Venice 2 day itinerary
When it comes to this “city of bridges”, no GPS or google maps are completely reliable. So keep a clear physical map with you and indulge yourself in the process of self-navigation the old fashioned way! It is certainly more fun this way, at least in Venice. Arrange for a proper map beforehand. We did not buy it in advance plus we confidently headed for our hotel from the train station with just a couple of google map print outs in our hand, which we had sorted out earlier. Excitement quotient weighed more than the worry for any setbacks you see 😉 At first you get startled by the seraphic beauty of Venice. Soon after you realize that the street names are not in sync with the directions you have on paper! Oh yes, we were absolutely puzzled. Considering this situation, travelling fashionably light saved us from the probable vexations.
Our hotel was supposedly 1.24 miles from the station. Initially we did not mind contemplating or guessing routes by linking the street names we see with the prints we had with us. When it was over half an hour, we anticipated that we probably are way off the mark. We thought we would easily make it before sunset, but it grew darker and the temperature dropped severely and guess what we still couldn’t sense the likelihood of us being close to the hotel. We then started asking people for directions only to find the expected case that only one out of every ten people here is perhaps a local!
We ultimately found our savior. This Old gentlemen checked our hotel address and assuredly commanded “Follow me”. Trust me, the last two unnoticeable turns which he took to enter this ulterior lane leading to the hotel, there is no way we could have figured it out on our own. We couldn’t thank him enough .There we were, standing at a high rustic building with an antiquated gate. We discovered as we moved in, how impressively delusive the appearance of the building was as opposed to the finely renovated interiors which retained some of the classicist features.
[This is precisely because the government rules does not allow any modification of the outer side of the buildings for the obvious reasons of safe guarding something which is an integral part of tourism in Venice.]
The staff of this hotel “Ca’ Bragadin Carabba” were really good. That very evening as we left the hotel for dinner , we captured couple of street names which could easily trace us back to the hotel 😉
Soon enough we figured out the area around and the right directions. The location of the hotel was actually very convenient, Rialto Bridge and couple of very nice restaurants being so close!
One gets enthralled as you ramble along with the other zealous wanderers all day long but do not forget to revel in the deserted streets of Venice. And yes, for this you need to doze out of sleep in the early morning hours. Neither the frosty winter morning nor the comfort of our cozy hotel deterred us from missing out on this. It was totally worth it.
One wrong turn and you wander astray. Another wrong turn, Oh well, forget about the destination and allow yourself to be captivated by the streets, canals and cute little bridges of Venecia. Eventually, you will get to see most of things you wanted to. Let’s say you missed a few, so what! the overall experience will still be spellbinding.
One can go for a water taxi( known as “Vaporetto” ) to commute within Venice or it can be best used to get to the nearby Islands of Venice. The schedules and timings can be checked at any of the ticketing booths(it can be easily spotted by a series of decks at the main stops such as Rialto, Ferrovia, Piazzale Roma, San Marco etc.). In case you plan to stay in Venice for long or you need to cover too many places in less time, then buying a pass for the Vaporetto is a good option. Else there are single journey tickets too. If at any point you do not want to bury your head into the map or you are running short of time then better confirm from the closest ticketing booth that which stop/ticket is apt for your destination with respect to your current location.
We boarded a Vaporetto from Rialto Bridge(via p.Roma) to get to the island of “Murano” which is famous for glass making. This small island has very few channels so it is quite easy to navigate around. You can just go around exploring the displayed showpieces and jewelries . That’s what everybody does because in order to indulge in some serious shopping here, you need to be ready to splurge in those extravagant pieces! The artistically crafted colored showpieces made of glass are strikingly beautiful and the exceptional finish imparted to these pieces gives them a very plush look. The houses here are painted in myriad of colors which makes this island very appealing. Those of you interested in Murano’s glass making process can visit the factory as well.
I read a great deal about gondola ride in Venice and it is mostly rendered as a tourist trap. But this never really made me give a second thought to shell out euros on this seemingly pricey ride. Our gondolier, an affable man, made us feel special and royal throughout the ride. He kept us absorbed with the historical facts and anecdotes of Venice while he rowed us through the canals and underneath the tiny bridges. Treating yourself to the views around, from the gondola, gives you an immense pleasure and a real feel of the floating city.
If you happen to check the online forums, you will see they are full of complaints. For example, gondoliers stay busy on phone throughout the ride, remain distracted talking to other gondoliers, overcharge tourists and finish up the ride too soon. Surprisingly, we did not have to go through any of these annoyances. We were charged eighty euros for forty minutes of absolute entrancement. The gondolier also clicked us some beautiful shots which will always make us relive this experience. I cannot admit enough how worth it was
Yes, there are traffic jams in the canals too! Every time before the gondolier prepares to take a turn into a lane, he alerts the oncoming traffic by announcing gently “Olaaaa”. It kind of sounds really cute.
From bright sunshine on the first day to drizzles the next day noon followed by mild snowfall in the late evening, we had seen it all in Venice I wish I could time travel to this delightful evening when we were in this restaurant named “Ristorante Quadri“, gorging on an authentic Italian Pizza and a luscious shrimp spaghetti. It was snowing mildly outside and those white pearls gleaming in the street lights of Venice induced a matchless ambiance.
♦Another restaurant that I would recommend is “Antica Trattoria Poste
All I would say is that kissing goodbye to Venice was not easy!