The flight arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule, at 11:30 AM. After collecting our luggage, we made our way to the water taxi docks, a 500 meter or so walk, pretty much all of it on a covered walkway. So, if you’re planning a trip to Venice, & you’re concerned about a wet trip in a water taxi, don’t be. Between the covered walkway and the covered boats, you’ll be dry. It’s once you arrive at the docks along the Grand Canal & you have to walk to your hotel that you have to worry. Fortunately for us, it was dry and warm when we arrived, contrary to the weather forecast.
We had reserved a water taxi ride to the island, which cost 92 Euros for both of us. A water bus is available for considerably less. Oh well, we’ll know for next time. There are lots of water taxis going back and forth and they move along pretty fast, so the wakes they create make for a bumpy ride. A few times we thought we might be airborne. Despite that it was a good experience.
We arrived at the Venice docks at 1:30. If you’ve never been here before, once you arrive at the Venice docks be prepared for 2 things: pay 10 Euros for extra bags and a walk through a maze to find your hotel. We were smart when we decided on only 1 suitcase each, plus Bonnie had a small backpack and I had my big photo equipment backpack. Anything more than that would have been a total pain in the butt for walking to the hotel.
After a couple of wrong turns and with some help with directions, we finally found the Hotel Ateneo. It turned out that, if you know where you’re going, it’s only about a 5-8 minute walk from the docks. We finally arrived here about 2:30. We had read a couple of reviews on the hotel, so we were prepared for a very small room. Not the case!! We have lots of room in the main area, with lots of closet space, and a huge bathroom. It’ll be great for 3 nights. However, the reviews were correct about the noise. There isn’t much insulation in these walls & we’re right on the ‘street’ level. Between the cobblestone walks & the tunnel-like walkway, you hear everything that’s happening outside.
The Ateneo is right around the corner from the Venice Theatre, so I’m hoping to go in there to get some good architectural shots.
After a much needed nap and a shower and after sending a few emails to let family know we had arrived safe and sound, we headed out for some exploring. Yes, it’s only a short walk to San Marco, with all sorts of shopping and restaurants along the way. When we messaged Mike (he and Jackie are in South Africa) and Deena that we had arrived, we told them we were going out for a Chinese dinner. Of course not! We picked an Italian (of course!) restaurant along the way…..but the waitress was Chinese! Our pasta dinners were excellent and, with a glass of wine and a litre of fizzy water, the cost was 52 Euros, including the obligatory 12% service charge. Not bad….about Cdn. $75. That would have been $150 in Norway!!
We got lucky. It rained while we were having dinner, but it had stopped by the time we finished. We continued our stroll through the back ‘streets’, over the canal bridges and ended up in San Marco Square. There were a lot of people out in the square, that is until it started raining again. It poured!! Fortunately, it didn’t last long, so we continued on walking past the Doges Palace to the Grand Canal and wound our way back to the hotel.
That was enough for our first day in Venice. We’ll now catch up on sleep so we’re bright eyed and bushy tailed (as opposed to bushy eyed) in the morning.
Hey, we’re in Italy!!
Note re photos below (for those who understand the significance of photography jargon): these shots were hand held @ 1000 ISO, mostly f2.8, no tripod.