Venice Journals

Magical Venice

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A June 2004 trip to Venice by dina4

Quote: If you've never been to Venice, it's everything wonderful you've ever heard... only better! It is romantic, beautiful, and alive. But most of all, it is a feast for all the senses.

Magical Venice

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Overview

Quote:
It's hard to believe, but our family of four (kids ages 11 and 14) got a wonderful taste of Venice in a little more than 24 hours. Of course, we would have loved to stay longer, but we chose activities that gave us a great sense of the city, so we left fairly satisfied. We stayed at a beautiful, centrally located hotel and had a lot of fun strolling through Venice's narrow pedestrian alleyways. Highlights included an unforgettable gondola ride at dusk, staying at the Westin Europa Regina, delicious meals, and the view from the campanile in St. Mark's Square. Quick Tips: Walk... walk... and walk some more. Venice is like an outdoor museum. Allow yourself to get a little lost, or perhaps...Read More

The Westin Europa and Regina

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Hotel | "Westin Europa Regina"

Quote:
Staying at the Westin Europa and Regina was everything we ever dreamed that Venice could be. First of all, it is right on the Grand Canal. If you don't mind a splurge, you can take a water taxi directly to the hotel, or (if you don't mind lugging your luggage through Venice's narrow alleys and want to save a few euros) take the vaporetto to the stop about 2 blocks away. The service from the moment we arrived was outstanding. We were given adjoining rooms on the 2nd floor overlooking the Grand Canal. (We are a family of four, and it is nearly impossible to get a room for four in Italy!) If you can, ask for these rooms--105 and 106! The rooms were so big (a shock for Europe!) and so gorgeous ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

The Westin Europa and Regina
SAN MARCO 2159
Venice, Italy 30124
39-041-240-0001

Quote:
Several friends recommended this restaurant to us, and we tried it for lunch without reservations. We were warmly welcomed, and although the atmosphere was a bit bright and cheesy, we LOVED everything we put into our mouths. The pastas were all divine, and the caprese salad was heavenly. The house wine was delicious, as well. It was our first meal in Italy, and we will definitely eat there again.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

Trattoria alla Madonna
Calle della Madonna San Polo 594
Venice, Italy
041-5223824

Osteria de Franz

Restaurant

Quote:
We had a lovely dinner at Osteria de Franz while exploring the beautiful Castillo area of Venice. The walk to the canalside restaurant from the vaporetto stop is lots of fun, because you feel as if you're walking through a residential neighborhood instead of one of the most tourist-filled cities in the world! They were not ready for us at the time of our 10pm reservation, so they gave us some champagne and appetizers while we waited. The service was very friendly, and we ate under the moonlight overlooking a lovely canal! The food was absolutely delicious, although the portions were not generous. Afterwards, we walked all the way back to St. Mark's Square along the Grand Canal. The moonlight on the wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

Osteria de Franz
Castillo Area
Venice, Italy

The Grand Canal

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Attraction | "A Gondola Ride"

Quote:
A gondola ride in Venice... Sounds like an overpriced tourist trap, I know. We almost didn't do it after we asked the price, but luckily came back later thinking this might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and that we'd be filled with regret when back in Los Angeles. Boy, were we glad we did! You can get started behind the Bauer Hotel, near St. Mark's Square. The gondoliers hang out there, waiting for customers. Our timing was perfect. The sun setting cast a beautiful light on the water and pastel-colored building around us. Our photographs were amazing! Our gondolier was friendly, informative, and funny. Although he didn't "sing" for us, he gave us so much interesting historical i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

The Grand Canal
Through the Central Districts
Venice, Italy

St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco

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Attraction | "Things to do in St. Mark's Square"

Quote:
Sure, there's no doubt you'll end up in St. Mark's Square while in Venice. And, yes, it's even more beautiful in person than it is in all the books. But if you're like us and you don't have a lot of time, there are three things you must do. First of all, buy some food and feed the pigeons. You won't be able to help giggling as the birds swarm around you! (It's also probably the cheapest thing you'll do during your stay!) Second, take the elevator to the top of the campanille. The view is AMAZING! You get a 360-degree view of the tiled rooftops and intricate canal system of Venice, as well as the surrounding sea and islands. It's a great place to take a breather and take it all in....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco

Venice, Italy 30124

Quote:
A great thing to do in Venice is take some time to veer away from the crowds and tourists and enjoy a local neighborhood. The Castillo area is a popular site to expore due to its wonderful "local" ambience despite its close proximity to St. Mark's Square. We took a vaporetto from St. Mark's to the Castillo area at dusk and enjoyed walking down the canals. It was wonderful to see ladies hanging their laundry on clostheslines, young people cruising on their boats on their way out on the town, and local kids running around the corners laughing. We had a delicious dinner at Osteria de Franz (see separate entry), and then enjoyed a 30-minute walk back to our hotel, which was...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005