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Published: June 21st 2017
Gondolas on the Grand Canal from water taxi
Gondolas on the Grand Canal Venice 05-10-14
Geo: 45.4371, 12.3327
Today was such an exciting day as we were finally going to Venice, which was the city we had chosen to be in for our actual Wedding Anniversary. Unfortunately we only had three nights available, both due to time and money (the hotel we chose in Venice was by far the most expensive of the trip), but we intended to make the most of it.
We caught a taxi from the hotel to Milano Centrale station to board the train Venice. We booked all our train trips in first class, it only cost slightly more and we loved having the extra space available. It made for a very comfortable ride.
The scenery was fairly bland, with the most exciting part being the journey over the causeway into Venice Santa Lucia station. We decided to splash out on a water taxi to the hotel and asked the driver if he could take us down the entire length of the Grand Canal, which he was happy to do, obviously for a higher fee. From memory the journey cost €100 and it was worth every penny. It was a spectacularly beautiful day, sunny, clear blue skies and a gentle breeze. It was an amazing
Santa Maria della Salute Venice from water taxi
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute Venice 05-10-14
experience travelling down the famous Grand Canal and then arriving by water taxi to the hotel's dock, one that I hope I get to do again someday. I can see why it is referred to as a James Bond moment!
After our very enjoyable boat ride we arrived at our hotel, the Londra Palace. See my review on TripAdvisor here: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g187870-d202728-r241910553-Hotel_Londra_Palace-Venice_Veneto.html
The location was beautiful, right on the Riva dei Schiavoni and only a few minutes' walk to St Mark's Square and even less to the vaporetto stop. Our room wasn't quite ready, so we sat outside in the hotel's outdoor dining and bar area with a glass of prosecco to people watch and celebrate our arrival.
After a few minutes we were escorted to our room. Wow, wow, wow. We had requested a room with a view, but we got a balcony as well and a 180 degree spectacular view of St. Marks Basin and San Giorgio Maggiore. Our room was gorgeous as well, but nothing could surpass that view. The hotel had left another bottle of prosecco for us in an ice bucket, but we decided to save it for later and get out and explore.
We had a quick Panini for
St Marks and Doges Palace from water taxi
St Marks Campanile and Doges Palace Venice 05-10-14
lunch at a little café next door before heading to the Vaporetto stop to purchase our three day pass. This was a fantastic deal, we used the vaporetto constantly during our stay, and it was much cheaper to buy the pass. We then boarded the next vaporetto over to San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for yet more spectacular views of Venice. I highly recommend doing this early in your stay. There were hardly any queues, compared to the St. Marks bell tower, and the view back over to Venice really helped us orient ourselves. After a look at the church and spending some time watching a Venetian bride we headed back over to our hotel and then went for a wander to St. Marks to work out where we needed to go for our morning Secret Itineraries tour and for a general look around.
St. Mark's Square was amazing. So full of people on this lovely day so we spent some time looking at all the café's and historic buildings before winding our way through the maze of tiny streets. We had no real idea of where we were going but finally ended up at the Accademia Bridge where
Hotel Londra Palace from water taxi
Our Hotel, Londra Palace, from the Water 05-10-14
we stopped for photos of the Grand Canal. Amazingly in the distance we saw this massive ocean liner heading down the Giudecca Canal. We could just see the top of the ship above all the buildings. It was an incredibly sight, and while I understand how much damage they are doing, I quite enjoyed seeing it. By the time our three night stay had ended though, we had seen over ten of these massive ships sail out each afternoon, and watched the huge crowds from them each morning madly following their tour guides along the Riva while we ate breakfast. Definitely not our way to travel, following somebody with a tall pole and no ability to stop on a whim and explore a shop or church or laneway. Each to their own …
We spent the next couple of hours on our balcony enjoying our complimentary bottle of prosecco and watching the pedestrian and boat traffic. It was an incredible sight, especially as mentioned the huge liners passing by and the constant parade of vaporettos, water taxis and other craft.
We finally caught our own vaporetto to the restaurant that we had reserved for dinner, Riviera. Riviera is situated on the Zattere,
Living area of our Junior Suite
Living Area of our Junior Suite at Londra Palace 05-10-14
directly opposite the hotel Molino Stucky. We had reserved an outdoor table, which were only available in good weather, which luckily we had. The setting and views were spectacular, as was everything else about the restaurant. It was definitely one of our best meals in Italy.
The owner himself spent some time with us helping us make our choice and recommending a bottle of wine. It is primarily a fish and seafood restaurant and we both chose the restaurant special of sea bass in a salt crust for our main course. We mentioned our difficulty in choosing a white wine to accompany it as we generally preferred to drink red wine. The owner suggested a red that he felt would go perfectly with the fish, and it was wonderful. I started with the most amazing ravioli with fresh herbs, made with herbs picked that very afternoon at San Giorgio Maggiore that we had just visited. The entire meal was delightful and I highly recommend this restaurant if visiting Venice.
During our trip back to the hotel, we stopped to see St Mark's Square at night and to listen to some of the orchestras at the various cafes. We by far preferred the
Bedroom of our Suite
Bedroom at Londra Palace 05-10-14
music at Café Lavena and decided to come back the next night, which would be our anniversary, for a drink after dinner.
Our first day in Venice was wonderful!
Tot: 1.495s; Tpl: 0.064s; cc: 11; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0348s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb