Venice, Italy – The Not Yet Sunken City

gondolieri venice canal grande

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Day 1

Never knowing what to give to your husband for his birthday, we had agreed ages ago that we would go away for his birthday weekend. Neither of us had ever been to Venice and we didn’t want to go in the summer as it can get very hot and smelly, therefor we decided his birthday weekend would be perfect.
I had chosen to book a room at the Hilton Molino Stucky, which looked very promising with it’s roof top pool and it’s location in an old flour mill. Unfortunately it proved to be a very disappointing choice, pretty much everything seemed to go wrong during our stay there.
When we arrived at the airport we got a taxi to the closest water bus stop, just in time for the boat which took us to Guidecca island where Hilton Molino Stucky is located.
Hilton Molino stucky Hotel venice
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice room
Jerome didn’t want to leave the bed in the morning.
Venice canal grande architecture Dorsoduro
venice architecture house Guidecca
Guidecca tourist bakery shopping venice

venice guidecca boat ride

It took about fifteen minutes to get across, we passed some beautiful old buildings and many other boats and gondolieri. Jerome seemed to be excited to travel around like this.

Once we got close to San Marco square we could spot the masses of people…
san marco venice canal grande
gondolieri venice canal grande
gondolieri venice canal grande

We headed straight to San Marco, unfortunately we didn’t book any tickets for either Palazzo Ducal or Basilica de San Marco and the queues were so long that we decided to move on and explore the canals and enjoy the sunny weather instead.

Dodge palace venice san marco

Dodges palace venice san marco
san marco venice pigeons
The obligatory walk over Piazza San Marco surrounded by pigeons. It was a great place to watch the Viennese quartet play outside Cafe Florian while drinking one of their thick hot chocolate.

canal venice architecture

door canal venice

venice bridge canals house architecture

We loved wandering through the mesmerising maze of alleys, past crumbling palazzos, crossing over little bridges. We got lost in the sheer beauty of the architecture and the canals.

restaurant venice lunch bridge canal
We found a perfect lunch spot beside one of the canals, enjoyed an Aperol spritz and some yummy pasta.
venice travel with children
gelato ice cream venice
 When in Italy one must have gelato as a treat.
water taxi venice canal
Waiting for our boat ride back to Guidecca.
Guidecca architecture local housing
We got off at the far end off the island to explore the surrounding area a bit more. It was very different to see how the less fortunate population of Venice live, away from all the Pallazzos.
guidecca venice restaurant Trattoria Ai Cacciatori
Trattoria Ai Cacciatori was the perfect place to watch the sunset accompanied by a glass of fizz and some delicious local food. We sat right by the canal, watched the boats go by and the people going out for dinner or coming back after a long day exploring the city.
Sunset guidecca venice
Canal grande waves sunset venice

Day 2

Our original plan for Sunday was to go to Lido and spend the day on the beach as we were blessed with amazing weather. Unfortunately we tried to get onto one of the boats and found it impossible. We already were on at Zattere and  decided to stay this side of Venice and do some sightseeing here instead. First we headed along Fondamente Zattera to Punta Della Dogana, where we had a great view over to San Marco and on from there we strolled to Ponte della Academia.

San Marco tower venice seagull
boats gondolieri canal grande venice
Watching the water taxis and gondolas go by on Ponte Dell’Academia.
Gondolieri venice
water taxi venice canal grande
architecture canal grande venice palazzo
door venice architecture
venice architecture mary katranzou dress
venice sun iron ornamental door

venice church nuns

It being a Sunday lots of people and some nuns are heading to the many churches.It is visible everywhere how religious these parts of the world still are.

mary statue venice

religious picture shrine venice

window venice

restaurant canal venice

terrace restaurant venice

There’s no better place to stop for some food than being by the water. We had a lunch break at Ristorante Alle Zattere enjoying some Pizza but there are plenty of other options close by.

venice cruise ship
 While having lunch one of the huge cruise liners passed, steered by two guide boats one at the front, one at the back . I think I will never understand what makes people go on these ships, it’s our worst nightmare. Also I wonder if the cruisers know how damaging these ships are going though Venice.
souvenir venice san marco
Do you want to take some souvenirs back with you, there are plenty of opportunities, most of them unfortunately are overpriced and of poor quality.
venician mask shopping
souvenir shop venice

fruit vegetable stand venice

We definitely had a great time here in Venice and would love to come back sometime a bit earlier in the year when it’s less busy, as there were places we didn’t manage to see, like Lido and Burano. Having stayed at Hilton Molino Stucky and being so disappointed we would consider somewhere in San Marco or Dorsuduro. Jerome loved it, I can understand why some parents might not want to go with small children as it is very difficult if one needs a push chair, also there aren’t many parks or playgrounds and one has to watch little ones the whole time when being near the water.

Helpful websites for finding your way around:

http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/articles/venice-vaporetto-fares.htm
http://actv.avmspa.it/en/content/prices

Next time I would love to stay at:
Hotel Danieli
Hotel Ca’ Pisani

 

Not having had anything for dinner we headed straight up to the rooftop bar for a drink and a bite to eat, meaning something decent to eat but no, the bar doesn’t have any food apart from pieces of pineapple and buicuits. You’d think that a five star hotel with room service would make it possible to get you some food in their own bar.Anyway we went to bed hungry having enjoyed the view over Venice by night and feeling a bit happier thanks to the alcohol…
Getting up the next morning we had breakfast and headed straight out to explore.

The downside to being on Guidecca is that you have to get a boat to the other side but I guess that’s no diffent to Venicians than to jump onto the tube and go from east to west London.
The upside is the amazing view over to Venice and the local atmosphere.

15 thoughts on “Venice, Italy – The Not Yet Sunken City

  1. Lovely photos! Cruise ships such as these would be my worst nightmare too! Last went to Venice over 30 years ago so would be interesting to go back there and see what it’s like now 🙂

    1. Thanks, I’m glad to hear you liked the photos. You should go back sometime, I’m sure parts of it have changed and others haven’t. I always like going back to see what has happened to a place, most of the times you get pleasantly surprised at others it can be quite disappointing.
      Vanessa

  2. Loved reading this and seeing your pictures! Venice holds a very special place in my heart. I lived in San Marco–very close to Accademia bridge, so I enjoyed those pictures for sure! You might consider Airbnb your next go-around. It worked very well for my family when they came to visit me!

    1. Katherine,
      It must be quite an experience to live in a city that is as famous as Venice and visited by so many tourists every year. We will definitely consider Airbnb next time, it is such an easy way to stay somewhere, especially when travelling with kids.
      Vanessa

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