All canals lead to Venice

Where to start? Clare, my girlfriend, and I started thinking about this trip many months ago. The exact date has been lost to history however it has been in the planning for at least six months. We’ve both always harboured a wish to see Italy and, speaking for myself, some of the things I’ve wanted to see since childhood are all within the county (namely the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Colosseum and the city of Venice).

We’re both born organisers (just ask our friends) so we put many hours of planning into the holiday. Maximising what we could see in the time available. We decided to start with Venice, travel to Rome, then up to Pisa. From there we would spend a night in Zurich then travel across France to Paris. Apart from getting to Venice in the first place, we would be travelling by train all the way.

Day one. Ciao Venezia

Grand canal in Venice

We arrived in Venice at lunchtime. Finding the Allilguna terminal was our first challenge. Buying a ticket is simple, finding the boarding terminal is not. One small A4 sign pointing to the left outside the airport was the only direction I found. Eventually we found the correct walkway and pulled our luggage to the docking area.

Being the organised types (see above) we had detailed written direction for the hotel so without too much trouble we found ourselves emptying our luggage and taking in the view from our room.

View from the hotel window

The main sightseeing is being saved for tomorrow so today we found St Mark’s Square and explored a few local bars. For a city we’ve never visited Venice is surprisingly easy not to get lost in. All roads may lead to Rome but here every alleyway, piazza and bridge leads to the Grand Canal.

After a while gawping in awe at how we’d actually made it to Italy and were standing in St Mark’s Square we headed for a few drinks. Firstly in a cafe with a glorious view of the Grand Canal, then onto Harry’s Bar for a cocktail. Harry’s bar is expensive but drips with 20s style.

Harry's Bar

It was fun to be there but I wouldn’t make a special trip unless you really really want to see where Hemingway knocked back a couple of snifters in the afternoon. Instead head for somewhere more local. Like the Osteria Veneziana. Good wines, good prices, tiny venue and local atmosphere. A combination that’s tough to beat.

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