Venice - City of Romance (22 December 2007)

11:58 PM

22 December 15:20. The train from Florence to Venice St Lucia took about 2 and half hour. Do take note that the ticket you bought is to Venice St Lucia. There is a stop at the Venice mainland, Mestre. If you are going to Venice the island, the train station is Venice St Lucia.

From Mestre, the train will pass through the sea into Venice Island. The scenery was nothing spectacular, but seeing the island appearing into the view, it was really giving us excitement.. Excited that we are in Venice!!


We reached Venice around 15:30. We were a bit a bit lost when we out of the station. What we saw were canals, bridges and boats. No bus, no cars... that's Venice!


Our hotel is in the Cannaregio. It is in the northern part of Venice island. It appears to be near to the train station, but with big luggages and in Venice where there are lots of bridges, it is quite troublesome.

We followed the route, walked for 20 minutes to reach our hotel, Hotel Tre Archi. Hotel Tre Archi is near the end of Cannaregio. Cannaregio is less crowded and off the main road. Due to it is not along the popular track, restaurants, hotels and shops tend to offer a better rate.

We didn't really like Hotel Tre Archi. We stayed there for two nights, but for the first night we were given to a very small room with terrace. We believed it is a single room, but changed to a twin room by putting two single beds inside. Not enough space to put luggage, and door was blocked by the bed.
We went out to explore Venice after we checked in. If you are looking to buy mineral water, there is one big supermarket near Rialto selling at better price. The supermarket name is Billa.
It is very rare to have one in Venice. The mineral water sold here is cheaper than in Florence or Rome.

Venice is quite easy to explore. There is one main route from St Lucia train station to Piazza St Marco. This route is always full of people. Get a map from hotel, the main route is stated in the map. You can do without map if you just follow the crowd. If you plan to wonder around, map is important.

There are many shops along the main route, selling souvenirs, masks, leather goods, clothes, vegetables, fruits, etc. We were so busy shopping for sourvenirs. Venice is famous for glass. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate and skilfully made. You will be amazed and spoilt with choice.
You will also impressed with the choices of colourful masks on sale.



As we heard about the restaurants in Venice are expensive, and certain restaurant charging customer ridiculously high, especially in St Marco. Dining in Venice, there will be service charge and cover charge if you dine in. So, we planned to have our dinner in Cannaregio where cheaper restaurant can be found. We managed to find one very good restaurant which offered set menu with price stated clearly outside the restaurant and no extra charges.


The design of the restaurant was not spectacular, but it was very comfortable. The waiter was very friendly and helpful. We were delighted to find this restaurant.


Now, the menu in Venice is much different from Florence or Rome. Venice is an island, so it is famous for seafood.
If you plan to take Venetian food, there are many nice choices to try. One of it is Squid-Ink Pasta.
We ordered a Squid-Ink Pasta set menu and Mussel Pasta. The squid-ink pasta was something adventurous but proved right choice. It was tasty although the pasta is black in colour.

If you don't mind the 'ugly' look, do try it out. The second dish was fish cake. The fish was fresh and something special.
One set menu which contains pasta, second dish and salad, mussel pasta and a bottle of birra
(or water) cost only EUR23. It was quite reasonable.


To our disappointment, we overheard that the restaurant will close starting 23 December for 5 days. We actually wanted to try some other Venetian dishes, but guess we will have to find other restaurant.


It was getting dark. We hurried our way towards Rialto Bridge. The streets were full of tourists. The streets were well decorated with lights. Venice has many canals, the main canal is known as Grand Canal. We needed to cross many bridges from one place to another. It was different experience. Off from the main street, lies the back street, except it was water instead of road.




It was always mesmerizing to stop and admired the water, the dim light and the Venetian buildings. The dark night somehow made the beauty of Venice more appealing.

The lights, the reflection, the water and the tranquilness of the night made Venice very romantic.


As we approaching Rialto Bridge, the road getting crowded, the environment getting more vibrant. Pubs and restaurants with large crowds. Rialto Bridge is one of the most happening area in Venice.



Rialto Bridge is on Grand Canal of Venice. There is a Rialto market in the eastern bank of the canal. That is where the bridge got its name.

Along the bank of Rialto Bridge, there are restaurants, pubs and hotels. There are water taxi stops along the canal too. The view, as seen from picture above, is great. Florence offers peace and transquility, Venice offers vibrant, lively and yet romancing.

We went back to hotel to rest after hanging around Rialto Bridge...

Tomorrow.. cruising the Grand Canal...

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