In Venice now (6/21/23) and it is HOT and humid: 88 degrees and 65% humidity. I don’t do well in heat and humidity. It is very taxing. I’m using cooling cloths on my neck and re wetting them at every opportunity. Somehow I can’t find my bandanas with the cooling beads. I know I packed them, so I’m sure I’ll find them as soon as we leave!
We arrived yesterday around 3 after driving from Santa Cristina Val Gardena. I had reserved parking at the parking garage at Piazzale Roma. It worked great. We’re driving a 8 passenger full size van. It’s a bear to park, but we were directed to the top floor and found a spot. You have to be an excellent driver to pull off a full size van in Europe! Not for the faint of heart.
I had also pre-paid for Rolling Venice and vaporetto passes through the Venice Utica website. When you order, you give everyone’s name. Then you get a receipt with a QR code and confirmation number. When you arrive, you scan the QR code or type in the code at the ticket kiosk and it prints your tickets, each with the person’s name on it. You don’t get a rolling Venice card anymore. I asked a cashier and he says they no longer have paper cards. I had a printout of my receipt, and he said that was acceptable.
We took the Vaporetto and checked in to our air bnb. I’ll provide details later. The place is fabulous.
We had dinner reservations on the patio at Taverna da Baffo. It was wonderful. A beautiful little campo on a side canal with gondolas floating by. The service was very friendly and helpful. They serve soda in glasses that are half full of ice (such a luxury)! They were very helpful choosing a wine. Between the 6 of us we had: margherita pizza, lasagna, a salad, rib eye steak, spaghetti with lobster (almost a whole lobster for 27€!), pasta with shrimp and pasta with mixed seafood, 3 sodas, two glasses of wine and two bottles of water for 172€.
After dinner we walked to St. Mark’s stopping for gelato along the way. It is impossible to NOT get lost in Venice, and you see tons of people following their phones. Speaking of people - they’re here for sure. The main streets are very crowded. The vaporettos are packed. St. Mark’s in the evening (9 ish) was lovely. A cool breeze was blowing, the orchestras were dueling. Ahhhhh, this is the good stuff. We wandered a little and made our way back to our stop on a packed night vaporetto.
The next day, we had reservations for 11:00 at St. Mark’s. I had warned everyone about having to check their bags, and the requirement to cover knees and shoulders. The guys in my family wore pants and were hating life. They definitely could have worn long shorts. Tons of people were. Maybe they loosen the rules in the summer.
This was my 4th time at St. Mark’s, and it’s just as spectacular each time. My sister loves stonework, and she was so impressed with the inlaid floors. I might not have even paid attention had she not been pointing out some of the details. That’s what is so fun about traveling with others - you see things through their eyes.
After St. Mark’s we went back to the hotel so the guys could change into shorts, then we did a little shopping, had lunch and headed to Murano. We explored a bit, then went to the glass museum. Very interesting and beautiful pieces in there. It took us at least an hour to walk from the Murano Faro stop to the museum. Google maps said it would take 11 minutes. That doesn’t take into account stopping into at least 20 shops along the way, plus a gelato stop!
We had a 6:30 reservation, but no one was hungry. We were just hot, exhausted and ready to return to our blissfully air conditioned apartment. What a thrill to come home to ice cubes, chilled drinks in the fridge, cool air and showers! I would never, ever, ever stay in Venice in the summer without ac!
To be continued…