Upon stepping foot outside the Santa Lucia Venezia train station you are greeted with the Grand Canal and the San Simeone Piccolo across the bank. We needed to catch the vaporetto (Venice’s waterbus) to the Rialto Mercato stop where our B&B was situated overlooking the Grand Canal. It was no surprise that when we bought the tickets for the 10 minute journey that they cost us €7.50 each. As we only had one full day in Venice we immediately set out to explore. Having expected high prices in Venice we were ready to run from any hecklers and tourist scams however we were surprised at the many different options that were available. Unlike our experience in old town Dubrovnik, it was very easy to find low cost meals and the wine of course was reasonably priced. We even managed to pick up lattes for €1.50 each.
For our first meal we picked up a bottle of Chianti and some pasta to go and sat out on the terrace. Venice has plenty of pasta to go places that offer €5-€7 pasta in takeaway noodle style boxes. The pasta also tasted good, an added bonus.
The next day we set out with no particular plan in mind. Our accommodation was right next to the Rialto Market where all the locals buy their fresh produce and super fresh seafood (much to Ben’s disgust). It was also amusing to see the fat gulls that came around afterwards once all the vendors had left their scraps.
We visited the usual tourist spots – Rialto bridge and Piazza San Marco, but as it was already quite busy and we hadn’t pre-booked anything we decided we were just content to walk through the canals. Which we did all day, something that is very easy to do in Venice. Another activity that is also very easy to do is shopping. Not only is there the usual Murano glass and Venice masks but there’s also a great selection of boutique, mid-range and high end shops where you can just browse for hours.
Venice is currently holding the title of best gelato eaten on this trip so far. After a very average dinner (in Italy a marinara pizza does not have seafood on it) we stumbled across Suso, a fantastic gelataria. Our flavour picks were pistachio and Caffe del Doge which was a mixture of chocolate and caramel. Ben claims that Caffe del Doge is the best tasting ice-cream he’s ever had.
The next morning our train was scheduled to leave at 9am for Florence so we decided to get up early to take some photos of Venice with slightly less tourists in sight.