Friday, June 11, 2010

Arriving in Venice, Italy

We arrived in Venice, Italy at 9:00 AM, which is 3:00 AM Indiana time. Venice is a complicated city when it comes to transportation because of all the waterways. There are lots of transportation options, but land taxis and water taxis are likely close to $100 if you’re traveling from the airport to the island where the main part of the city is located. As an alternate means of transportation, I had read about a waterbus that would take us to Piazza San Marco, the area where our hotel is located. Once we had our luggage, we proceeded down a walkway that led to the airport pier.
There we caught the alilaguna waterbus and took about an hour long boat ride to our destination.
It was a neat way to get our first glimpses of the city as the boat made several stops along the way, including one at Murano, where all of the glassblowers reside.
Normally we would have caught another boat from this drop off point to our hotel, but as luck would have it, the public boats were on strike that day! I found an information booth and asked for directions to our hotel. I bought a map and the lady showed me which route I should follow. Venice is a charming city, but hauling suitcases in the heat is not the ideal way to first explore it!
We made our way around and around the narrow winding streets and decided even with a map this city is next to impossible to navigate.
There are no vehicles on the island and no roads, just tons of streets or walkways that go in all sorts of confusing directions. Five or six streets usually come together in an open little plaza area and then you have to figure out which way to go next. There are canals that wind through entire city and every few blocks you have to cross over one.
This means stairs up and stairs down, a really fun adventure with two huge suitcases, a large duffle bag, a tote bag, a backpack, and a purse. It’s even more fun if one of the suitcase wheels was broken during your flight therefore no longer rolls properly. We finally made it to our hotel and were able to check in around lunchtime. We intended to take a short nap since the only time either of us had slept during the last two nights was for a few hours on the flights. Five hours later we woke up and realized it was dinnertime! We set out to explore the area around the hotel, thankfully without any luggage to haul around. The buildings have so much character and the canals are really pretty.
Even street signs are worthy of a picture here!
There are gondolas everywhere and it’s fun to watch the gondolas paddle down the canals, while the guests are serenaded by the gondoliers.

Rosa Rossa is an Italian restaurant that the receptionist had recommended.

They had about every kind of pizza that you can imagine, including options with goose ham or deer ham.
There was even an option with hotdogs as the main topping.

I had to laugh and show this to Steven because once when we were out of pepperonis, I tried to convince him that hotdogs would be a fine alternative on our homemade pizza. He didn’t agree with me, but apparently someone in Italy does!

The waitress told us that one pizza served only one person so we quite surprised when she brought out our food and there were two very thin, but almost full-sized pizzas!

We had lots of leftovers that we wrapped up and shoved in the minibar fridge. It was dark by the time we made it back to our hotel; the Grand Canal looked so pretty lit by the moonlight and a few hotel lights.

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