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Venice is sinking and Jane is expanding

Venice, Italy

Venice really is an amazing place. Nothing quite prepares you for when you first come out of the main train station and see the canals for the first time.

We found that after the magnificence of Florence, Venice had a much different character. Because we weren't there in peak tourist season, we were lucky enough to explore the little back lanes and canals without too many other people and this gave things a distinctly eery character at times.

We actually stayed on the mainland to save money, but it really worked out well. We were walking distance to the train and the bus and in 5 minutes or so we arrived at the island each day.

We had both just read the Donna Leon book "Death at La Fenice", which gives great descriptions of the city. Jane, being the juvenile person that she is, then pretended that everywhere we saw an Italian man in a bone coloured trench coat that this was the book's main character, Inspector Brunetti. Jane found this incredibly amusing - Kristian no doubt found it immensely embarrassing!

As we aren't such fans of religious art, we decided to do a few different things in Venice. The first was to get lost in the streets - just wander around and then just pop out wherever. Actually that's really just normal!! We did a tour of the Jewish ghetto, which was very interesting. We did a quick tour of the Opera House (again Jane was searching around La Fenice as though she was solving the murder in the Donna Leon book) and we avoided the over-priced gondola ride.

We went to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which was another great museum featuring some impressive work within the home that Peggy lived in herself - with her voracious appetite for both the art and the artists (so the story goes). It was also really interesting to see where this interesting woman lived and very sad to see some of the wonderful artwork of her only daughter, who died under "mysterious" circumstances.

We of course visited St Mark's Square and basilica and watched in amusement and people handled the pigeons, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they will now probably have salmonella for days!

For us, the 2 days was really enough, but with more money and perhaps if we were at the beginning of our trip, another couple of days would have been nice!


1. MURANO GLASS - Kristian now starts to get a nervous tick at the mention of the word "Murano" (do test this when we return). While there is some awful kitsch and some 'made in China' fake stuff, there are some really beautiful works of art! (and yes we invested in a couple of things!). We went to the island of Murano, where the particular type of glass blowing originated. We saw a fantastic demonstration and then spent the morning looking at the shops. The chandelliers truly are amazing, whether they are your taste or not.

2. FOOD (but see lowlights below). It does seem strange to have food as a highlight and lowlight, but there you go! We had heard that Venice is not particularly known as a 'foody' area and that tourists are really ripped off. However, we found the most fabulous pasta in a little "Osteria" (a bar that does little tapas dishes and some main dishes) - it truly was divine - home made taglietelli with a ragu sauce, with an octopus apetizer. We also found the BEST chocolate shop we have ever been to. So much so that on our last day, we crawled around Venice retracing our steps to find it again!

Jane was particularly fond of the little triangular and pinwheel shaped sandwiches in Venice. They really are divine - ham with an olive mayonaise or just a little mini roll with lovely salami and cheese. Again, Australia take note! And yes, it goes without saying that it's a sad state of affairs when a coffee from the local train station tastes just as a good as one in a cafe in Melbourne.

3. EERY CANALS. There really is something amazing about the 'streets' of Venice and something very sad about the fact that our children probably won't get to see it!

4. SHOPS - Nothing Jane could afford to buy, but some seriously divine shoes and clothes in this place!


1. FOOD - Yep we fell victims again, not just of a guide book recommended place, but of a place recommended to us by two English people we met in Aix-En-Provence! This was seriously the worst treatment. All of the tourists were in one room and the Italians the other and seriously - the food was so ordinary and overpriced and we just knew it wasn't what the italians were being served and then of course there's the Venetian's service tax, table tax, dumb tourist tax etc. We ended up having one dinner at a chain diner in desparation!

INTERESTING FACTS: The Jews were not allowed to use marble to build their synagogue in Venice, so they used a pretend marble product called marbelina. Marbelina is now actually very rare and very sought after! GO JEWS!

Some of the floors in Venice are divine (yes I'm my father's daughter). I'm not sure of the material, but really stunning.

USELESS INFORMATION: Jane is now SOOOOO fat. You would think that writing this blogs and realising that it's sounding like a food review would be a hint. Let's just say this - the jeans that were bought a little while ago and were "falling off" and which lead to buying a second even smaller pair are now just "snug" and the second smaller pair and rather tight and now sitting at the bottom of the case. Jane will now be placed on her diet again before she returns and she is looking forward to getting back to a routine that does not involve eating at every opportunity!!!

Off to the UK to stay with Mikeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

permalink written by  JaneandKristian on October 11, 2007 from Venice, Italy
from the travel blog: Jane and Kristian's honeymoon
tagged Venice

Send a Compliment

its cool place indeed.
ive heard the city when i was very young and i thought its sooo great to live in a city full of water!

permalink written by  Rainfield on October 17, 2007

Hi Jane, I too am looking for something a little different in Venice. This is my first trip and going with a chap I met on the net six months ago......sooo ! all very new to me. Should arrive on the 20th October for four nights staying at Al gambero hotel. Looks good. Will feed back on departure. wish me luck,

Maggie X

permalink written by  Maggie on September 24, 2008

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