Up and so ready to get to Venice. We were packed, went down to the lobby in the tiny elevator and the lobby was full with many guests checking out. We asked the front desk to get us a taxi they seemed a bit overwhelmed. Not knowing when one will come and our luck with taxis has been terrible, we decided to wait outside and try to flag one down. In Italy, when a taxi is called, it actually picks people up that called them. It seems like in America, they do not seem as reliable.
We finally got a taxi and was taken to the train terminal. There was a delay and very limited places to sit. Like Rome, you had to spend some money to use the restroom. I went to the cafe and bought a fruit cup so I can get the code to use their restroom. Goodness. Speaking of money, I was also running low on Euros. I went to get money exchanged.
Our train arrived and we headed toward our track and our car. Our monsterous luggage didn’t fit above us so we actually got some help from other travelers ensuring they both fit. We found our seats, plugged in our phones for juice, put in our headphones and waiting until our arrival in Venice. Court was reading her dirty novel on her phone and I wanted to pass out. I didn’t take Dramamine this time so I’m not cranky.
Court woke me up and there was water on both sides of the train. We were close! In 2012, my Cugino and I arrived in Venice via plane and had to take a bus across these same waters. I was excited then, and I was excited now. I love Venice so much.
We arrived, dodged people that didn’t know where they were going and found ourselves outside where it was drizzling a bit. I seem to always be in Venice when it’s overcast, wet and cold. I had no idea how to take the water taxis or boat-bus-like thingamajiggies so I just redacted my refusal of service from the porters with the luggage carts and we were on our way. But first, he stopped at a stand and got plastic to cover our luggage. Wow! How nice.
We headed down the main path and I remember some twists and turns from our wanderings the last time I was there. But the porter was bookin’ it and we couldn’t stop for a second. He was impressive and I was breathless during the video I shot during this experience. It was definitely our cardio for the day.
We got to Hotel Ca’ d’Oro and it had a spot where a boat can dock. I love their types of front doors. Our hotel was cute, our key had a massive weight attached to it. Heaven forbid you drop it in the water! You will definitely be paying for a replacement. I would think they would attach a floating device to it instead.
We headed up in their tiny elevator and found our room in the far corner. Again, two small beds pushed together, nightstands, a boudoir, desk, small television, two windows and a nice bathroom with some pretty goodies. If you pop your head way out the window in our room, you can see the water. Other than that, no water view.
Of course, we were hungry. We got situated and started to explore and I came across a bridge that I remember crossing. We stopped in at Trattoria Da Rino where there was a 3-course meal deal and we were sold! We got a bottle of wine and I had the bigoli in salsa alla veneta, salmone alla mediterranea and a mixed salad. The pasta was delicious. The salmon was OK and a bit dry. Our server was friendly and casual and we even got a curse word out of her. The music they were playing was great. We were singing Air Supply and one of my favorites, Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Hurt’ came on.
We walked around, stopped in a large shopping mall I don’t recall seeing before. We stopped in to one of the churches and I lit a candle for my loved ones and prayed for my best friend’s safety. We found the Rialto Bridge, took our touristy photos and we were on the search for a must visit spot for happy hour with complimentary food…y’know, because we didn’t just eat or anything (?). I believe it was called Taverna del Campiello Remer. We arrived a bit before they opened and we waited outside. I decided to sit on the dock and dangle my feet over the edge, listening to the water, the boats going by and people in the distance. The Rialto Bridge is to my left and sadly large ads covered buildings nearby. What an eye sore for this beautiful city. But I was completely happy where I was. One day, I would love to be in this city, madly in love.
Taverna del Campiello Remer opened and their offerings were incredible! They had cheap happy hour beverages and their complimentary spread of bites was insane. You had pasta, bruschetta and polenta. Just mounds of food! The spot had stone walls, pub like wooden tables, a piano and guitars on display and a fireplace. Quite impressive. Definitely visit this spot when you’re in Venice.
Not quite ready to head home, we continued on walking the streets at night. It may seem like a maze at first but I got the hang of navigating through the city. We visited stores and I have loved the masquerade masks in the windows. We visited one store and I was so tempted to buy an elaborate one but I didn’t want to risk damaging it in transit. We still had to visit Milan.
We found our way to San Marco Piazza and it was beautiful at night. You could hear live classical music in the distance and I headed that way. We were at the Cafe Florian and sat outside right next to the band. We watched the people pass by and ordered some warm beverages to help stay warm. They charge each guest an entertainment fee and the drinks were not cheap. This is a historic spot that opened in 1720 where famous writers used to frequent. The inside was beautiful with small booths and a retail counter to buy sugar to go. I bought my staff some goodies.
Still not ready to call it a night, I had Court put on her pub radar and she found us a pub down a random street called the Devil’s Forest Pub. The bartender was super friendly, I had my first beer in Italy and we were lucky enough to find a table after a guy removed his coat. Soccer was playing on the televisions, the pub was loud and festive and you could say hi to Mom as the action was streamed online. Pretty cool idea.
We ended up chatting it up with the guy that helped us sit. His name was Mateo and he was there with a buddy. Mateo was friendly and chatty. His friend. Not so much. He said that his friend was expecting his girlfriend and that Italian women are very jealous. Of course, when she arrived, I tried to be friendly with her so there wasn’t any issues. Trust me, Hun, I don’t want your man that has no balls because they’re in your purse.
We ended up leaving for another bar and we invited them to join us. Mateo was waiting for a friend to get off work and then they’d come meet us wherever we were so we exchanged phone numbers.
We stopped at one other bar but it didn’t have anything interesting on the menu. We’re such snobs and so spoiled by DW. We left that bar and Court’s pub radar was back on. We passed the street to our hotel and a few streets down, she found ‘The Irish Pub.’
More soccer was being aired on the TVs, they had light snacks, several beers and standard liquors. We decided to stick with beer. I had a small Hoegaarden and Court had the big boy. The boys arrived and joined in on the beer consumption. Mateo and I were chatting more because Court has found herself involved with his friend, who I cannot remember his name
off the top of my head. Sorry, Man! Apparently, Italians learn English in school according to Mateo. He is a native of Venice but enjoys traveling. For instance, he was headed to New York City for Christmas because he hates being around his family during the holidays. Pretty funny. I eventually left, Court was in good hands and I had a tracker on her. As soon as I got to the hotel, I felt like garbage and passed out as soon as I could after blowing my nose so many times. What timing.