Monday, May 16, 2011

The Scoop on Venice

(Reposting this from last Thursday because Blogger deleted all posts that day.)

Venice is one of those places that people seem to either love or hate.  I can definitely see that if you go at a time with some serious heat and crowds (during the time when the canal smell is wafting possibly), you could be quite less than impressed.

Things are expensive (during peak time) and you could feel like you're forking over a lot of cash for a steam bath of stink with the herds.

Fortunately, we didn't have this experience!

Our hotel (two left buildings) in the less traveled, more local Santa Croce district.  (It was 1-star, 90 euros a night, but actually quite great.)

Hotel info and reviews here.

Our view.

 And a cute terrace patio to enjoy.

One of the finer mask shops, but there are cheesy mask kiosks EVERYWHERE.

As with all good spots, Venice has become quite the tourist destination.  So much so that tourists far outnumber locals on any given day.  For me, this takes away from the wondiness of a place.  Some people don't mind, but I'm not a person that likes to be in crowds.  I especially don't like that it takes away from the authenticity of a place...when around every corner there's cheesy souvenir shops with glass trinkets up to your eyeballs.  And more Nikons in a square foot than you've ever seen in your life (us included!).
 Around the Rialto Bridge...a popular spot.  I can only imagine this doubles in June and July.  Nein, danke!

 And if you've seen The Tourist (not good, but pretty scenery), you might recognize some sites walking around. When we were standing at the famous Rialto Market, I noticed this was the scene where Johnny Depp is chased over that balcony.  Then the cop falls in the water.  Then Angelina's lips puff out some more.

St. Mark's Square.

You have to see St. Mark's, though.  It's impressive.  Too bad we didn't make it inside because of long lines the first day and the second day...preparations for the Pope's arrival! Yes, we didn't even know the Papa was coming.

 His little red stage.  I'm sad to report we did not venture out to see him that evening because judging from the crowds and chaos during the day, we would not have even made it into the square or even be able to see him.

 Flags hung with care for Benedict.

We found that we loved the other areas of Venice that most tourists don't venture to.  I especially love the city in the evening and at night.

We got a little lost, but enjoyed walking around solo and stumbling upon some fancy homes and hotels.

Venice is hard to navigate.  Definitely get yourself a map and look like a fool with it blowing in your face walking around. One slightly wrong alley and you're in a new district.  Good thing it's an island.

Narrow little walkways everywhere. "Oh, we're at the canal" doesn't help.

 We did take a water taxi over to Murano island and saw the brief glass blowing demonstration.

 Another gondola ride offer-er.

Great coffee shop.  I like choco chips in my stuff.

We especially liked the Dosoduro district close to where we were staying.  Filled with students and quaint trattorias with better food and prices.  (We were not impressed with our food the first two nights.)

 a family in Dosoduro outside playing..what else.. soccer.

 Just cute.

Veggie market boat.

Pimp my ride.

 Cute restaurant we found for the last night.

All in all, a success.  Just to get away from the daily grind and experience something new together is a second little honeymoon.

 Back to Austria.  The Worthersee above.  I tell you what...  You can tell when you are in Austria and when you are in Italy.  This little country we live in is pristine and green!


Elizabeth Ann (Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

I went to the glass blowing thing too! :-) AND I LOVED Venice at night time! Because during the day all the cruise ships dropped off 9 thousand people and it was almost impossible to walk around. . .and I got lost. . . a lot. . I can't wait to go back one day! :-)

Rachel, Herzogin von Heidelberg said...

Your hotel looks lovely - what did you do with Elsie?

I saw the Pope in June 2000 in Rome, it was awesome, especially when our teachers got us lost in the red light district on the way home :p

Cat said...

I loved this post! Made me laugh. I too hate big crowds. and, I have a nikon, too. i knew i loved you. ;)

Julie said...

OK. So, now I want a vacation too!! Venice looks amazing; I will definitely hit you up for the hotel you stayed at. Loved the balcony; I'm a sucker for stuff like that. Happy days.

Rebecca said...

Your pictures make me want to go back! I was there for one day during Carneval/Faschings, and it was CRAZY! Loved the trattorias in the quieter corners of town- what a great place to get lost!

The Rigoloso's said...

You are funny. And quite beautiful. And I have missed you so. xx

jja said...

I adore Venice. Great photos.

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