Have you ever gone back to a place just to visit a shop? As in flown a couple of hours because you think why not….
Well, I did last month.
48 hours in Venice whilst the film festival was on and I didn’t watch a single film or even make it to the lido. I was after a little solo adventure. I went to Venice to enjoy aperitivo outside a cicchetti bar about 20 feet from my favourite place to stay in Venice, Pensione La Calcina, and more importantly visit a little jewellery store on the island of Murano. I bought a glass orange ring there in 2016 and have worn it every day since. I can’t tell you the amount of compliments I’ve received and so I just felt I had to go back. It’s nutty but in such strange times, with a rare blue supermoon, I thought why not?
Water, water everywhere
If you’re not good with water and boats, Venice is probably not the place for you. Although, it is possible to get a train or bus from the airport and then navigate your way along the ground canal and cross bridges without having to get on a vaparetto (the public water taxi as opposed to the expensive and very fast water taxis). I took the public vaparetto from the airport to my hotel at Zattere, make sure you buy a return ticket.
Pensione La Calcina
After the countless delays and then having to wait, I arrived at the hotel two hours later than planned. I just wanted to sleep. The hotel manager looked at me as I told him about my journey and said well you need a prosecco! He wasn’t wrong. It was sublime and the chips were great too. The Prosecco hills are about a couple of hours from Venice airport. It’s on the plan for my next trip!
For me this three star hotel which actually feels four star especially the service and copious breakfast has one of the best locations in Venice. It is a 7 mins walk from Zaterre water taxi stop. About 10 mins from Peggy Guggeheim’s house and museum and just round the corner from the cheapest aperitivo in town.
I’ve done the being ripped off for an expensive spritz in Venice, but that was before I found this little place. It is always busy but the service is very efficient and they have cicchetti too (which are snacks usually on bread that you can buy to eat) whilst you knock back a couple of proseccos at €2,50 or a spritz at €3 and they are shy with their servings either! I love to take my snacks and drinks outside and sit on the canal side opposite the gondola repair yard.
I went back to Murano which was bustling with tourists to find my jewellery store and it was still there. Rossana is the name of the shop named after the owner Rossana Barbini who makes gorgeous rings and sells them at very reasonable prices. She recognised the ring and we chatted for a while. I ended up buying three new rings, who knows when I will make it back.
I had never seen the infamous Devil’s Bridge. The legend is that a young Italian girl made a deal with the devil on the bridge to bring her dead Austrian lover back to life. Apparently, that’s why the bridge doesn’t have any railings. Every year on Christmas Eve, 24 December, the devil reappears in the form of black cat to demand payment. Strange as it sounds, I saw a black cat as I was coming off the bridge – spooky!
Wander and wonder
Forget Google maps it doesn’t really work that well in Venice with all the narrow alleyways. Venice is a place to wander and get lost in your thoughts and marvel at its charm. This is the third time I’ve been to Venice and every time I discover something new about the place and myself.
Supermoon and Mother Nature
It sounds bizarre but after 24 hours in Venice, you almost forget about the water. It’s there but it stops being a thing of wonder during the day at least. At night when it is dark and the water looks black that’s a whole different story. After the blue supermoon, the lagoon reminded us who was in charge by taking over the walkways. I got the tiniest of tastes of what the acqua alta must be like, when the water is over a metre deep on the walkways.
Gelato & Fritto Misto
I end with my second great love, after all, I am a Taurean, food! I love Fritto Misto and bizarrely have only eaten it in Venice. Goodness it was so good and then I walked out into the night and bought a gelato as my feet were being lapped by the waters of Venice.