Looks like an ‘on water’ traffic jam, doesn’t it?!!
Before the pandemic, one of my last travels included a 2nd-in-my-lifetime visit to Venice. I was determined to have a bit of time on the waters of Venice so the hotel concierge staff kindly arranged a private water taxi from the airport to my hotel for both my arrival and also for the departure.
The full service did include a pick-up outside the disembarkment area at the airport. The driver did assist me with my luggage and drove me over near the water taxi platform. I was able to get assistance with my luggage there, including care of my luggage onto the boat, while the driver of the boat was securing the boat as seen in the photo below, and then he turned his attention to assisting me on to the boat. And, yes, the boat driver was as handsome as George Clooney, Italian style.
And, no…I don’t travel lightly as I am often traveling for months at a time and often overlapping from one season to the next!
Here are just a few of my sightings on arrival, giving me an introductory smack of what was to be seen in Venice:
Apparently, there is no law that says you can’t chat on your phone and drive a boat. When approaching a bridge, the height under some of the bridges can make you feel like you need to duck!
The building facades were architecturally heavenly, as we slowly made our way (for about 40 minutes to my hotel).
and then there are the boats for different purposes! (passenger, private, maintenance, and yup, the gondola), coasting down various widths of waterways.
Once I settled my luggage in my room and freshened up a bit, I went downstairs to the bar to have a drink and, eventually, some cicchetti (tapas or small bites) for a light meal. See this article: https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/food-and-wine/budget-dining-in-venice-italy-with-cicchetti-at-bacari
This allowed me to pay closer attention to some of the detail in this charismatic looking hotel as well as take in the framed views of boats slithering by. The hotel had just ‘opened for business’ a few weeks prior to my stay.
Stepped on just one of the details shown just above…
And, yes, a campari spritz. A sort of fishy cicchetti, anchovy toast, and a skewered ‘fish stick’ with a little lime and dip to add even more flavor.
Please take note that I did not have the cicchetti article in hand when I was there… just one of the reasons I would like to make my way back to Venice for a 3rd round of eating and wandering. But then any excuse will do, of course!
When in the narrow but lengthy lobby, I turned around and looked at the view to the back of the hotel. I saw a delicately restored arched metalwork and glass trimmed doorway. Extending to the exterior, an inviting courtyard area made its way to a slender, quietly travelled canal, giving me more water views to put a smile on my face.
Now my travel partner put a kibosh on the private water service and opted for the public boat transportation when he arrived a few days later. The major advantage is the cost. The hotel gave us the information for this service as they could not book a reservation for him. Here is their website: https://www.alilaguna.it/en
I am sorely worn out when flying from the West Coast of the USA to Europe and having to juggle luggage sometimes is not worth the aches and pains that seem to arise when I try and tend to my own. i like to arrive and make it easy…ahem…not taxing my brain or body power.
Upon my travel partner’s landing, also from the West Coast, I soon started getting calls from him while he was on the public transportation boat: “He had no idea where he was. He had no idea how much longer it was going to take (at least twice as long as my arrival–supposedly, 1 hour and 20 minutes).” And there were several of those calls with the same news. The updates were rather odd for him, yet refreshing, as he is known as a rather impatient man. But he seemed to be having a hearty fun time engaged in the sights and the passengers surrounding him. So, depending on your tolerance level, number of persons in your group, your pocketbook, whether porterage is of concern-are all things to consider when opting for his choice rather than mine.
I must say I believe it cost about 10 times less than my private boat transfer! Now, my quoted price for the private transport would have been the same price for 4 passengers which would have dropped the price down considerably per person. As it turned out, my travel partner had just a short walk to the hotel which is something else you might want to pay attention to if you choose his choice. The hotel provided a walking map showing the nearest boat stop to the hotel. It turned out to be just a few minutes away, which also made it palatable to use the public transportation service.
I have yet to have a gondola ride in Venice and that’s OK. But with my first travel to Venice, I was certain I was not going to be satisfied unless our visit included a gondola ride.
However, the hotel we stayed at did include a private boat trip to another island where the hotel had a sister beach resort so we took advantage of this perk for an afternoon of soaking up the sun and lunch. Soooo..oo, when in Las Vegas, once upon a time a number of years later, I did have my gondola ride when staying at the Venetian Hotel! Not the same as opting for one in Venice. But, yes, have a photo…somewhere….to prove it.
Venice…to be continued….