English literature studies of Shakespeare’s play “The merchant of Venice” in school had always left me dreaming to be in Venice the City of Islands and waterways where streets should be, once in my life. Paris though topped my world tour bucket list, Venice was the next and life has been more the kind to offer me a chance to live my dreams. After my 2 days Parisian romance, next was the floating city of Venice.
We took Transavia flight from Paris Orly to Venice Marco Polo Airport. It was the month of Feb so very cold and there was a long walk from the airport exit to the water taxi boarding point,to reach the city. There are public water taxies operated by Ali Laguna which are slower and have various stops on the way to city however for a faster ride to the city you can book a Private water taxi.
It took us almost an hour to reach our hotel, Hilton Molino Stucky from the Airport. The water taxi experience was novel and to be cherished forever. The Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is an iconic structure, once a floor mill located in the grand canal of the city. My husband had registered us for the membership of Hilton hotel worldwide and to our delight we got a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room with canal view. Thanks to my husband for his smartness, he generally enrolls for memberships of hotel chains and frequent flyer programs of airlines to enable us enjoy such perks while on vacations.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is a grand hotel with lovely views, roof top open pool, terrace bar with grand canal view. The cherry on the cake is a complimentary water shuttle service for hotel guest to the main square in the city every 20 minutes.
Venice is an island city well connected by water taxies and the very famous Gandolas. It has a lot to offer from gourmet delight to mouth watering pizzas, to lip smacking pasta, focaccia bread, wines, gemstones,leather goods, famous venetian murano glassware and the architectural delight. To add on to the list were the high end fashion stores, the smartly dressed locals, tiny bars brimming with life make it a prefect holiday destination throughout the year. Though we were in venice in the month of feb considered to be an off peak season but the influx of tourists and their undeterred spirit to discover the city was unparalleled.
We were also in high spirits to discover Venice. To start we walked passed the cobbled streets in search for a place to have lunch, as our early morning flight had left us very hungry. We settled down at a small restaurant with quirky decor, soothing music and sumptuous Italian delicacies. Our lunch comprised of pizza, gnocchi along with mulled wine to keep us warm in the bitting cold. The staff was not well versed in english but was warm and courteous.
Venice is well connected by water taxies with stops at all tourist attractions, but walking was our choice as we were transported to a dream world we had always imagined. The sight of Gondola’s criss crossing the city canals in blue waters was to die for. Finally I was in Venice!!!
In our walking expedition we came across gelato and pastry shops where we relished some of the tastiest cream roll and ice creams forever. The feeling to remain lost in the city forever groped us. The walk and window shopping sessions had again left us exhausted and it was time for a coffee break. The waiters in Venice dress up impeccably, definitely an eye catcher.
We continued our walk to pizza San Zaccaria, clicked lots of pictures and ended up in the same restaurant where we had lunch for some early dinner. We called it an early day after the dinner and took the complimentary water shuttle to the hotel. A steaming hot bath and a cup of green tea was good enough for a heavenly sleep after a tiring day.
Next day we were up early and left for the main square of the town for some authentic local breakfast. We enjoyed focaccia bread and grilled veggie sandwich with hot chocolate for breakfast, to mention here the hot chocolate was not the regular chocolate milk but it was a cup of hot molten chocolate. Next on the itinerary was Saint Marks Square, a UNESCO World Heritage sight. We visited the three major tourist spots at Saint Marks Square including the Saint Marks Basilica, Tore Deliorologio( bell tower ), Dodges Palace and The Bridge of Sighs.
We skipped on the Gondola ride as they are overly priced and not nearly the quite romantic experience you might expect them to be, this was done just out of personal choice. Instead we decided to get lost in the alleys of the Venice again, walking in the direction opposite to the crowd, without a map, i did considered “Get lost in Venice”. Next on the list was some famous Murano glass artifacts shopping ,as time constrained we skipped the visit to the island of Murano on the Venetian lagoon for ourself to see how the famous glass was blown into pieces of arts, rather settled for the souvenirs.
The Rialto Bridge was next and while our ride to Rialto we saw iconic structure of San Simeone Piccolo Church, San Zaccaria Gothic Church. We saw girls dressed up in carnival clothes and masks posing with tourist for a picture after paying some euros. Finally we relaxed in canal side restaurant where we enjoyed bowl of veggie soup with huge portion sized garlic bread which was as good as a meal. We returned to our hotel and explored the hotel a bit. It was about time in this unusual romantic city of Venezia, I would love to return to this city because you can’t seem to get enough of Venice the beautiful city 365 days a year. With a heavy heart and all hopes to return soon we departed to the airport in our water taxi lingering on to the memories of architectural magnificence, candy colored glass artifacts and gourmet delights this Italian city is sure to leave you in awe.
P.S: Staying at Hilton saved us the task to tour the grand canal in a vapouretto a must to do in the list of tourist attraction in Venice ,as the hotel itself is in the grand canal.