I spent the last two days in beautiful Venice… and just at the right time! While Venice was hot and humid and pretty uncomfortable, Florence was even worse experiencing 100+ degree temperatures with humidity in the 70% range. At least in Venice I had air conditioning! Such a treat! I arrived on Friday morning about 10:00. The fast train from Florence to Venice takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.
I took the vaporetto to Mercato Rialto and looked around. I bought some cherries to munch on at the market and found a little sidewalk café to have a small bite of lunch. I walked to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Rialto to access the rooftop terrace to grab some photographs only to find that you need to make a reservation. Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a large department store with some very upscale merchandise and interesting décor. The building was built in the early 1500’s and was the warehouse, offices and living quarters for German (tedeschi) merchants.
Tired of carrying my luggage I took the vaporetto to the San Zaccaria stop and found my hotel. The Hotel Fontana is a little family run establishment that I would highly recommend. It’s comfortable, the location is great and the staff is fabulous. Cousins Diego and Gabriel were so helpful with directions and recommendations. The first morning I was tired and slept in missing breakfast. When Gabriel heard this he went back to check on the status of the food and got me breakfast! Honestly they couldn’t have been better hosts.
I decided to get all of the compulsory must see things out of the way the first day. I visited St. Marks Cathedral, the Correr Museum and the Doge’s Palace. Honestly St. Marks Cathedral and the Correr museum were not that impressive to me but the Doge’s Palace is truly a must see. Fabulous!
That evening I went to hear a Vivaldi concert at the Scuola Grande di San Tomaso. At the recommendation of Diego I had dinner at a little very small and inexpensive place visited mostly by locals called Rosticceria Gislon. I had a plate of risotto ai gamberetti (risotto with shrimp). It was delicious! From here it was a short walk to the concert venue. The music was very good and to add to the mood of the Vivaldi music the performers were in period costume. I enjoyed it very much. I got turned around on the way back to the hotel which doubled the time it took to get back. I was very tired and annoyed with myself over the extra walking but since it took me by a Grom I consoled myself with a gelato! I slept very well in my air conditioned room!