An August 2000 trip
to Venice by kimca
Quote: Venice is a city doused in water colors-the building in their soft pastel pinks and yellows reflected in the glow of the sun sinking into the sky behind the canals.
Some might say that Venice has been taken over by tourists but no one can deny that it is possibly one of the most unique cities in the world.
Eat in an authentic Italian trattoria. Soak up the sounds, sights and smells of Italy and watch the people go by. Have a glass of Italian wine and congratulate yourself of having the great idea to visit Italy.
Find an out of the way bridge over a canal to watch the sunset. Have a gelati and enjoy the scenery.
You can watch the gondolas drift down the canals for free. You might even catch one serenading someone, which is nice and won't cost you a cent.
No one that I have ever spoken to has totally raved about it so I would save your money for a romantic dinner out.
Do get a good map right away. Venice is an extremely confusing city to navigate and you will definatly need a map.
You can take the vaporetto if you get tired of walking. A vaporetto is a water ferry that transports people from stop to stop. Tickets cost 6,000 lire per trip. It is possible to get a 10 ticket book for 50,000 lire if you feel you will be using it alot.
Personally, I feel a lot safer on foot. The amount of people they cram on those buckets of bolts is enough to make me a little nervous!
Water taxis (speedboats) are also available but are very expensive.
We decided to go with the cheapest accomodations we could find, which was Casa Gerotto. We were a bit nervous as the places that are the least expensive usually leave a bit to be desired.
Casa Gerotto was a welcome surprise. Our double room was plain but clean. It was the last room at the end of the hall and the window looked out into a backyard area. The room contained a double bed, small wardrobe and, thankfully, a fan.
The bathroom we shared on our floor was cleaned once a day in the mornings. There was never a wait for the shower, and there was never a problem with the facilities.
Casa Gerotto is located in a central spot. You can walk to restuarants or sights, and there is a vaporetto station close by. It is a few minutes walk to the train station, which is very handy.
However, Casa Gerotto is a bit tricky to find. There is a doorway between a resturant and a book store with a sign that identifies it. When you are following the map along Campo San Geremia, look for the bookstore in a small square with a water fountain.
Our room was a reasonable $77 Canadian a night ($50 US), and we found it to be a good value for the money.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 10, 2001
Campo San Geremia 238
71 53 61
I was pleasantly surprised, however. The food was tasty and they had a good variety of pasta, pizza and fish. I had the margarita pizza which I enjoyed, but then again I have yet to eat bad pizza in Italy. The pizza was about $6; however, the other things on the menu were a bit more. A "catch of the day" meal might cost you $12 or $13 dollars, which for Venice is still very reasonable.
There are two floors-an upstairs area as well as a smaller downstairs layout. Both are fine but for a large group, you may want to sit upstairs.
If you take the vaporetto to the restaurant, you will want to get off at the Accademia stop.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2001
Taverna San Trovaso
+39 520 3703
Attraction | "Piazza San Marco"
Most likely you will find it by following the "Piazza San Marco" signs tacked on to the sides of buildings. Maybe, however, you will be like us-try to follow the signs, get lost, give up, then stumbled upon it!
(Venice can be like that at time, just when you are about to give up, it gives you a reprieve.)
Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale which lie inside Piazza San Marcos are two of Venices most historic sites. The Bastilica is beautifully ornate and the aritechure and detail are not to be missed. You will be drawn in by the domes and arches, an impressive sight that oversees the square.
You will see the Campanile as well, the bell tower that replaced the one that collapsed in 1902. It took 10 years to rebuild but now draws thousands of visitors daily. Climb to the top to see an outstanding view of the city. Some say on a clear day you can see the Alps...
Piazza San Marco is also the location which holds the yearly Carnival parade. Hundreds of people wearing bright, decorative masks stream into the piazza for this event. Muscians, acrobats and mimes all turn out to perform in what is turning into one of Italy's largest parties.
There are many cafes in this area as well, where you can sit and drink (expensive) lattes and watch other tourists feed the pigeons that hover in the square.
Chances are if you are in Venice, you will visit Piazza San Marco. Enjoy it while you are there-and don't forget to bring your camera!
St. Mark's Square/Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
You can buy your produce off large docked boats in the canals-ripe red tomatos or sweet, juicy grapes piled high waiting for you to take them away. Point to what you want and they will weigh your fruits and vegetables for you. They don't encourage you to touch the goods-if you get a bad look or string of angry Italian, don't say I didn't warn you!
If you want a traditional Italian breakfast, buy yourself a cornetto (croissant) that is filled with jam. Add a strong coffee and you are ready to start your day.
For lunch, pick up fresh bread, cheeses and meats from their perspective sections of the store and create homemade panini (sandwiches) to eat in on a park bench. If you don't speak Italian, don't worry. Point at what you want and use meno di (less of-pronounced mayno dee) or piu di (more of-pronouced peeoo dee) to get your point across.
You don't want to come home without bottles of pure, green olive oil.
They make great souvenirs and often the olive oil is pressed from olive groves nearby. We lugged 4 large bottles home in unique glass bottles. You will be able to purchase flavored olive oils as well. Pepper olive oil is always a popular way to give your food a little zing.
You will also find rows upon rows of dried pasta you can bring home as well. Many of the shapes and colors are unique to Italy and you won't find them in your local grocery store. The Italian pasta tends to be a bit thicker and the local flours and water they use makes it extrememly tasty!
Helpful Italian to make your shopping easier
How much is it? Cosa é questo? (Pronounced KWAN-toe COAST-ah)
Coffee Caffe (Pronounced cah-FEH)
Wine Vino (Pronouces VYH-noh)
Bread Pane (Pronouced PAH-neh)
Chicken Pollo (Prounounced POLL-oh)
Beef Bistecca bee-STEK-ah (Pronouned bee-STEK-ah)
Fish Pesce (Pronounced PESH-eh)
Salad Insalata (Pronouced een-sah-LAH-tah)
Fruit Frutta (Prounounced FrW-ttah)
Ice Cream Gelato (Prounounced gel-LAT-toe)
Wanting to get away from the crowds, we picked a street and started following its winding canals. Weaving in and out of alleys that seemed to lead to nowhere, we found ourselves in a residental area of Venice.
The buildings were an array of solid colors but the paint was chipping and the colors were faded. From an apartment somewhere, we could hear the strains of a radio playing, the announcer alternating music with news.
From another window, sounds of an Italian mother talking to her family and smells of dinner cooking wafted into the air and settled around us.
We perched on a small stone bridge that crossed a canal, watching the sun slip lower into the sky. The cool rocks pressed against our legs, our feet dangling below. The colors, bright oranges and pinks of the skyline reflected down into the water, casting slivers of light onto the nearby buildings.
An old Italian man walking his dog approached us, wishing us a Buona Notte (good evening) as he passed and flashing us a toothless grin. He looked towards the sunset, nodded and continued on his way.
The sun finally faded and the mother shut her windows, chilled in the night air. In preparation for the night ahead, someone switched off the radio, leaving the silence to echo in the shadows.
We left then, in the darkness, leaving our bridge, our canals to the city of lovers.
Victoria, British Columbia