TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

 

My husband and I travel quite a bit in the summer. This page has highlights of some of our most frequent trips. You may find some useful information from our experiences here.

 

Venice, Venice, Venice....I can't get enough.
Enotecas or osterias are small restaurants that are in every nook and cranny throughout Italy. As many as there are it's hard to find the really good ones. After some extensive research of Venice I found these two and was very impressed. They're off the beaten track and don't have gorgeous views, but the food and wine is uncommonly good. Known for their wine selection and antipasto, enotecas can be as disappointing as the expensive and fancy restaurants along the canals with great views. So here are my picks for the best and most reasonable enotecas around Venice.
 

All’Arco in Venice, Italy

This little Venice enoteca is just a few minutes walk from the Rialto bridge. It's a little hard to find especially if you get turned around and don't know which side of the bridge you're on which happened to us twice. The first time we went, we found it easily and had a great time. Whenever we travel now we always bring a compass because it's so easy to get turned around especially around Venice. We learned from past experiences to check the menu or ask if there is a charge for a table in Italy, especially Venice. A glass of wine could be half the amount if we stood at the counter or by the window ledge, and twice if we took a table outside. The tables and chairs are small and there are only a few at All' Arco. All the Venice locals stand up. You can order individual antipasto or special dishes. For lunch we just chose individual cicchetti (chi-ke-tee) that were delicious. more.... 

       

Enoteca al Volto, Venice, Italy

Enoteca al Volto, Venice is easy to find, has great food, a lot of seating both inside and out, and inexpensive. While visiting Venice, for a couple of days at the end of July before our Mediterranean cruise, my husband and I wanted to eat where the locals eat. I researched the reviews online before our trip and found a few places to try. It’s a good idea to print out a street map with the walking directions for any destination when you travel. Google.com has a site that allows you to type in an address like your hotel or a point of interest like in this case the Venice Rialto bridge, and then the address of your destination. It will give you the distance, each street, approximate time to walk, and every turn to take. Be sure to include the entire address of each entry space. more...

       
Santorini, Greece

Roof Garden Restaurant Fira, Greece

If you are taking a Mediterranean cruise you will most likely end up in Santorini. If you take the cable car people mover you will end up in Fira as your first destination. As you walk up and down through the narrow and steep streets there will be plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. We always try to find a place that serves a reasonably priced bottle of wine and light appetizers when we travel. Before we left, I didn't really do my homework for Greek restaurants. I don't know much about the food except that any fish dish will be really fresh as most buy their fish from local Santorini fishermen. more...
  

 

     
                                           VENICE TRAVEL TIP

The best tip I can give you
if you visit Venice is to purchase vaporetto passes online for 30 euros each. It will give you unlimited usage for 48 hours. There are also passes available from 24 hours to 7 days and the tickets are good for up to a year. Your time starts the first time it is used. If you buy a one way ticket it is 6,50 euro each and will only take you one way. In four trips a pass will pay for itself. With a pass, If you get on the wrong vaporetto or end up going the wrong way, you can always get off and change to another boat. Venice water taxis are outrageously expensive and walking is only good for short distances. It's fun viewing Venice from the water and the vaporettis are really the best way to get around in Venice. more...


This is a vaporetto boat at the Palanca loading station. All the loading stations are yellow and white. They are also floating but are just meant to shelter the passengers while they are waiting for a vaporetto. There is plenty of seating but as you can see they can get full. If you sit by a window or way in the back out in the open, you will get wonderful views while traveling to your destination.

 


Travel tip #1: Always check The major reviews for hotels and restaurants before you travel. I like Tripadvisor the best. I found the Hotel Wildner in Venice and most of the reviews were very good. As it turned out they were right. Also, the reviews for the enotecas in Venice we found were true.

Travel tip #2: Find out about transportation before you travel. Some places like Venice and Santorini are not conducive to renting a car and in fact impossible as the streets in Venice are canals and the streets in Santorini are steps and small alleys. If you’re coming from a cruise ship, it’s important to know how to get around. In Venice the best way is the People Mover that will take you to the nearest vaporetto boat station. In Santorini it’s the cable car that will take you to the top of Fira, Santorini.

 Travel tip #3: Before actually eating in a restaurant where you travel ask to see the menu and if they have restrooms (or a water closet). Have a seat or stand at the counter and use the restroom before you order anything. If it’s not clean you can always leave. If you can’t see a kitchen don’t be afraid to ask if they have one. Tell them you went somewhere else that didn’t actually have a kitchen and were very disappointed.

Travel tip #4: Travel light even if you’re going on a long trip. Wear clothes that are easy to wash and dry fast. Take a clothesline and put it in the shower. If you’re on a cruise ship they do have laundry service but it’s very expensive. If you’re staying at pensiones and or hotels it is also expensive. Laundromats are non existent in places like Venice and Santorini. Note: Don’t ever throw wet towels or clothes over wood stained chairs in hotel rooms. The next day they will be brown and the hotel can charge you for ruining their furniture.

Travel tip #5: Wear comfortable shoes. The only people who don’t wear comfortable shoes when they travel are the locals because they don’t have to walk far. If you go to a beach wear plastic slip on shoes in the water as there could be rocks or even broken glass. Ladies!!! On the ocean the salt air can make your feet swell two shoe sizes up. Especially high heels that are a little tight to begin with. Bring dress shoes that can stretch around the toes and heels so you can dance all night.

Travel tip #6: When you’re walking around Venice or Santorini be careful around crowds. Getting off and on public transportation is where the thieves are waiting for you to get careless. They know you are concentrating on which route to take or holding onto a pole and not your wallet. Put your money in a zippered pouch and use a safety pin to attach it to your underwear. The only way they can get at it then is if they steal your underwear. They know all about pouches hanging from a string around your neck and can get to them easily. Only put money in your pockets or a wallet that you can afford to lose.


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Information about Museums in Venice

Venice beyond romanticism: its greatest museums

Venice is conventionally known for being the town of love and romanticism, the ideal destination for couples in love. However, Venice should be mostly remembered for the beauty and wealth of its artistic patrimony. Beside the presence of some of the most iconic buildings in the history of art and architecture of the entire world, Venice can count on a number of amazing museums, hosting art from all ages. Here are those you cannot miss.

Galleria dell'Accademia- The Accademy Gallery

The Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice is situated in the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità, of which the church of Santa Maria and the monastery of Canonici Lateranensi are part.

The museum hosts the most important artistic works of Venetian artists. A rich collection of paintings include works from the 14th to the 18th centuries made by Bellini, Giorgione, Canaletto, Carpaccio, Veronese, Titian and Tiepolo and many other artists that have influenced European art.

Palazzo Ducale- Doge's Palace

Palazzo Ducale is the symbol of Venice where the Doge, the head of  the judiciary power, used to live. Today this amazing structure hosts the Museo Civico di Palazzo Ducale. Situated exactly in Piazza San Marco, it includes a series of smaller museums. In the Doge's apartments there are paintings by Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto.

This is one among the most important museums of modern art in Italy. Dedicated to the advancement of 20th century art, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is situated in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni where Peggy Guggenheim, a patron of the arts, lived.  Works by Picasso, Pollock and many other famous name of modern art are on show all year round,  and there are always exhibitions throughout the year that give the visitors the opportunity to admire other masterpieces.

Ca'Rezzonico

Ca'Rezzonico takes its name from the patrician Rezzonico family. In this three-floor Baroque Palace there are paintings, furnishings, sculpture and some works by Tiepolo. It is known as the museum of 18th century because the works it hosts belong to this period.

Museo Civico Correr

The Museo Correr is named after the aristocrat Teodoro Correr and it is situated in Piazza San Marco.  The museum hosts a vast collection of paintings, coins, classical antiquities and marble sculptures by Antonio Canova . Moreover, there also are drawings showing how Venice has changed in the course of the centuries.

Venice is, therefore, not only an exclusive destination  for people in love, but it is also a place for all those who like history and art, that becomes even more likely to be apppreciated thanks to the amazing frame in which it is situated where the art of museums is juxtaposed to the art of monuments.

Each of these museums is really worth a visit and we recommend you have; thus, it could be convenient to buy a Venice museum pass which includes several options and possibilities of combining visits so that you can get the best of it and see as much as you can according to your idea of art.

- See more at: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/tourism/veneto/venice-museums#sthash.l1d4Ef0D.dpuf

 

 

Information about Venice

Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate). In 2006, it was the world's 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year. It is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major center for the Grand Tour, with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffe Florian, It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic, and musical productions.

Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venizia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business. 

However, Venice's popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a "living museum". Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so high that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto and Italy, the most notable being Mestre.

In the historical city

Aerial view of Venice including the Ponte della Libertà bridge to the mainland

Venice is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century, a causeway to the mainland brought the Venice Santa Lucia railway station to Venice, and the Ponte della Liberta road causeway and parking facilities (in Tronchetto island and in piazzale Roma) were built during the 20th century. Beyond the road and rail land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains (as it was in centuries past) entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban car-free area. Venice is unique in Europe, in having remained a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

The classical Venice boat is the gondola, (plural: gondole) although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies, or as 'traghetti' (sing.: traghetto) to cross the Canale Grande in the absence of a nearby bridge. Many Venice gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. Less well-known is the smaller sandolo. At the front of each gondola that works in the city of Venice, there is a large piece of metal called the 'ferro,' or iron. Its shape has evolved through the centuries, as documented in many well-known paintings. Its form, topped by a likeness of the Doge's hat, became gradually standardized, and was then fixed by local law. It consists of six bars pointing forward representing the Sestieri of the city, and one that points backward representing the Guidecca.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice

 

 

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