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Old 11-06-2010   #31 (permalink)
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Joanie-
Thanks for posting this awesome report and the link to your beautiful photos. My 16 year old son is taking World History this year, we viewed the Pompeii photos together.
My husband and I are in the early planning stage of a trip to Italy/Greece this summer. He cannot take off a lot of time from work, so we are considering a 7 night Royal Caribbean cruise that embarks from Rome (Citavecchia), with two nights spent in Rome prior to the cruise. I wish we were brave enough to fly in and train around!
I look forward to more posts...thanks again!
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Old 11-07-2010   #32 (permalink)
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On our trip into Venice from the Marco Polo Airport, it began to shower, sometimes quite heavily, so we were happy to be seated in the comfortable enclosed cabin of the Alilaguna airport water bus. The trip to our stop ~ San Zaccharia ~ took about one hour, and by the time we arrived the rain had stopped.

I had booked 2 nights at the WONDERFUL 3C B&B, which is conveniently located only about 1-1/2 short blocks from the San Zaccharia stop and also just a stone's throw from St. Mark's Square.



I had chosen this particular place due to the location, price and the almost 100% 5* reviews (160 Excellent and 21 Very Good) on Trip Advisor. You can read those reviews Here. We had a bit of momentary confusion after getting off the airport water bus as to which direction we should head. The information from 3C B&B said there were NO bridges to go over to reach them, BUT it turned out that the airport bus had stopped at a different than "normal" dock (still at San Zaccharia, though) so we DID have to drag our bags over one bridge. We knew that we had to go down the street to the left of the pink Danieli Hotel, which is on the waterfront. Once we saw that hotel, we got our bearings straight.

Regardless of which hotel or B&B you stay at, there's A LOT to be said for selecting one that close by one of the public transporation docks ~ ESPECIALLY if you are arriving in the late afternoon or early evening. I read that it's not generally a good idea to allow a travel agent to select your hotel for you ~ because they very often have NO real knowledge of how difficult it may be to get there. I'd have to say that I agree with that premise!

Quote:
In Venice, where moving around the city usually requires walking (with many footbridges to cross) or taking slow, expensive, and often crowded vaporetti or water buses, it makes sense to stay near a convenient arrival and departure point--especially if you're traveling with anything heavier than a carry-on bag.

Don't let a travel agent who's unfamilar with Venice make a booking decision for you, and don't choose a hotel just because the rate looked good on Orbitz or Expedia.
The streets of Venice are basically a maze of little alleyways that often are not very well marked. I believe that all the streets DO have names, but it's very difficult at times to locate the street signs on the sides of buildings. Add dusk or evening darkness into the mix, and you definitely can have the potential in place for getting lost! Asking directions often won't help because people who live in Venice generally seem to know the names of MAJOR streets ~ they use landmarks ~ stores, bars, churches ~ to know where to turn...

Here's directions on how to "find" another B&B....

Quote:
.....you can take the Alilaguna shuttle to St. Mark Square. When you are arrive to Venice, turn left and cross the small bridge,walk in "Calle Vallaresso" (between Harry's Bar and Hotel Monaco), at the end of calle Vallaresso you must turn left and go straight until you pass "Campo San Moisè ". When you see the Hotel Bauer on the left, cross the bridge and walk in "Calle Larga XXII Marzo", at the end of the Calle, once passed the "Ostreghe" bridge, you find "Campo Santa Maria del Giglio". Before the Church, turn right and take Calle Piovan o Gritti (between the Bevilacqua cloth's shop and the Gallery Traghetto), go straight to the end of the Calle. When you see the water, turn right and at the end of "Fondamenta" (Fondamenta della Fenice n°2554), you will find us.
LOTS of potential to get lost there! AND THREE bridges!

Here's what some Australian friends had to say about finding their hotel in Venice ~

Quote:
Venice is obviously SO unique - we had three days there and after getting hopelessly lost trying to find our hotel (with the 'street' not being marked on the map and no-one with enough English to help us) we settled in and enjoyed it immensely, and all I know was that the Easter crowds were horrendous....getting onto the ferry was a nightmare...the trip to our 'stop' (which then turned out to be the wrong one) was a nightmare - I couldn't move my foot sideways due to the crowding and the girl next to me fainted and remained propped up due to the crowd!). I had visions of the ferry going down, and there was NO way we would all be able to get off in time. Then we had to get back onto the ferry again to find our correct stop! That was another bun fight - every man for himself!!! We lugged those suit cases up down and around those little cement steps and bridges until it was almost dark and I was getting very nervous - Darryl left me sitting in a corner of some steps with the luggage, at one stage to go and locate the hotel without the burden of suitcases - it was getting dark and I was scared he wouldn't find me again! Finally we got to our room EXHAUSTED and just sat in the hot bath - didn't know whether to laugh or cry......but next day we really started to enjoy our time there...although we couldn't afford to eat as we were getting 48 cents to the USA dollar at that time!!!! HA! (it's currently at an almost all time high, of 98 cents) - wish we could afford to travel right now!
Recently, a guy I chatted with in the local luggage shop mentioned that he had to haul his suitcases all the way from the train station to his hotel which was a great distance away because the vaporetti personnel were on strike. At least they generally ANNOUNCE the strikes in advance ~ so you can plan! I just came across some news that there will be a strike on November 19th...

Quote:
ACTV, the transit authority which operates water buses and urban buses within the City of Venice, has announced a 24 hour strike action on Friday 19th November 2010.

Public transport services, water buses and urban buses, will be disrupted by the strike action.
Bear all these things in mind when selecting your hotel or B&B in Venice ~ especially if you're a first time visitor!

Last edited by JoanieBlon; 11-07-2010 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010   #33 (permalink)
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Thumbs up 3c b&b

Fabio, the owner of 3C B&B, doesn't live in the building, so requested that we let him know the approximately time of our arrival so he could be there to let us in and get us settled.

For some reason I didn't take photos of the B&B, so these are from the 3C B&B website and also a couple from Trip Advisor.

Remember how I said that the city of Venice is a maze of little alleyways? Well, this is the calle (street) where 3C B&B is located ~



The entrance was just ahead of the two people walking along on the right. There was a locked iron gate with a buzzer. Fabio appeared at the top of these stairs and carried our bags up for us.



3C B&B occupies the entire "primo piano" ~ first floor ~ which would be the 2nd floor in the USA.

This hallway also serves as the breakfast area in the morning ~ little tables for 2 are placed along the wall. Fabio and his or his wife's mother serve up all manner of delicious breakfast treats ~ espresso, cappuchino, hot chocolate, cereal, toast and jam (also Nutella ) croissants, brioche, fruit juices, yogurt, meat, cheese, a variety of fresh fruit, etc., so there's something to satisfy everyone.

We were shown to our room, which was located at the very end of the hallway. We liked this location as it probably was quieter than the rooms right along the hallway.



This was our actual room ~ with the window on the wall away from the foot of the bed. The window could be opened and also had working shutters to control light and street noise ~ although we found Venice to be VERY quiet while we were there. If you came during Carnivale, that might not be the case.



All of the rooms have high beamed ceilings with Venetian glass chandeliers, lovely terrazzo floors and interesting old brickwork. Our king bed was REALLY comfortable! Each room has flat screen satellite TV (programs mainly in Italian), electric coffee and tea kettle, mini fridge, TWO luggage racks (very nice!), individual AC controls, and a safe.

Here's another room showing what they look like.



The modern bath was REALLY nice! Ours had a large glassed in shower running the length of the end of the room, heated towel racks, toilet and bidet (every room we stayed at in Italy had a bidet), a stool and hairdryer. The bathroom, as well as our room and the entire B&B was IMMACULATELY CLEAN.

This was our particular bathoom ~ each of the 4 rooms may have a slightly different layout, depending on location.



Here are a couple more bathroom views...





We paid €170 ~ CASH ONLY ~ per night which included all taxes. The cash only stipulation is on the 3C B&B website as well as the email confirmation of your reservations, but one couple who was checking out had somehow missed this, and so had to go to the nearest ATM for cash. At the current exchange rate, €170 is about US $238.00. I thought for the location (location, LOCATION!), the quality of the breakfast, and how NICE the rooms were, that the price was quite reasonable. Venice can be quite pricey and I am quite certain that you could end up with a lot less for a whole lot more!

Fabio got us settled in, explained how to operate EVERYTHING ~ the TV, shutters, etc., then gave us the keys and explained how to use those as well. Additionally, he gave us several recommendations for trattoria serving authentic Venetian food. Mike and I then went off in search of our evening meal....

Last edited by JoanieBlon; 01-13-2011 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 11-07-2010   #34 (permalink)
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While I was preparing for this trip ~ I purchased a number of small, folding "Rough Guide" maps ~ for Venice, Florence and Rome. While these maps are pretty nice ~ fairly compact, detailed and somewhat "weatherproof" ~ in Venice I found it easiest to use an 8-1/2" X 11" computer printed Google map of Venice for navigation. I'd figure out in advance where we wanted to go using the Rough Guide or some other map, mark an X on the Google map ~ and off we'd go. Even though it didn't have street names or square (campo) names on it ~ it was amazingly accurate .... walk for 3 streets...turn left...walk past 2 streets...turn right... It WORKED! Plus I could just bunch it up and stuff it in the side pocket of my purse. An 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper is LOTS easier to deal with than a fully extended 20" x 25" map that has to be re-folded "just so"....

Fabio, the owner of 3C B&B had recommended that we go to Osteria al Mascaron for dinner, as it serves up very authentic Venetian fare, with heavy emphasis on seafood ~ which we both love. Using a large map of Venice on the wall of the B&B hallway, Fabio showed me just EXACTLY how to get there.... and so...Mike and I set off.

By this time it was DARK and the tiny little streets twisting and turning can look pretty intimidating...like places that you shouldn't be walking ~ although, I can say that we NEVER had ANY safety issues and never saw any crime being committed ~ like we did in Barrio Gotico in Barcelona ~ I was almost knocked to the ground while looking in a window by a guy tackling a purse snatcher! YIKES!!

This is a pretty major street ~ but imagine it at night when it's mostly deserted ~ and with intermittant lighting...



Or...heading down a street like this one in the dark...



or...this one...



After a few turns down several VERY dark alleyways (were we REALLY headed the right way?? ) Mike put his foot down and said NO to Al Mascaron that night! We really had no idea if we were truly headed the right way ~ plus IF we got there, we'd have to find our way BACK again!

We headed back to a small campo ~ Campo SS. Filippo e Giacomo ~ that we had passed through that had several nice looking places to eat ~ with lovely sidewalk seating under large canvas awnings ~ a good feature in case the showers started up again...and they did ~ briefly. This place was just a couple of short blocks from the B&B.

Here in the early morning, Aciugheta (Anchovy) looks sort of forlorn ~ but in the evening, it was really attractive ~ with many diners at little 2 by 2 tables under the awnings.



Here's Frommer's review ~

Quote:

A long block north of the chic Riva degli Schiavoni hotels lies one of Venice's best wine bars, expanded to include an elbow-to-elbow trattoria/pizzeria in back. Its name refers to the marinated anchovies that join other cicchetti lining the popular front bar of this friendly bacaro, where you can enjoy an excellent selection of Veneto and Italian wines by the glass. It's a good place for a light meal: a pasta and glass of wine (or pizza and beer) will do just fine. There's an unusually long list of half-bottles of wine, and an even more unusual nonsmoking room. Tables move out onto the small piazza when the warm weather moves in.
Mike had beer, and I ordered a half bottle of vino roso della la casa ~ which was reasonable and quite good. We split an order of buffalo mozarella and tomato salad, and had PLANNED on splitting a pizza. The owner/waiter advised us that the pizzas were small ~ "individual" ones...so we each ordered one. HAH! When they arrived, they were at least 14" across! They were quite good ~ thin crusts and obviously cooked in a wood fired oven. I had the Diavola with hot, spicy salami, and I'm certain that Mike ordered one with anchovies and capers...

Aciugheta has very mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, but Mike and I would both happily eat here again.


Last edited by JoanieBlon; 11-10-2010 at 05:36 AM..
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Old 11-07-2010   #35 (permalink)
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Those dark streets do sound intimidating...and fun! (-: I am loving all the tips you are giving that I will surely use when I go there (hopefully next year!) Thanks!

...my daughter, who lives in Germany, is going to Florence again next week..it is at least her third time there and she has also been to Venice! That is why she loves living in Europe! So many places to go and so easy to get there once you live in Europe!
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Old 11-07-2010   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jacko View Post
Those dark streets do sound intimidating...and fun! (-: I am loving all the tips you are giving that I will surely use when I go there (hopefully next year!) Thanks!

...my daughter, who lives in Germany, is going to Florence again next week..it is at least her third time there and she has also been to Venice! That is why she loves living in Europe! So many places to go and so easy to get there once you live in Europe!
The streets were sort of scary on the first night there...but as you said...FUN too! TOTALLY different than ANYTHING we have ever experienced. When we began to realize that Venice was pretty safe, the dark streets weren't as intimidating. If you became TOTALLY lost (we never did) ~ you could always ask for directions to either the Grand Canal, Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge) or Piazza San Marco to get your bearings... Glad you're finding my tips helpful! To be honest, I NEVER considered the difficulty in getting to SOME hotels that are a distance from vaporetto stops! I just lucked out in choosing a B&B that was easy to get to.

We also stayed one night at a LUXURY hotel on the Grand Canal. We checked out the exact location on foot with no luggage before we went there...this hotel was also close by the Rialto vaporetto stop, so it was easy to get from there to the Venice Ferrovia (train station) when we departed for Florence. More on that hotel later...

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Old 11-07-2010   #37 (permalink)
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Great job as usual Joanie, thank you for all the great tips,information and beautiful photography.
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Old 11-07-2010   #38 (permalink)
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Talking Sidewalk Cafes & Other Restaurants & Bars of Venice

Venice! I have NEVER seen so many sidewalk cafes and bars...it was quite mild weather when we were in Italy in October, so the sidewalk cafes were open in full force. During the winter, I suspect that dining in most of these places moves inside.

In Italy, there are various types of cafes or restaurants ~

Osteria:
An osteria is an Italian-style eating establishment where the emphasis is generally placed on maintaining a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine. Osteria in Italian literally means a place where the owner "hosts" people. Food is generally regional and prepared with local recipes, and often served at shared tables.

Trattoria:
A trattoria is an Italian-style eating establishment, less formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria. There are generally no printed menus, the service is casual, wine is sold by the decanter rather than the bottle, prices are low, and the emphasis is on a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine. The food is modest but plentiful (mostly following regional and local recipes) and in some instances is even served family-style (i.e. at common tables).

Trattorie faithful to this stereotype have become fewer in the last 20 years and many have adopted some (or several) of the trappings of restaurants, with just one or two "concessions" to the old rustic and familiar style.

Optionally, trattoria food may be bought in containers for taking home. The word is cognate with the French word traiteur—meaning a catering business whose (almost) sole raison d'être is take-out food

Enoteca:
Enoteca (plural: Enoteche) is an Italian word, derived from the Greek word Οινοθήκη, which literally means ”wine repository” (from Oeno/Eno- Οινός "wine", and teca Θήκη, "receptacle, case, box"), but is used to describe a special type of local or regional wine shop that originated in Italy. The concept of an enoteca has also spread to some other countries. A genuine enoteca is primarily directed at giving visitors or tourists the possibility to taste these wines at a reasonable fee and possibly to buy them. An enoteca is often run in collaboration with growers or growers' or tourism organisations in the village or region. The reason such establishments were named to connote ”wine libraries” was that they were intended as a hands-on source of information on local wines rather than as regular outlets for larger quantities of each wine, or primarily intended for established customers. Often, an enoteca stocks rather small amounts of each wine, and customers who wish to purchase large quantities after tasting are referred directly to the producers. In some cases, an enoteca will also sell other local foodstuff and/or serve small snacks to go with the wines.

Of course, there are also ristorantes (restaurants), bars, and other places serving food.

Here are some photos of various cafes and restaurants we passed by ~ and also ate at ~ in Venice.

Early morning in a very large campo. The sidewalk cafe (which isn't open yet) has vinyl sides for the comfort of the diners.



A sidewalk cafe fronting the Grand Canal ~ as seen from the Rialto Bridge.



More sidewalk cafes on the Grand Canal. The gondola in the picture is a "traghetto." More on this later...



We stopped at this bar ~ which is near the Rialto fish market ~ for a couple of beers and small salami sandwiches. DELICIOUS! Notice the beautiful painted ceiling of the colannade where it was located.



Although this place was referred to as "Pub New York New York," we were the only tourists. Everyone else appeared to be "regulars." Prices for food and drinks at the counter were typically about 50 cents Euro less than if you sat at a table. These guys appear to be drinking espresso or cappuchino, but it was COMMON to see someone come in, order an alcoholic drink, down it...and then leave.



There was some flooding due to high tides going on in Venice while we were there. More on this later.....these are some of the flooded sidewalk cafes along the Grand Canal.



Interior of a coffee shop/cafe. Note the temporary pink boots that are being worn because of the flooding. The girl is wearing what we found to be the "typical style" of dress in the cities we went to this time of year. Tights or leggings ~ with a short skirt and a jacket. The guy's dress is typical too.



Almost every campo (square) had its sidewalk cafes...each one also had a well ~ used in years past. All of the wells now have metal covers to prevent their use.



Pizza and bread on display in the window of a small ristorante. This pizza had a THICK crust compared to most we saw in Venice and all over Italy...



A small sidewalk cafe alongside a scenic canal. A small canal is called a RIO. Only the Grand Canal is actually referred to as a CANAL. Note the hand truck used for local deliveries ~ and the elaborate interior of the parked gondola.



Mike's birra alla spina (draft beer) and my bicchieri da vino roso della casa (glass of house red wine) being enjoyed in a LARGE sidewalk cafe in Campo di Santa Maria Formosa.



The street light at Osteria al Mascaron.




Although we didn't eat there our first night in Venice, we did find it the following day and had lunch there. It's located in a narrow calle off Campo di Santa Maria Formosa.

The osteria was rather small and quite rustic. Our waiter, who was possibly one of the owners. was perturbed when he sat us at a 2 by two table. We wanted to sit in the ouside two chairs and he wanted us to sit in the inside two....we finally moved and his rather gruff attitide changed somewhat. We ordered buffalo mozarella with tomatoes and spaghetti alla scoglio ~ spaghetti with mixed seafood ~ clams, shrimp, octopus, and mussels. The clams were the SMALLEST we had ever seen ~ just little shells. They reminded us of the tiny coquinas that litter our beaches here in Florida. I never thought about COOKING them!



The flavor of the spaghetti was wonderful, though, and our meal there was VERY enjoyable!

The waiter sort of reprimanded two oriental girls sitting near us because they asked for Coke as their beverages. He said that was NOT appropriate for having with an Italian meal. They finally ended up ordering water instead. Waiters in Italy do not depend on tips for their salaries, and so are not condescending like American waitstaff is.

Osteria al Masacon appeared to be VERY popular with the locals. When we arrived, there were quite a few empty tables, but by the time we left, every table was filled with diners.

The street sign for Osteria al Mascaron.



A lovely sidewalk cafe located in a campo at the beginning of the widest street in Venice ~ Sestiere Cannareggio.



McDonalds ~ located on Sestiere Canneregio. It boasted a sidewalk cafe....AND Dollar meals (in Euros) just like in the USA. We DID NOT eat here!



Osteria Ai' Osti located in a small campo off Sestiere Canneregio.



It was almost 12 noon and Mike said he wanted a beer. I spotted this little osteria. At the time, the outside tables were packed with local guys having coffee and drinks, so we figured THAT would be a good place to stop. We were right! We went in and ordered "due birra alla spina" (two draft beers) and a small assortment of Venetian style "tapas" ~ CICHETI (CHICK ketti) ~

Quote:
Cicheti
Cicheti is a perfect alternative to a full meal, and it gives you also a chance to try different foods from the Venetian tradition. These dishes are little finger foods usually eaten just before lunch or dinner. In fact, the word “cicheto” comes from the Latin word “Ciccus,” meaning “small quantity.” You are supposed to eat one cicheto with each glass of wine (allegedly so you do not get drunk so quickly).

There are different varieties of cicheti: fish ones (baccala on crostini bread or polenta, sweet and sour sardines, and fried calamari), meat ones (meatballs, arancini, and small salami rolls), and vegetarian ones (sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, boiled eggs, fried breadcrumbs, and stuffed olives).
Cicheti are usually served in an osteria (also called a “bacaro”), which is the Venetian version of a pub or bar. In the old days, these places were the favorite meeting points for Venetian men who wanted to get away from home for a while, have a drink with friends, and play some card games. Nowadays, osterias are more popular with students and young people
We arrived at this small osteria about 11:50am. It was relatively empty. A few minutes after we arrived, an elderly, well dressed couple came in ~ obviously regulars. They didn't order, but were immediately brought a small plate of fried shrimp and two drinks, which I think were grappe.

About 12:05pm hoards of construction workers arrived on the scene ~ one even carrying a large piece of lumber. All these guys were immediately brought bowls of penne with olive oil and bowls of grated cheese to sprinkle over it. many of them drank wine with their lunches.

Nobody who worked here spoke English, but we got along FINE....and what a WONDERFUL experience!!!!

A waterside cafe with Coca-Cola umbrellas.



Another waterside eatery. I found the name interesting as there are several families of Cacciatorres who run groceries here in Tampa.



Mike and I LOVED this small cichiti bar that was located in Salizada San Chiaciano ~ a street in the area near the Rialto Bridge. Notice that the gentleman at the outside table is covering his face, so he wouldn't be photographed.



Mike and I enjoyed a "formal" dinner at Ca' Dolfin (Dolphin House). While in Venice, we actually only ate an actual meal inside at two places. The rest of the time, we sort of "snacked" our way around ~ eating light meals at cafes and pizzarias at all hours of the day and night.



Our meal here was VERY good. I ordered a typical, traditional Venetian meal ~ smashed, reconstituted dried codfish ~ Baccala' Mantecato ~ over grilled while polenta. It was DELICIOUS! I want to try making it at home!

Here's the recipe from Osteria al Mascarone:

Quote:
Codfish Beaten to Cream

We need a Codfish that has been soaken for 15 days at least.

I free it from all fishbones, keeping its skin. I let it cook in boiling water together with its skin, as this grants a fattier liquid. I strain it after it is cooked. I let it rest for some hours, as it is better to prepare it when once got dry.

I take one tray for the preparation, I put in a spoon of oil, one anchovy, a garlic clove, I add the dry cooked codfish and I start to beat it, as if I were preparing the mayonnaise, adding now and then some more oil, preferably seeds oil, as it is neutral.

The creaming process lasts about half an hour, always beating the amalgam. Then it will be “mantecato”, creamy. At Mascaron we serve it with slices of toasted polenta. (cornmeal porridge)
Trattoria A La Bricola



An empty cafe ~ awaiting customers...in yet another campo with the traditional well in the center.



I think that EVERY osteria, trattoria and enoteco in Italy buys their paper placemats from the same company. They're almost all this yellow ochre/tan shade...most often with burgundy red or white paper napkins.



Here's a restaurant that offers pizza slices and rolled pizzas!



A restaurant located in a covered street (sottoportico) alongside a canal.



Mike and I LOVED Venice's food and various restaurants and bars!!!

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Old 11-07-2010   #39 (permalink)
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Joanie, dark is not a problem in Venice. But when the fog comes in it can be VERY spooky...
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Old 11-07-2010   #40 (permalink)
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Joanie, dark is not a problem in Venice. But when the fog comes in it can be VERY spooky...
I can imagine!
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Old 11-08-2010   #41 (permalink)
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Exclamation House of Gladiators in Pompeii Collapses

I know that I haven't yet started in on my report about Pompeii, but I thought this unfortunate news concerning the Pompeii ruins might be of interest....

House of Gladiators in Pompeii Collapses

Thankfully nobody was in the building. This particular building could only be viewed from the outside, but there are quite a few buildings that can be entered in Pompeii, and if they're structurally unsound, it could be a disaster in the making.

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Old 11-09-2010   #42 (permalink)
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Exclamation Acqua Alta

When we arrived in Venice, as we were walking to our B&B, we noticed some fairly narrow "platforms" stacked up in the small street adjacent to the wide walkway along the waterfront. I thought these might be some sort of a portable stage used by entertainers or for some special event.



They WERE for a "special event" ~ but it wasn't one put on by entertainers. Mike and I would find out just what these were for the next morning after breakfast....

As we were getting ready to head out for the day, Fabio, our B&B host asked if we had heard about "the high tide" and "the flooding..." Well ! I HAD read a little bit about the high tides in Venice, but didn't think too much about them ~ as I *thought* they primarily took place in November & December ~ and this was October.

It turned out that Venice was experiencing high tides ~ Acqua Alta ~ while we were there. Fabio warned us against walking in the water ~ salt water ~ as it would ruin our shoes.

We headed out and soon found out what the platforms were for. They were portable elevated sidewalks placed in strategic places, so that pedestrians could avoid the water.

Mike heard at some point that on Tuesday, October 4th, 12% of the city was flooded. We were able to get around fine....we just avoided going in places that were flooded. St. Mark's Square was flooded until early afternoon, but it didn't deter people from going there.



I can't imagine why the people were wading around! After all, it was October, and I'm certain that water was COLD!



A few people were wearing rubber boots. We saw them for sale all over the city. Plain black ones were selling in shops for €20.



Shops definitely had some problems because of the flooding. Many of them had "dams" that were about 18" high that they put up in their doorways to help keep the water out and allow customers to come in.



Here, the water was beginning to subside somewhat.



More flooded streets ~ notice the stacked up sidewalks in the middle of the water.





The area adjacent to the Grand Canal had some major flooding ~ with the water being pushed up onto the sidewalks by passing boats.



The sidewalk cafes were all set up with tablecloths and chairs, but it was late afternoon before customers were able to sit down without having their feet in water. The flooding HAS to have an effect on small businesses in Venice.



For those who wanted to get around in flooded areas without getting wet, disposable above the knee boots were available. These have a firm plastic sole to give you traction, and to protect the softer plastic used in them. They came in BRIGHT colors!





Mike and I decided to skip the boots and just wait for the water to recede before venturing into flooded areas. Also ~ Mike wears a size 12 shoe, and apparently these disposable boots really only work for up to USA size 10 men's.

By about 2:30pm or 3:00pm on Tuesday, the high tide was totally over. Happily, on Wednesday, it wasn't nearly as bad....
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Old 11-09-2010   #43 (permalink)
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I'm REALLY enjoying your report! I can't imagine the hassle of having to deal with high tide. Yikes! What a mess. Do the shop and cafe owners seem to take in stride? Looks like they have methods to work around navigational issues, etc.
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Old 11-09-2010   #44 (permalink)
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Virtually EVERYTHING in Venice arrives and leaves by boat. Deliveries are brought as close as possible, then placed onto hand trucks to be walked to their destination ~ food, mail, furniture, etc..... You may have noticed a recent UPS ad on TV that shows shots of deliveries in Venice. Here's a UPS delivery in progress ~ I wonder if any of the cartons ever fall off into the water?



Here's another YouTube video of gelato being delivered ~ the vendor had to roll his freezer through the alleyways down to the delivery boat in the canal. Daily life in Venice truly IS a DIFFERENT!



I've NEVER seen furniture delivery quite like this! Arriving by barge, and then up a ladder to the 3rd floor.



Here's some meat being delivered to the public market. Notice that this area ~ which was right by the Grand Canal ~ was a little bit flooded...



You see hand trucks everywhere ~ just waiting to move things around.



here you can see a hand truck with packages on it that are being delivered.



Here's a barge with beer kegs and huge wine bottles (for house wine on tap) that will be delivered to cafes and bars.



Deliveries entail going over MANY bridges. Hand trucks in Venice have special little wheels in the front, which allow them to be moved up and down the bridge steps with "relative" ease. Here's an empty hand truck on the Rialto Bridge. BTW ~ you can hire a delivery guy or porter with a hand truck to carry your bags up and down over the bridges and through the narrow streets to your hotel.



Everything that comes in must eventually be taken out as well. Trash and garbage is placed in small plastic bags for collection, and boxes are flattened and tied together. Mike and I were amazed at how clean the city was kept, given the difficult circumstances for garbage collection. Here's trash awaiting pick-up.




Last edited by JoanieBlon; 11-09-2010 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 11-09-2010   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Dance View Post
I'm REALLY enjoying your report! I can't imagine the hassle of having to deal with high tide. Yikes! What a mess. Do the shop and cafe owners seem to take in stride? Looks like they have methods to work around navigational issues, etc.
Glad that you like my trip report! I'm just having trouble getting time to work on it...

I think the shopkeepers and cafe owners ~ as well as others who live in Venice ~ have learned to accept the water ~ although I'm SURE it gets them down from time to time...

To see photos of the monumental flooding which took place in 2008, click HERE WHAT A MESS! But ~ life goes on....

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