by Mike Aux-Tinee.
It was decided, by committee, when we hit the big blue skies for another vacation that Venice would be the destination. I have traveled to Italy several times and have very few complaints about the country. But before we get too far a head of ourselves and make reservations willy-nilly, I love to do a little (actually it’s more like graduate work) searching for places to stay, restaurants, and places of interest. One thing I have learned about traveling, the photos may look absolutely beautiful, but reviews by fellow travelers are absolutely golden! And I NEVER just pick a place without reading what those who have gone before me have to say. One site that I use a lot is TripAdvisor.
Once December rolls around, it’s time to start planning next years vacation. This does not take to long and usually one or two places have moved to the top of the list. With the place picked out, we check flight schedules, weather reports ( I check what the temps were last year and over the past several years) hotel availability and if the places we want to visit are offering any ‘special’ events (which could be things like smaller guided tours after hours).
January 2nd begins the process of putting everything together and making the vacation a reality. Purchasing airfare is usually cheaper the farther out you buy it. Hotels and B&B’s post their rates and you are able to purchase things like train tickets at much lower rates than if you just walked up to the counter the day of travel and buy them. What all this does is help keep the cost of travel down and that is very important for me.
It’s very exciting, reservations are made and e-mails exchanged confirming stays… another vacation is planned! One thing I would like to suggest, when you make vacation plans several months in advance, purchase travel insurance to protect yourself. While you can cancel hotel reservations, the airlines will not give a refund and that’s when the insurance takes over.
Here are the details of our first day and my thoughts about Venice.
The flight from Chicago to Rome was delayed (insert a side trip to London and then onto Rome.) This put us four hours behind and we arrived in Rome at the same time we should have been pulling into the train station in Venice. We finally arrived in Venice close to eleven o’clock at night.
Lessons learned: be patient and once in country to call the hotel and notify them you are running late and your expected time of arrival (otherwise your room reservation could be canceled!)
The B&B we found is called Dormus Orsoni.
It was very quiet and just a few minutes walk from the famous sights of Venice. I do not mind walking a little farther for a nice, clean and quiet place to stay. That and the room rates are much lower the farther away you stay from where everyone else is staying.
While a little tired from traveling more than expected, we got up the next day and rode the Vaporetto around Venice to take some photos and learn where everything was located.
You will need to take the Vaporetto over to Murano and Burano but for everything else, you can walk around rather easily.
Once done with the boat ride, and countless photos, it was time for lunch! One thing I love to do is eat! And Italy provides me the wonderful opportunity to do so until my heart’s content! Just a little piece of advice, check with the hotel staff and ask where they eat! There are some really wonderful and less expensive places that are out of the tourist drag that only the locals know about. This is where you get a better feel for a town or city and you can make some new friends!
Alright. I am a trooper. I had a longer than expected flight. While the room was quiet and I did sleep, it’s time… once lunch is over to head back for a nap! Doing so, I was able to recharge my batteries and be in a better mood for exploring more of Venice later that evening.
In all, my first day in Venice was pretty good. It was a lot warmer than usual (so much for checking weather reports!) I had a nice boat ride, some great food for lunch and dinner and once the day tripping tourists head back to their cruise ships, Venice is much less crowded.
Once the sun goes down, Venice changes and the romance factor just zooms upward… (wink…wink!)