Sunday, December 19, 2010


Revisiting the travelogue..

Aah travel. It is indeed fun to visit places old and new. I find that upon returning, the most vivid memories are not those of the most visited places, but rather the little things we did on our visit. I have been meaning to write about our Italy trip for ages, so I will do it now, or rather a tiny two day part of it. We visited Italy for a whole dozen days, but there is so much to tell about the lovely country that I will keep it down to one place per entry. I will mention the restaurants we are at and the things we loved to see, which will hopefully make this entry useful for future visitors.

To start right at the beginning, we landed in Rome and took a regional flight to Venice. It was about 9AM in the morning when we reached Venice. The aerial view of mainland Venice was very enticing indeed. We had booked rooms at Ca Bragdin Carabba, link here. It was a very charming inn, and the innkeeper was very hospitable. We found it very interesting that the lower floor of this former palace was completely unoccupied as it floods during acqua alta. This inn is a stones throw from the Rialto and a very short walk to Piazza San Marco, so it is very centrally located. The rooms were very nice, bigger than the average venetian room, with a nice terrace as well. Breakfast is not included, but you can get it at an additional price, though I would advise you to not eat here, when options abound on the streets.

We rode the Alilaguna water boat to Rialto, and while the boat was fast, it was quite low and did'nt offer a spectacular view. I recommend taking the #1 water boat to the train station from San Marco once. Don't waste money on a daily pass though.

I was immediately taken in and mesmerized by the magic that seemed to be in the air on the streets. Venice is breathtakingly beautiful and very romanic, with the water & gondolas and the pastel colored houses. Once we checked in, we couldn't wait to get out and explore.

We were quite hungry though, so we went straight for the food. Being in Italy, something in me craved pizza (a bad idea in Venice, I know). So our inkeeper recommended this place. This was very close to San Marco, so we decided to eat and then check out the Doge's palace. Once there, S ordered pizza and I ordered Gnocchi (another mistake). Both were decent, but didn't blow our socks off and were quite expensive.

Afterwards we headed out to visit the Palazzo Ducale. The bridge of sighs was sadly covered in scaffolding, and while it was a sight in itself, it wasn't the same. Piazza St. Marco however, was a different story. We were both enthralled by the beautiful square, and gawked awhile at the basilica. Then we decided to visit the palace. It was a wonderful sight indeed, especially if you have a thing for huge chambers and meeting halls. There were some amazing paintings of the renaissance era as well. S was more interested in the prisons however. It was interesting to see prions connected to the palace by a bridge instead of being tucked underground as in most European castles.

The two hour long tour got us all sleepy, so we decided to head back and get a little nap. We stopped at Segafredo for a cappuccino at the bar, and then went to the best gelateria in town as recommended by Rick Steves. It was amazingly good and at 1 Euro a scoop, a great bargain too. We then headed to the one supermarket that we saw and got some stuff for breakfast.. some yogurt cups which turned out to be real good, cookies, almonds etc.

Then jetlag had the better of us and we slept till dinnertime. And what better way to spend a vacation, but eat again! This time we headed out to this place. The dinner was amazingly good. I highly recommend the Sphagetti with onions, a deceptively simple dish. S liked the fish very much as well.
Then back to bed to nap!

Day 2 to be continued..