Venice Journals

Amazing Venice

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A March 2001 trip to Venice by Mary Porcher

Best Western Hotel Cavalletto and Doge Orseolo Photo, Venice, Italy More Photos
Quote: This journal is created to be a planner's dream. Site ratings will help you prioritize, and planning and internet tips will help you research. Venice is my favorite city, full of love and life and amazing art...

Amazing Venice

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Overview

Bridges Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Trying to fit in all of the sites on our itinerary was a fun and daunting challenge, but we managed it. I can't believe how many memories we made in only four days...staring from the balcony of the Ca'D'Oro over the canal, kissing while walking down a quiet street. Wow. Walking this city left my legs sore and my eyes in shock - every street is beautiful in a different way. It makes getting lost almost fun. Among my favorite sites was the ...Read More

Best Western Hotel Cavalletto and Doge Orseolo

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Hotel | "Hotel Cavelletto & Doge Orseolo"

Best Western Hotel Cavalletto and Doge Orseolo Photo, Venice, Italy
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This hotel is located right next to the square, across a quaint stone bridge. The outside is golden yellow, and most rooms are on the canal. Our room was three stories up and overlooked a small street. It was not spacious, but was very romantic with a pretty glass chandelier, rich green curtains, and small cute tables. The shower was American style, though the bathroom was a bit smaller than the average American one. We had a stocked minibar with very reasonably priced items.The hotel features marble stairways, elevators, gold and glass doors (which are a bit narrow and sometimes difficult to get in and out of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Best Western Hotel Cavalletto and Doge Orseolo
Piazzo San Marco 1107
Venice, Italy 30124
39-041-5200955

Caffe Florian

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Restaurant

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Average Rating – 7This cafe was full of tourists, there’s no doubt. The walls are covered with paintings that are covered by glass or plastic. At first, they look magnificent, but after sitting down, they begin to look a bit cheap. The chairs and couches have an antique look and feel. The small tables are crowded into tiny tea rooms, where you can order a full lunch or dinner, or you can just have coffee and enjoy the view.I ordered the English tea for a snack/late lunch, and my husband ordered a club sandwich. We both really enjoy the meal, which came on a huge silver tray that was larger than our small marble table! The English tea came with scones, jam, and four small sandwiches. I...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Caffe Florian
Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy
+39 041 5205641

Da Ignazio

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Restaurant

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Average Rating 6.2This restaurant has a convenient location in between Campo San Polo and the Frari, and at the same time is not touristy at all. When we were there for lunch, we were the only English speakers (including the staff, for the most part). The restaurant is quaint, small, and quiet, with bright sunny yellow walls and fresh flowers on the tables. Unfortunately, our waiter was having a bad day and was not very nice. He had the meanest look on his face! The service was typically slow (they really like you to take your time in Italy!), but the food was very good. My husband and I split the pasta with crab for two, which was creamy and delicious. My mother had a very good salad and so...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Da Ignazio
Calle Dei Saoneri, 2749 San Palo
Venice, Italy
+39 041 523-4852

Ristorante Eden’s Tea Room

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Restaurant

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Average Overall Rating: 4.6The sign "American Tea Room" gives this very basic tea room with wooden tables and mirrored walls away. It’s not your stop for the Italian experience, but it is the perfect spot to sit down and rest with a cup of hot tea. The waiter was friendly but was not very present – he could be seen chatting with the cook, because we were the only customers here at around 2:00PM. A quick cappuccino here will cost you $7, which is probably average around the square.Ratings 1-10 (10 is "divine" and 0 is "despicable")AVERAGE: Drink 5.3, Atmosphere 2.5, Service 6Jason: Atmosphere 3, Service 5Mom: Drink 7, Atmosphere 3, Service 8Mary: Drink 6, Atmosph...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Ristorante Eden’s Tea Room
On the Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy

Ristorante Al Colombo

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Restaurant

Ristorante Al Colombo Photo, Venice, Italy
Quote:
Average Rating: 8.5We had our best meal in Venice here, where there were beautiful paintings on the wall, fresh daisies on the table, native customers (we were the only tourists), and English music playing in the background (Cher, Phil Collins, etc). We finally discovered that authentic restaurants which are frequented by Italians often play American and English music. We couldn’t decide whether they did this for the tourists or not, but a friendly Italian waiter told us that real Italians want to hear American music. Only Americans want to hear those stereotypical Italian songs. LOL! We still have a feeling that Italia...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Ristorante Al Colombo
4619 San Marco
Venice, Italy
+39 (041) 422-2627

Santa Maria Dei Miracoli

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Attraction

Santa Maria Dei Miracoli Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating: 5.3, Time to Allot: 30 minutes

This was an optional site that we managed to fit in, but we were pretty disappointed with it. It is a small marble church with a relatively simple altar and design. It’s pretty, quiet, and empty, so it’s a nice stop in to get away from the mob. But I would only suggest visiting if you are in the area or have a bit of free time.

Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")
Jason: 5 Mary 5 Mom 6

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Santa Maria Dei Miracoli
Calle delle Erbe, Castello, Phone 041-523-5293,
Venice, Italy

Rosa Salva

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Attraction

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Here you will find scrumptious chocolates and cakes that are reasonably priced, a delicious Italian chocolate shop. I purchased a variety of treats to take back to my hotel, and it only cost me about $10. They spoke no English at all, which was nice. I got to try out some very basic Italian and point a lot. Definitely stop by if you’re in the neighborhood and have a sweet spot for chocolates. Oh, and try the white layered cake, out of this world. Most of the little cakes have different types of liqueur or flavorings in them. Yum! We didn’t find a place like this in Florence, so don’t miss your chance at real Italian delights.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Rosa Salva
Campo S. Luca
Venice, Italy

Basilica di S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

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Attraction | "Santa Maria Gloriosa Dei Frari"

Basilica di S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating – 9, Estimated time to allot – 1 hour, Cost $1.50This church taught us an important lesson. You can be the best planner in the world and use the most up-to-date resource and still find yourself in a predicament in Venice. When they say that the opening times are subject to change, they mean it! We walked a long ways to the Frari, only to discover that it is no longer open on Sundays. Because of this, we avoided anymore church visits on Sundays, even during "Visiting Hours." This is a wise move. Sunday is the first day to find its way off of the schedule for a church.Even if you have to walk here two different times, this church is worth the trip. The Frari is incr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Basilica di S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
S. Polo, 3072
Venice, Italy 30124
+39 0415222637

Museo della Fond. Scientifica Querini Stampalia

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Attraction | "Museo Querina-Stampalia"

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Average Rating 8.7, Estimated time to allot – 40 minutes, cost $6, Open 10AM – 1PM, 3-5PMA small, well-kept palace with some beautiful paintings and cultural and artistic pieces. What sticks out in my memory is the antique bedroom with beautifully decorated wood furniture and an amazing watercolor ceiling. There are wonderful marble floors, pillars along the walls, glass chandeliers, and busts also. This is a short visit that is well worth the trip and the time. I think it’s underrated!The great thing about this museum is that it’s open until 10PM on Friday and Saturday nights! There are not many to-do items in Venice that you can check off in the evening, so plan to see it on one...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Museo della Fond. Scientifica Querini Stampalia
Castello, 4778
Venice, Italy 30135
+39 0412711411

Basilica of St. Mary/Santa Maria della Salute

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Attraction | "Santa Maria Della Salute"

Basilica of St. Mary/Santa Maria della Salute Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating: 6.3, Estimated time to a lot: 30 minutes to see the church more for the walkThis is the church that is so beautiful from the canal, with its shiny dome that you can see from so many places in Venice. The outside, in my opinion, is its best attribute. Oh, and the walk that you must take to get here from other parts of the island is fantastic. There are so many bridges and back streets to enjoy. The inside of the church was about average, maybe a little above average. When we talked about it, we all agreed that the walk and the view from the church steps were the best part of this little venture.Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Basilica of St. Mary/Santa Maria della Salute
Between Grand Canal and Bacino di San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
+39 0415225558

Doge's Palace/Palazzo Ducale

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Attraction | "Palazzo Ducale"

Doge's Palace/Palazzo Ducale Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating: 10, Estimated Time to allot: 2.5 hours, Cost $9 combined with Museo Correr

This palace stands head and shoulders above the rest of the attractions in Venice. My husband, my mother and I all agreed that it scores a perfect ten. The architecture, art, and history you’ll find here are stunning. Out of all of the things that we saw in Venice and Florence, we spent the most time here (even more than in the Ufizzi). My neck was getting sore from staring at the ceilings. The number and size of the paintings will blow you away – they cover the walls and ceilings. The floors are beautiful, and so is the carved wood of the chairs, benches, etc.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Doge's Palace/Palazzo Ducale
Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
+39 0415224951

Museo Correr

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Attraction

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Average Rating: 4.3, Estimated Time to allot: 1.5 hours, Cost $9 combined ticket with Palazzo DucaleThis museum is free if you plan on going to the Palazzo Ducale (and everyone should!). I think that’s why so many people see the Museo Correr. None of the three of us was that impressed with it. There are some nice paintings and random historical pieces here, but overall I would rate this one low on the priority list. If you have a day to spend in San Marco, I strongly suggest going to the Palazzo and Basilica first, then heading to the Museo if you have some time to kill and don't prefer a nap.Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")Jason: 4, Mary 5...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Museo Correr
Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
+39 0415225625

Saint Mark's Basilica

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Attraction | "Basilica Di San Marco"

Saint Mark's Basilica Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating: 8.7, Estimated time to allot: 30 minutes, Cost: Free plus $2 for the balconyEven in March, tourists were herded through here like cattle . It was the busiest and loudest basilica that we encountered. One way to get a moment away from the crowd is to head upstairs, where you’ll pay $2 for the lovely view of the frescoes and the square from the balcony. The $2 is definitely worth it to see the frescoes up close. It makes you appreciate the church a lot more. Also, the balcony is a nice photo opportunity. Overall, we did see some nicer basilicas, but this one is one of the few on which the façade and the interior matched in their design and level of beauty. The exterior is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Saint Mark's Basilica
Piazza San Marco
Venice, Italy 30124
+39 0415225205

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

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Attraction | "Scuolo Grande Di San Rocco"

Scuola Grande di San Rocco Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average Rating 9.1This was my favorite site in Venice, right up there with the Palazzo Ducale. Although it’s a small building to see, with only two large main rooms, the 50 Tintoretto paintings that cover the walls, ceilings, and stairways are magnificent. Stunning. Wonderful . The ceilings are so amazing that they provide mirrors to use for standing and looking at each piece on the ceiling (your neck gets cramped after a while). This site would be worth most any walk, and it bumps in front of all of the other sites in terms of priority. Definitely make time to stop in here. Jason gave it a lower rating because he thinks in terms of cost/benefit. In his eyes, two rooms aren’t worth $4...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Campo S. Rocco,
Venice, Italy 30125
+39 0415234864

Ca'D'Oro

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Attraction

Ca'D'Oro Photo, Venice, Italy
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Average rating: 6.2, Estimated time to a lot: 1 hour, cost: $3We read somewhere that this was a lovely palace that was built by a man for his love, and it was later restored and given as a gift to the city. The palace has a lovely view of the canal, but that’s about all that is stunning about it. It’s rather small, and so is the collection of art. They do have some lovely sculptures of all types and sizes, but it doesn’t boast of any pieces that are breathtaking. For the cost, the Ca’D’Oro is not a bad site to take in, but if it’s way out of your way, try the other major sites first. There are a few nice ceilings, but ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2001

Ca'D'Oro
3933 Cannaregio
Venice, Italy
041/5238790

Quote:
We arrived here on a sunny Sunday morning and found, to our delight, that the gallery was not only open, but was free on Sundays. We opted out of purchasing the audio guide, and used our Venice Blue Guide instead. After climbing a large stairway, we entered a beautiful gallery. It was a bit dim inside, but the rooms were lovely. High, exquisitely painted ceilings graced rooms full of huge canvases - some of the largest I'd seen. This collection is all Venetian, and there are many Venice scenes from various time periods. Some were dark and dramatic, others light and romantic. All three of us rated this gallery 9/10. It is considered a must-see in Venice, and with very good reason. After seeing...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2002

Gallerie dell Accademia
Campo della Carita
Venice, Italy 30130
+39 (041) 5222247

Street View Photo, Venice, Italy
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After you leave customs, follow the crowd and look on your left hand side for tickets on the motoscafo to San Marco. For about $9, you can take a scenic water bus ride with all of your luggage. The boat is covered, large, holds lots of people, and it also has lots of windows. The boat ride is about an hour, so with jet lag it gets a bit old, especially in the rain. But the scenery is beautiful. We took a water taxi when we left Venice, and we liked that much better. Of course, it costs a good bit more, but it’s much faster and is still scenic. All of these boats are covered and shielded from the elements. I would definitely recommend this transportation in favor of a land bus!Note: You...Read More

PLANNING GUIDE - tons of tools and tips

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Story/Tip

St. Mark's Square at the Canal Photo, Venice, Italy
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HELPFUL PURCHASESVenice FleximapGreat for getting around in the city, it's laminated and detailed enough to lead you anywhere.Venice Blue GuideForget about those annoying museum audioguides that set the pace for you and cost money. Buy a Blue Guide and you will not only know everything that is historically, architecturally, or artistically interesting about the city and its sights, but you'll also have room-by-room tour at the Academic Gallery."Destinations" Travel JournalA beautiful red leather travel journal that has a beautiful classic look. It has labeled pages for hotels, restaurants, sites, and ephemera. It also has a small pocket in the back that held...Read More