From Munich Hauptbanhof Station, it took 6 hrs to arrive in Sta Lucia train Station in Venice. Words can’t explain how it feels to be back in this beautiful city. In 2010, my family and I did a 3-week Italy trip (which I have yet to write about) and we stayed in Venice for 4 days. What my family and I did in those 4 days, Nik and I did in an entire day!
Looks old and abandoned, doesn’t it? But I think that’s what makes this building so beautiful. What attracted me most about this hotel is how it’s conveniently located right across the Sta. Lucia train station. After crossing one bridge (Ponte Scalzi), you’re there! Trust me when I say you wouldn’t want to stay at a place far from the station; you wouldn’t want to be carrying your heavy luggage up and down the thousands of bridges scattered all over the city. Also, its near a Vaparetto stop (waterbus). Although, it was quite pricey —110,00 Euro (6,000++ PHP) for 1 night and the room was small, no bathroom and AC was broke. As what i understand though, this is the normal price for hotels in Venice and we just wanted to stay in the island for a night so we really didn’t mind. Did I mention they serve breakfast too? Also a + factor!
That night we dressed up to go on a fancy dinner date. (budget travellers can do fancy dates, you know! It couldn’t be all grocery store food) We went for a lovely walk to the Rialto Bridge and continued walking until we found the perfect restaurant near San Marco Piazza—forgive me I forget the name! We started off with a fine bottle of white wine then had pizza and pasta, ofcourse. Our dinner was 60 Euros! I cringed when I saw the bill but it was all worth it. With our bellies happy, and the sun fully set, we walked to Piazza San Marco.
We took the Vaparetto ride on the way home. It’s their water bus. Stand in the very front and be prepared for a 30-minute journey back in time! One way of seeing the entire city through the Grand Canal is by riding the Vaparetto for only 7 Euros.
What to do in Venice for a day?
One thing’s for sure, you’ll do A WHOLE LOT OF WALKING! Venice is one huge labyrinth of old buildings. You’ll surely get lost without your handy dandy map. For budget travellers, a day in Venice is enough to see the city. For families, I suggest to stay for 4 days.
Piazza San Marco
The biggest and perhaps the only Piazza in Venice where you can find a whole lot of things to do. To get here, just keep an eye on the signs everywhere saying “Per San Marco”
4 Bridges of Venice
Ponte Scalzi – The first bridge you’ll see from the Sta. Lucia Train Station. This is the mother bridge; the one who welcomes you to this magnificent city.
Bridge #2 – I don’t remember the name of this bridge but this is the newest one of them all. Its modern looking so I call this bridge “The Glass Bridge”. This is the new generation bridge. it puts a modern touch to this very preserved city.
Ponte Accademia – known as the “wooden bridge” of Venice. This one, in my opinion, has the best view among the four bridges. This is the grandfather bridge, with the calm view of the Grand Canal and the church.
Ponte Rialto – The most famous bridge of them all. This one is the-peak-of-his-career bridge! From here, you can see the lively part of Venice with its busy markets, tourist-packed restaurants, high-end shops and lovers in a gondola with the gondolier singing the song of their love.
Santa Maria dela Salute
From the Accademia Bridge, we made our way to the Santa Maria dela Salute church. Its right across the Piazza San Marco. You could enjoy a picnic by the stairs and take in the amazing view of the Piazza from a different angle.
“You can’t go to Venice and not have a gondola ride! You just can’t!” Haha.
Meet our Gondolier, Pedro!
He showed us a pretty good Gondola ride of Venice…
Haha! I apologize but I’m just kidding! This is our own version of a gondola ride. This is just a normal boat we rode to cross from the other side of the canal (2 Euros/person) —we were too tired to walk at this point. You get to ride a gondola for 3 minutes and you get to have a photo with a gondolier as well! Touché! We didn’t do the famous gondola ride. It may look romantic and perfect but 80,00 for just 1 hour to hear an Italian sing and be with stranger couples isn’t my cup of tea. I’d rather be romantic over a good dinner at the Piazza or the Rialto. For budget travellers, to truly experience Venice, you have to walk it! Save the Gondola ride for when you go back if you find it worth it.
At 2pm, we did a tour that was offered in our hotel. The tour covered the 3 famous nearby islands; Murano, Burano and Torcello. (Tour=20 Euros/person).
I don’t recommend this tour because you get to spend only 30 minutes in each island which doesn’t really show you anything. If you want to really see the islands take the Vaparetto instead. Vaporetto Lines 12 and 14 from Venice’s Fondamenta Nuove take you to all these islands. We had no choice but to take the tour because we only had 1 day.
Who hasn’t heard of MURANO GLASS? Ofcourse, Murano is famous for their glass blowing. The tour only let us in a privately owned glass blowing factory which didn’t give us any time to see the island although they did show us how they make really cool glass designs like this horse below.
Famous for their cute, colourful, little buildings and laces. Instead of going in a lace shop, Niks and I walked around instead.
This is the oldest island in Venice. The first cathedral is found in this island. We had to walk 20 minutes to the center to see the cathedral and spent literally only 10 minutes there and had to rush back to the boat or we’ll be left behind! (didn’t I say I hate tours!?!)
After the tour, we really had to run back to our hotel so we wouldn’t miss our train to our next place! Time to say “Arrivederci Venezia! Ciao Firenze”
(June 06 -07, 2013)