Month/Year: March 2017
Flight time from London Stansted: 2 Hours
Exchange Rate: £1 = 1.11 euros
Weather: Sunny / hot enough for t shirts but need a coat at night
Venice the place of lots of water and Gondolas.. this place had to be visited.
It was our mate Helen’s 30th Bday so we went as a group.
There was me, Ang, Helen, Kyle, Jay and Laura.
We were flying from London Stansted at 6am so literally had 2 hours kip, headed out on the road and then onto the Long Stay Carpark. We got to the airport all in good time and settled down with our first pint
The flight with Ryanair took around 2 hours. I literally slept the entire way. We arrived at Treviso airport at around 9am so now had to find away into the center.
AIRPORT TO CENTRAL VENICE
We found an info point where they told us there were 2 buses you can catch. One that is 45 mins that takes you abit of the way and another that’s an hour that takes to closer to center. Both costed 22 euros return so we chose the one that took an hour so we were closer to where we needed to be. We caught the coach outside the main entrance to the airport. After taking in some of the sites an hour had gone quickly and we arrived at the bus depo in central Venice.
The first thing we saw was boats everywhere. This place was very busy. We werent even on the island yet at this stage. Now the lady told us that we were to get a water taxi from bus station that would take us around where we needed to be however we had time to kill so we decided to walk.
The walk took around 45 mins if honest, but that’s cuz we didn’t really know where we were going and had to keep referring to Google maps. Once thing we noticed was that there were lots of stairs and bridges so carrying our luggage wasnt the funnest thing to do!
I noticed that there were hotel porters aswell that stacked peoples luggage on their trailers and would lodge them down these stairs. Fair play to them as today was quite a hot day and we were suffering with just one bag. I mean look at these guys trying to get the trailers down the stairs…
We finally made the apartment. Now we had chosen to go with Air Bnb. It was the first time I had encountered one of their places. We waited for our host and she unlocked the door. We stayed at ‘El Mismo Sol’ Venice apartment in the Venezia district.
The outdoors of this tall building unlocked as the host revealed herself. We walked down a corridor and up some stairs where the door to our apartment was unlocked. The first thing i noticed was how friggin big this place. There was a sitting area, dining area, kitchen , downstairs bathroom, 2 rooms on the bottom floor and an entire upper floor bedroom with en suite (this is the one Helen and Jay had since it was her bday and all)
Since we all knew there was one bedroom with a double bed and one with 2 single beds we decided to pick left or right beforehand. We chose right …unfortunately for us that meant we chose the 2 single beds. It wasnt the most biggest and warmest room but it was ok for what we needed it for.
Now one of the first things we did was think about stocking up on food and booze. We found that the best supermarket to go to in Venice was Coop. fortunately there was one 5 mins away from our apartment so off we trotted.
Cheap booze and Food
So we made it to Coop and we purchased pasta n shit and then we went onto the alcohol section. Now this place is quite cool when it comes to alcohol as it sells cheap ass stuff. We found a 1 litre carton of red wine for 0.89 euros. This was 11% aswell so no low percentage shite. We got several of these. The beer was good value too. We got 3 bottles of beer for 1.89 euros. Food was quite cheap too. So this we found was the “cheaper” way to have a session in Venice and eat without breaking too much into ya wallet.
Booze prices out and about.
Now one great thing about Venice is that they allow you to drink on the streets. We found many independent stalls selling tall bottles of beer for around 4.50 euros. Although not a bargain, it’s still cheaper than what they sell it for in the pubs around here. This is good as Venice doesn’t really have many bars in a row, its more restaurants so if you are walking trying to find your next bar, you can top up ya alcohol charge with a “beer to go” from one of these stalls.
We didn’t really find many. We visited “Devils Forest” which was a bar looking place, they served Guinness, beer and the odd ale oh and house red wine for 2.50 euros, however the price of a pint was 7 euros..not the cheapest!! This was a backstreet bar aswell not like it was in a main square or anything. We found this was the average price for a pint here in Venice.
The bar with many Bras
We did also see a cool looking bar with Bras on the ceiling. It was named “Bacaro jazz” People had kinda fooked off the idea of posting currency notes on the ceiling and instead replaced that idea with Bras that were signed by whoever wore them I guess. We didn’t drink here, however they do a happy hour from 4pm where beers are buy one get one free at 5 euros a bottle.
Is the Carneggio District really cheap for booze?
I had read that this district of Venice was the place to go to avoid the stupid prices of beer. We went there around 2pm and went to a bar called Santo Bevitore however it was closed until 4pm so we ventured on to the Fondamenta degli Ormesini street where its said you can have a mini bar crawl? We got there and if honest its no where near as busy as the main streets in Venice. There are mini bars and eating places and we did stop off at them. We found one place offering a beer at 4.50 + service charge so around 5 euros, however all the other places on this strip were average 6 euros a pint so your saving around 1 euro!!! not really worth while since this place was dead with no atmosphere. Maybe its different at night. We did however get to sit alongside a quiet canal and since the sun was gleaming down it was quite a nice way to drink a pint..however shame it wasnt cheaper as we would have stayed there longer.
We did however spot a cool toilet sign which we couldn’t work out if this was meaning peeping Toms allowed?
OK so the average meal will be 15 euros for main meal..oh and then you’ll have a 12% service charge on top of that. It aint cheap…however there are the odd restaurant that will offer 4 courses for 17 euros. Me and Ang found this really nice place on the canal front in a quieter part of Venice but still with all the activity of the Gondolas etc on the canal. It was beautiful. It was called Trattoria da Giorgio. They were offering the above deal at 17 euros so we mentioned it to the group and we all chose to take Helen here for her 30th Bday meal. We all got ourselves ready and off we went to visit this place..
Trattoria da Giorgio ai Greci Restaurant
We were going to sit outside but since there were 6 of us there wouldn’t really be any room so we managed to get seats inside.
We all chose to have something off the “Tourist” Menu as they called it. It was a selection of Italian dishes. You chose one from each section.
I had the Seafood spaghetti followed by Cuttlefish and this potato thing and then a sombre trifle thing at the end.
They gave us welcome drinks which were really nice and didn’t seem watered down. It was like a cosmopolitan. We all chose to order 2 bottles of wine which lastest us.
The first meal came and it was really nice. It was a generous portion too. The 2nd course came and ermmm.. I looked at it and hoped it was mine.. but it was…it looked like someone had done a dirty on my plate!
I gave the dish a try thinking it may be one of those dishes that looks like shite, but actually has flavour?? I was wrong it tasted nasty too. It was very fishy and the black stuff was basically like sludge from the canal. Had no flavour and had weird bits in it. I left most of it. The potato bits too were strange. They looked like sponges and tasted just odd. I was hoping they were like giant chips but noooooooooo. CUTTLEFISH is something I will not want to try ever again – Oh and it didnt help when I actually googled what this fooker looked like ..see below.
I would deffo recommend this place to eat, just not the cuttlefish. It was a great setting and the staff were really nice too. The service charge is included in the price so deffo worth 17 euros for all the above (not wine obviously)
Cheap Food on the go
So Venice has many places selling food on the go. We opted to have many slices of pizzas on the go. Our favourite place was Quanto basta. This place offered slices of pizza and a beer for 5 euros, oh and you can sit out in their garden which was nice and there was no service charge. The beer was nice too. The slices were rather large and after you’d had your beer it was enough to fill you up until evening meal time.
Icecreams at Gelatoteca SuSo
There are Ice cream parlours everywhere. We had many ice creams whilst over here. I had Cookie delight, Cheesecake and Nutella all were very fit. our favourite place was called Gelatoteca SuSo. You could get an ice cream here for 1.50 euros in a cone. Lovely it was.
To do here?
OK so im sure there’s a few things people wana see when here however the one experience I think is on most people’s list is… drumroll… Ride on a Gondola!!
Riding on a Gondola
These guys are all over the island. Youll see them parked next to small alleyways, next to shops and also along the seafront. We opted to have the ones on the seafront as you got to experience the boat on waves aswell.
The price of Gondolas here are all 80 euros per boat . Its a fixed price everywhere you go. The boats are all decorated differently. In some ways its best to maybe have one by the alleyways as atleast you can choose your boat.. we didn’t get to choose and ours was where they stored alot of them so it was a case of waiting for whoever came along next. We had one with blue seats. Now me and Ang wanted to do one separate to the group as it was romantic n all so we got in.
The others were in front of us so we managed to get pics of them and them of us etc. We ventured onto the sea seeing the mainland sites and also having our own flag represented.
We turned around and then ventured under the first bridge where people would take pics of u .
It wasnt long until we were side by side racing the others and we overtook them!
Our sailor told us facts about buildings as we went along. It was really nice seeing this side of Venice going under the bridges we walked on top off. We got to see back streets and how people live here. It was nice. The ride only lasts 25 mins and then they dropped us off at the same point we got on but still worth the ride. Shame it wasnt cheaper as would love to go on another boat ride round this amazing place.
Museum of Animals, Dinosuars n stuff aka museo di storia naturale
There are many museums around Venice, however none of us are really into Art so we opted to go for this one. This museum was 8 euros to get in. It featured a few dinosaur bones, a cool section with dinosaur footprints, Taxidermy section , myth section and a mummy section. It lasted around 1 hour .
In one section me and Laura noticed 2 animals that we felt needed something more about them so we decided the Jumping Squirrel would be named Barry. He would be a party animal and you just never knew where he would glide from in your party room. You would then have Anthony the Ant eater who would hoover your mess up at end of the party. A frog came with Anthony to entice you to buy him as your hoover.
It was worth the money and a good way to entertain yourself for an hour or 2. They also had free lockers at the lobby so you can shove ya coats n shit in there. Thumbs up from me.
There are many churches here. They are all very pretty. We didnt venture into any of them as again, not really our thing but we did get to see the famous St Mark’s Basilica Venice cathedral. We walked through many alleyways to get to this place and if honest it was really impressive seeing this place through the last alleyway. It kinda just revealed itself and it was very detailed. Deffo worth the visit.
The Most Beautiful Book Store In The World
This is actually what it’s called!! It was basically a book store with a really old door and old tree next to it. It featured a big Gondola inside with books in it , oh and a secret stair case out the back that was made out of old books and allowed to look over the wall at the view. These are 2nd hand books so if this was your thang, it would be a great place. . . we liked it due to how it looked.
Have your own Mascarade party
There were many masks on stalls being sold for around 10 – 15 euros . The looked pretty awesome to be fair.
however the odd one sold blank white ones for 0.50 – 2 euros. They were quite good too with a ribbon to tie them on n that.
We all decided that on our last night we would all design our own masks using any pens we could find in the apartment and then upload them onto Facebook to see who got the most likes. This would also be integrated with drinking games. So the night came and we all got creative. Since the Cuttlefish was the base of many jokes this holiday I decided to use this as my theme. I actually spelt the name of the fish wrong so decided to add a cows body to a fish to make it a Cuttlefish! These were our finished results.
We obviously had to model them all.
Facebook people chose Angs as first and then mine came 2nd followed by Jay who came 3rd.
We decided to play the drinking game with cards where you split the pack into how many players there are and then following applies to what card is drawn
Jack = Drink 1 finger
Queen = Drink 2 fingers
King = Drink 3 fingers
Ace = Drink 4 fingers
Joker = Drink 5 fingers
Since we didnt have that much beer but lots of red wine we opted to instead assign shots to these cards. The tray looked like this:
this game got very messy and then we added the following cards to the mixture:
10 = Make any rule
9 = change the direction
8 = Sardines (someone hides when rest wait for 30 seconds and then you all have to find that person and when you do you stay with them until the others locate you)
The game got messy but very very funny. We had accents going, dancing, raps and balloon bouncing – Great way to spend an evening!
Street Stalls n Selfie sticks
Ok so one thing you will see around Venice is lots of stalls selling Masks / selfie sticks and magnets. The average price of a magnet is 1 euro. We were going to buy a selfie stick however the stalls WILL NOT move on their price. Its 3 euros for a shitty one and then 5 euros for an electric one. The guys who walk around selling them start at 10 euros (cheeky feckers). Although not that pricey, they looked cheap and would probably break and don’t think id trust them full-out in a Gondola!
Venice as a place
Ok first thing you notice is that this island has no cars. There are boats all over the place, even under small alleyways. It really is quite unique.
One thing we were told beforehand is that the canals smell, well when we went they didn’t. Sure the water wasnt crystal clear, but its a frggin canal so what you expect. The buildings made this place like so authentic and rustic. I loved how there was chipped brickwork and a mixture of colours. It was very beautiful.
There were also many Statues about the place which were detailed. This one was one that stuck out as features 2 different sides to it of a lion and Princess preparing for battle on one side then injured on the other
There were times that we would be walking and you would come across a huge bridge. From that bridge a part of Venice would open up to display almost like a movie scene with a mixture of Gondloa and speed boats. The high buildings with small old windows really made this place a pretty picture.
Now the birds here are very tame. There were many pigeons having baths under fountains.
We also saw a guy at one stage feeding 2 sparrows and they were just right next to him cueing for crumbs. It was quite a site as they did not fly off and were in the same spot the entire duration we were there.
There are many places to have your picture taken here. We went night walking and found a cool place on a bridge and the picture looked like an album cover..pretty damn cool.. watch out One Direction!
I would Deffo recommend this place. The canals didn’t smell like people said (maybe its only a certain part of the year?). People are nice enough and the pure amount of alleyways makes this place one HUGE ASS maze. The rustic buildings, the pretty bridges and the boats make this place a Very interesting setting. Dont get me wrong I couldn’t live here, but wow it was a good experience!