Bella Venezia, Italia

Posted on September 22, 2012

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Ah Venice! Bella, molto bella Venezia!

We arrived in Venice by water taxi.

From Marco Polo Airport the taxi took about 20 minutes and cost Euro 110 (that was for 4 persons, 4 suitcases). But it was worth every single Euro.

Plus the taxi delivered us directly to our hotel. (Yes our hotel has it’s own jetty.) Alternatively, the Alilaguna ferry from the airport costs Euro 15 per person including one suitcase. But you will need to walk from the ferry stop to your accommodation.

From the taxi we got our first view of San Marco…

Here is our hotel…

That’s our little apartment on the right.

The Hotel American Dinesen where we are staying has a “dependence” (apartments) next door to the main hotel. We have a spacious split level studio apartment with a double sofa bed, kitchen & bathroom (with washing machine) and upstairs a king bed.

I am still congratulating myself on choosing accommodation in such a fantastic location. We are staying in the Dorsoduro neighbourhood.

Dorsoduro is directly across the Grand Canal from San Marco. But it feels worlds away from the massive hordes of tourists over yonder. There are lovely campos (squares) with cafes & restaurants and tiny lanes. At one end of our “street” is the Grand Canal and at the other end the Giudecca Canal.

Our hotel is on a quiet canal but only moments from the waterfront restaurants of the Zattere, a number of water bus (vaperetto) stops, a supermarket plus around the corner is the Peggy Guggenheim collection of modern art and the Accademia Art Gallery.

From Dorsoduro by foot across the Accademia Bridge it is only a short 15 minute walk to Piazza San Marco or Rialto Bridge.

Here’s the view of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge…

Venice is all about getting lost in little lanes and we have spent plenty of time just exploring. Nothing like finding a tiny bridge across a small canal for a glimpse of something special.

A visit to Venice must include a stroll across Piazza San Marco and perhaps a visit to the Basilica San Marco or the Doge’s Palace. We pre-booked tickets for the Secret Itinerary Tour of the Doge’s Palace. Skipping the ticket line was a great bonus and our guided behind the scenes tour was fascinating. Who knew there were torture chambers and prison cells high above the Doge’s apartments. The ticket included access to the rest of the Doge’s Palace, as well as being able to cross the Bridge of Sighs. Here’s the view from inside the Bridge of Sighs where the prisoners had their last look outside before being locked away.

We’ve been pretty shocked by the staggering amount of tourists crawling all over this stunning place. I thought that perhaps by now – late September – the crowds may have thinned. But it seems not. Oh well, no matter. Venice is still breathtaking. And magical. And somewhere so unique that not even a tsunami of tour groups can dampen the enthusiasm for this place.

Venice is magical. It is amazing. And oh so romantic.

Travel Notes:

At Marco Polo Airport there is an easy to find desk for the water taxi service in the main arrivals hall. It is about a 10 minute walk to the water taxi jetty.

Pre-book tickets online and skip the massive queues. Click here for online ticket bookings for the Doge’s Palace or San Marco museums.

Posted in: Italy