chicago than in most cities in Italy. The regular food in Italy is kind of boring at times and if you do not know where to go, its even harder to find a decent meal at a decent price. So we prepared our breakfast at the apartment, had plenty of fresh fruit and snacks at our place and only went out for dinner at night. This saved us quite some money too.
Here are some of the restaurants in Venice that we found and liked:
Ristorante Pizzeria Rosa Rossa, near the Teatro Fenice (closed on Wednesdays)
San Marco 3709, 30124 Venezia, Italy - Tel: 04-1523-4605
We enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. (Pizza and Pasta)
Ostaria a la Campana, near the Rialto Bridge (closed on Sundays)
Calle dei fabbri 4720, San Marco, Venezia
We enjoyed it so much, we went there twice.
Family style food. Excellent.
The best recommendation we received was a total gem:
Trattoria da'a Marisa, Fondamenta San Giobe, Carnaregio,
652 Chuiso, Tel: 041-720211
3 generations of women run this very small place near the
jewish quarter. It's quite a way to get there (take the watertaxi). Hardly any tourists
here and I recommend you let the hotel staff make your reservation in Italian.
8 course meal with all the wine you want to drink for Euro 35 per person. We could not believe it, and everything was superb. It seems they are mostly catering to the
local crowd, but if you have the time, go check it out. And by the way: You eat
what they are cooking that night, no choosing from a menu. REAL Italian style.
So those were the places we really liked.
Here is a place to avoid, it was overpriced and bad.
Alla Rivetta da Lino
Castello 4625, Venezia, Tel: 04-1528-7302
Whatever you do, make it a point to include Venice, Italy as your dream vacation.
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