11 June 2014

More tips for Venice

Some more food for thought on the beautiful city of Venice ...

Travel tip #3
Find a hotel that includes a good breakfast in its nightly rate.
It helps provide the energy required to walk all day and 
the clear head needed to navigate 
the maze of back lanes and bridges that make exploring Venice fun.

This was the spread provided each morning at my Venice lodgings 
- just "pour moi"- or "per me" as they would say in Italian! 

I even became used to the cheese and ham for breakfast this time 
in Italy - "when in Rome" and all that ...

On the subject of shoes!

Travel tip #4
All the best travel articles constantly warn us about 
the cobbled streets 
and hundreds of stairs and the necessity to 
walk and walk 
and how you simply MUST wear comfortable shoes.

This really is important information 
and although most western Europeans would not 
be seen dead in a white sneaker, 
there are plenty of attractive alternatives these days.

Just do it!

Travel tip #5 
Avoiding the crowds 
To admire the architecture without the throngs, get out early 
and at least admire the exteriors of all 
the beautiful buildings, 
charming bridges and the splendid Piazza San Marco
without the hundreds of flag following groups 
and the hawkers of rubbish souvenirs.

Even I set off at 6.30am one morning 
to meet my photography guide and enjoyed 
seeing a more "empty" Venice! 

Taken at 6.45am with hardly a soul in sight

 Taken the same day at 4pm 

The Bridge of Sighs must be sighing very deeply
with all those thousands of daily visitors!!

All so stunning, especially with no one around!

The Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591 
and has defied its critics by still standing! 

Travel tip #6
Forget the "value for your dollar" ratio every so often!

Opened in 1720,"Florian" is the oldest cafe in Italy 
and the first to allow female customers.
Early visitors included Casanova, Charles Dickens, Lord Byron 
and Ernest Hemingway,
 plus almost every other celebrity 
of their particular era.

 Almost 400 years later it is still packed 
and yes, it is touristy 
and a cup of coffee does cost a bomb, 
but you have to sit here at least once in your life 
and listen to the cheesy music and watch the passing show. 
Nicer in the evening I think.

The same rule applies to the Hotel Gritti Palace.

I paid 20 euros(with tip) for one cocktail, but I was served by
 a handsome waiter in a smart white jacket on the terrace at dusk on 
balmy evening overlooking the Grand Canal surrounded by
interesting looking people from all over the world.

 plus there were some hors'oeuvres thrown in 
which I was thoroughly enjoying 

... until a big fat Venetian pigeon swooped down and almost choked on my nuts 
which made the French man at the next table laugh
(I think he was a film director who was entertaining 
two starlets at the time!)

Now I ask you, isn't that all worth 20 euros?

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