Day 13 – Florence > check-in Venice > Rialto Bridge > Piazza San Marco > dinner in San Polo area
We left Florence early in the morning and took 2 hours train ride to Venice. We arrived before noon and ready to check in to our hotel. No more Airbnb for the rest of our journey. There is nothing bad about staying in Airbnb apartment but it is more convenient to stay in a hotel.
Accommodation in Venice
We booked our accommodation about 4 weeks in advance and most of the nice Airbnb apartments were booked out. There were some nicer ones that cost about €150 per night and we decided to pay a bit more (around €220 per night including breakfast) to stay at Hotel Antiche Figure. Oh well, everything is more expensive in Venice than other Italian cities.
The best thing about the hotel is the location. It is located right opposite to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station and it is very easy to find, and I would even recommend staying around the station rather than within the myriad of canals and narrow streets, which even Mr Map would conceded that without a map, he would easily get lost. There is no taxi in Venice and dragging your luggage trying to find your hotel in Venice can be a nightmare.
Hotel Antiche Figure is located at the Santa Croce district of Venice.
The room itself is quite small, probably smaller than some hotels in Japan. Other than that the hotel is very cosy and the concierge desk is quite helpful. One of the highlight of the hotel is the free tour to visit the glass factory in Murano. We decided to take the tour on our 2nd day in Venice.
Address: Santa Croce 687 Fondamenta S. Simeon Piccolo
Features: Free wifi, breakfast included, close to the Venezia Santa Lucia train station
Ranking: #9 of 383 hotels in Venice from TripAdvisor
As soon as we checked-in, we walked to San Polo and San Marco area.
We grabbed our late lunch at a local restaurant called All’Arco and its cicheti (small snacks) is best in Venice. It is located across the iconic Rialto bridge, on the other side of the Grand Canal.
We just picked a bit of everything and they all tasted really good, and given the price as well, this place is definitely recommended.
Address: Calle dell’Ochialer 436 San Polo, Venice
We walked to Piazza San Marco after our lunch.
We heard about the stories of getting ripped off at those sit down coffee shops where sitting down at a table for a coffee can cost you well upwards of 30 euros. We just had our coffee while standing like the Italians.
We didn’t take the gondola as it was quite expensive. It costs around €80 for a ride. I did regret a little bit for not taking it as it would be an interesting experience.
After our negative dining experience last night, we decided to go to a restaurant recommended by lonely planet, rather than rate a restaurant by the queue outside. It is a modern Italian restaurant called Al Pesador in San Polo district.
The ambience was quite nice at the restaurant.
Appetizer (left), Fish soup (middle), Gnocchi with crab meat (right)
I liked this restaurant a lot as the presentation is really nice and the food was very tasty. The portion is smaller than a lot of traditional Italian restaurant though.
Address: Campo San Giacometto 125 San Polo, Venice
There are many michelin restaurants in Venice but we didn’t get a chance to try them. Maybe next time?
We had a bit of trouble finding the way back to our hotel as the streets look very similar, and once night time hits, the throngs of tourists also vanish. Luckily our hotel is located near the train station and there are signs showing the direction only to the main tourist places such as Rialto and San Marco. After walking around in a couple of circles, we found a sign pointing us in the direction of the train station and we found our way back to the hotel.
Have you ever get lost in Venice? Where is your favourite place in Venice?