Our latest trip was to Venice in Italy. We did a 3 day trip but I wish that we had chosen a 5 day trip. It is definitely a location that we would go back to. At the time of booking, I couldn't find a Marriott in the main area of Venice, but I have subsequently found that an Autograph hotel is on the island. In the absence of a Marriott, we chose a Hilton … Molino Stucky on Giudecca. Nice hotel and conveniently located … See TripAdvisor.
For us, Venice was bliss … no cars, no bicycles … just people walking. Lots of stunning churches with fabulous art … you can buy a pass that gives you access to about 16 churches for €10 per person. Restaurants are everywhere and there is a great selection of food … avoid the touristy areas around St Marco and the Rialto Bridge … there are lots more authentic places away from these areas. But food and coffee is expensive.
The last day that we were there, the alarm went off at about 7am warning of a high tide. We went over to San Marco at about 11am, and it was still flooded. Quite amusing that people are wading in the flood water … why? … it's just water! Obviously, the Vencians were well used to this and had raised walkways in position.
We flew into Marco Polo airport … very easy transfer using the water bus … €15 each. It took about 1.5 hours but gave us an interesting tour and a chance to orientate ourselves for the next few days. It also dropped us about 60 seconds from our hotel.
San Marco … flooded
Quite a few people were using the gondolas … we gave it a miss
Grand Canal was pretty amazing
Molino Stucky hotel … was once a flour mill … Giudecca
Great pics, looking forward to more, Chris!
I loved Venice. Spent 5 nights at the Molino Stucky. Really enjoyed those 2 bottles of Bellinis they left as a welcome gift. And, a great CL with great food and drinks! Really didn't need dinner after those terrific spreads in the CL... But that didn't stop me!
How did you like the views from the rooftop?
Hey newhiltonmembr … it's quite painful to read about the CL … I lost my status when I retired … if there is a 'Lifetime' status that can be achieved, I never made the threshold. It was even more painful to sit in the lobby bar and be able to see all the high status bodies wining and dining in the CL. I normally try and buy an upgrade on arrival but none were on offer as there was a big conference group due in.
The view from the rooftop was pretty stunning but it was also d**n cold. The pool was closed, not surprisingly.
This would have been your view from the 'privileged' CL zone … not that I'm jealous
I thought the view across to Zattere from the hotel was excellent … the stunning Santa Maria del Rosario ...
We managed to get 'temporarily lost' quite a few times … just loved those back routes … we need to go back ...
I too have since lost my HH status... my clients have been local or I've been lucky to work from home for the last 4 years. Only hotels I've been seeing are on vacations. There is good and bad to both! Out of airline and most hotel points.
There are so many places in Italy that I haven't seen but I would like to return to Venice one day.
Great stuff. I really appreciate the pictures and the narrative. We've never been to Venice, but would like to see it before 2020, for sure.
You were in my favorite city! I go to Venice about three times a year for research, and love it more every time. My favorite hotel is the Pesaro Palace on the Grand Canal. Last time I stayed at San Cassiano Ca' Favretto across the GC from the Pesaro, both of which I paid to have rooms overlooking the Grand Canal. Where you stay in Venice can make all the difference in how you feel about the city. I stayed once at the Boscolo Autograph but the location is far from the center of things, although near Fondamente Nuove.
For your next visits, my best restaurants in Venice are Al Fontego dei Pescatori, Do Leoni, and L'Oliva Nera.
I'm off to Rome and Assisi in a week and a half.
I get in early on the 7th if all goes well, but am staying at the Hotel Artemide on the via Nazionale. If I am conscious by early evening (I hope to be), I'd love to get together! This is going to be your first trip to Rome in some time, right? I hope you love it as much as I have come to.
My full dates in Italy are the 7th through the 12th.
Hoping to see you and Nancy!
Thanks for the restaurant recommendations. We found a couple that we enjoyed this time but will keep your recommendations on our list for our next visit … have you eaten at Al Bacco Felice or Trattoria Hostaria Venexiana? Neither was particularly scenic but the food was great. My major disappointment was the Rialto Bridge … not quite up to expectations … but the churches and the art were fabulous.
The Rialto Bridge area is terrible, and horribly crowded. I think I was at Al Bacco (is it right tucked away under a bridge after you cross?) but not the other, but will keep it in mind. My favorite place to stay (where both hotels I mention are) is in Cannaregio on the far side of the canal (Pesaro Palace) and San Polo on the near, which are both beyond the Rialto and much quieter. Pesaro is right next to Ca' d'Oro museum and Ca' Favretto across from it.
Venice is one of my favorite cities but your enjoyment of it will depend on several factors.
1. When I arrive via train and staying only one night before taking train out next morning, and don't want to take Vaporetta (water taxi) to distant hotel, I usually stay at either the Hotel Principe, on Lista di Spagna, or Hotel Carlton, across the Ponte degli Stalzl, both within 5 minutes of train station. A canal-front room at the Principe is delightful and breakfast in the canal-side dining room is a treat. If you arrive via bus from the airport, you can also walk to these along the canal.
2. Best rates for hotels are after Oct. 1 and definitely not near end of February - Carnival - when rates escalate !
3. With exception of the Marriott Courtyard at Marco Polo Airport, the Marriott Autograph is only Marriott in Venice, but it's quite accessible via water taxi from airport, arriving at Madonna dell ' Orto, and five-minute walk to hotel.
4. There are so many good restaurants in Venice, many of which are not the more obvious - my favorite is the Ponte Vechi, near the Ponte Rialto and near the fish market. It's touted as the oldest restaurant in Venice.
On our last trip to Venice we noticed people leaving the city with knee-high boots and plastic garbage bags over their shoes up to their knees, and arriving at our hotel, the entrance was 2" deep in water. It was the worse flooding in 100 years due to full moon (high tide), storm and high winds. Nevertheless, the Venetians are used to this and by 11:00 all was back to normal.
5. If you arrive by cruise ship you most likely will not be able to disembark as close to San Marco as before, but hotels near Piazza San Marco are quite expensive; however, if you're not on a tight budget, the Hotel Antigo Trovatore and Al Ponet dei Sospiri are very nice.
6. Assuming you have good weather and want to enjoy the sights and atmosphere of Pizza San Marco - the favorite tourist spot - and what Napoleon labeled, "The finest drawing room in Europe", beware that sitting down in one of the chairs adjacent to a restaurant will cost you, but then again, it's a delight to just have a cup of cappuchino and rest your feet for a while.
7. If you're into shopping there are a host of these on the small callas (sidewalks) and campos, but the designer shops are near Piazza San Marco, Bocca de Piazza, opposite end from the Basilica.
8. * Unless you eat at a restaurant you're not permitted to use their toilets, so watch for signs pointing to these. I usually time my stops near the Rialto Bridge and behind the Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco. And, make sure you have Euros with you to pay upon entry.
9, I love photography and to me Venice, with its narrow passageways, bridges, churches, dwellings, etc. represents everything "vertical", such as the most famous bridge - Scion (last photo) - which formerly connected Piazza San Marco to the Doge's (governor) palace.
Hope this is helpful.
Nice photos, Chris. I too love Venice, and agree about the 5 days. Love taking the alilaguna boat to the island from Marco Polo (love approaching Venice by water). No cars, the water, the food, the churches and the art, getting temporarily lost (and often) in narrow pedestrian lanes, it's history, all the great stuff of Venice. You guys are lucky to live so "close". Have you been to Burano (anyone?) I think I would enjoy seeing that island too.
I actually like the Boscolo, but it can be pricey and from everyone's posts, there are obviously many good hotel options.
Someday, I would love to start in Venice (or perhaps across the Adriatic in Croatia), and work my way through northern Italy to Cinque Terre. So many nice places up there in the north - Verona, Vicenza, Ravenna, Padua, Lake Como, and I wouldn't have thought, if not for ssindc's photo album, but Torino as well.
On our last visit to Venice probably in 2008, it was looking as if the street vendors had taken over the entire city and it gave us a bad taste for an otherwise splendid and beautiful place. I hope it has changed as a return visit is certainly something I would like to do in the not too distant future.
Nice to see a great time was had.