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Florence, Venice, Varenna report... Part 2

Venice, continued.... The last thing I will say about Riccardo and Grace at the Corte Campana B&B is that they also acknowledged my birthday by decorating the breakfast room and having special pastries for me for breakfast. How sweet and wonderful for my 62nd birthday in Venice! The highlights of our Venice trip were roaming the streets (only got lost a couple of times) and finding places to eat, people watch and enjoy the views. We were close to St. Mark's Square so went to hear the music in the square in the evenings and found some very good restaurants. We did visit St. Mark's Basilica which was fascinating. We also took the free shuttle boat to the Hilton Stuckey Hotel and had a drink in the Skyline Bar. The views are amazing. We also visited the Rialto Fish Market. It was rainy that day, so we went to our favorite wine bar and had cheese and wine and people watched. One day, we took the ferry to Burano, had lunch and strolled through this lovely village. A nice break from the hustle and bustle. All the buildings in Burano are bright colors and it is a lovely place to take pictures. We also strolled from Burano to Mazzorbo where there was a garden and small vineyard to walk through. There are 2 restaurants I will mention (although there were others that were good). Rossopomodoro, which is right off the square and you would think it is "too touristy", but the food and service was consistently good and it was recommended by our B&B hosts. Great place to people watch also. The second one is Al Veccio Canton, also recommended by our hosts. They had the best seafood risotto! They only serve it for two, but that is exactly what my husband and I wanted. We also had their deep fried stuffed olives, which were amazing! We did not do a cicchetti crawl, but we did find one serving paper cones filled with munchies of your choice and we ate standing on the street. Did I say I love Venice! Ok, on to Varenna. Took the train to Milan and then a small regional train to Varenna. Again, no problems getting tickets at the station.

Varenna - We have an amazing view of the lake in the U.S., so we are partial to lake views, but Lake Como was gorgeous! The lake is very blue and clear and surrounded by mountains dotted with villas! Stunning! We stayed at Albergo Milano (RS rec) and it faces the lake and has a restaurant, Ristorante la Vista. Our room was on the side, but we had a small terrace that had a lake view. We had made reservations at the restaurant for our first night and sat on the terrace and had a wonderful dinner with amazing views. We took several pictures of the sunsets from this terrace. This was really a nice way to end our trip. Slower and more quaint. This was a very nice place to stay. The breakfast was good and it was more homey than a hotel. We enjoyed walking through town, eating at cafe's on the lake and taking lots of pictures! We took a ferry several times. Visited Villa Carlotta museum and gardens. The gardens were beautiful. We visited Bellagio. Nice stop if you want to shop, has more shops than Varenna. From Varenna we walked to town of Fiumelatte where they have a waterfall and "Italy's shortest river". Passed more beautiful gardens. The last night in Varenna we ate at Ristorante Il Caminetto (RS rec). They picked us up in the square and drove us up the hills to their restaurant. Very fine food, service and ambiance. Family run. We chose the 3 course fixed menu and it was one of the best meals of our trip and very reasonably priced. Very nice way to end our stay. Took the train to Milan and the Malpensa express to the airport where our hotel picked us up and stayed one night near airport. Not the best night's stay of our trip, but I will put that under hotel reviews. Free shuttle to airport was nice. Overall, our first trip to Italy was a huge success and an amazing experience! Thank you again! Forgot - we ate gelato everywhere!!!

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158 posts

Great to read your report - you could keep it as 1 post and reply to your original post so people can read it all together easier.

Posted by
293 posts

Lovely! Makes me want to choose Italy as my next destination.