First let me say I would go back to Venice tomorrow if I could. It’s the neatest, weirdest, prettiest city. Our train ride to Venice was the worst train ride we’d be on. Well no that’s not entirely true, Dave and Alana are sane people who don’t mind train stations, I on the other hand am an insane person who hates dealing with delays and missed connections. Our train was delayed from Florence so when we got to the connecting city, Bologna, we got on the wrong train to Venice. It was more expensive and we had to pay the difference. It sucked. Pay a lot of attention to connections, that’s my advice. We could have slept in and not had to do a connection at all if we had paid the more expensive price in Florence.
I cooled down by the time we got to Venice. I’m really great at getting mad for about 15 minutes and then acting like nothing at all went wrong. Sorry, Alana.
Our hotel, Casa Sant’Andrea, was really close to the train station for the 3rd time in a row, we were getting used to that. Book your hotels near train stations, I can’t stress that enough. Do it on purpose, not accidentally even like we did. This was the only time we had to share a bathroom with 3 other rooms. The bathroom was gigantic and we only ever had to wait a few times but it’s still annoying. Especially because we had requested a non-shared bathroom room. But we didn’t come to Venice to pee and shower only so we rolled with it.
The water taxis and busses are confusing and expensive and since we were used to walking 11 miles a day we headed off on foot to Alfredo’s. Alfredo’s serves fresh, as in they make it in front of you when you order, pasta. You tell them what kind of noodle, sauce and whether you want them to close it or not. There’s hardly any room to eat at the place and it’s really hard to find because Venice is a series of connected islands that each have a lot of side streets and back alleys that lead to the water. Alfredo’s was so good we went back there the second day. I’d go back there right now if it didn’t take an 8 hour flight, a 4 hour train ride and a 45 minute walk.
We hung out around St. Mark’s Square after eating, visiting the Basilica di San Marco and then went to eat gelato at La Mela Verde. Florence’s gelato is still hands down the best.
We walked around a lot more and then at night ventured into a bunch of restaurants until we finally found this dingy bar that served sandwiches. The best sandwiches, it turns out. Cafe Noir was its name. And again, as would be the Venice food theme, we went back the next night for more sandwiches.
The next day after eating at Alfredo’s we decided to go on a boat tour. Alana had wanted to go on a gondola ride but they are strictly regulated and cost 80 euro for about 30 minutes for up to 6 people. That would have been a lot of money if we couldn’t convince 3 strangers to come hang out on a small boat with us to lower the price but we wanted to get out on the water.
The boat tour took around 5 hours and we got to visit 3 other islands to the north of Venice: Murano, Torcello and Burano. All awesome, all worth the 20 euro price tag per person. Sadly before we got on the boat Alana smoked her back trying to avoid touching a tourist and spent the entire rest of our trip in a lot of pain. She hobbled around the islands until we got back to Venice where we had to find a pharmacy for her so she could buy heating pads. I wish I was making this up. We were all so sad.
On Murano we saw a glass blowing demonstration, on Torcello we walked around a very old church ground and on Burano we wandered around looking at the colourful houses after seeing a lace demonstration. It was really fun, as long as you remember to get back to the boat on time at each stop because they will not wait for you.
I can’t say for sure we walked in Venice more than in other cities we visited but I can say for certain that we walked Venice 3 times over 2 days, from one end to the other.
The next morning we went back to the train station and waited 3 hours for the next available train back to Rome. We really had shitty train luck.
Last segment in the Italy or Bust series: Rome part 2.