Venice – City of Delight

I love Venice

I knew I’d like Venice – I mean it’s all about boats and water and art – what’s not to like. But I didn’t plan to love it.

And I loved it.

Finding a place to stay was quite the challenge. My husband had heard of the Gritti Palace – but $1500 a night off-season – is a tad over any price range I’d feel comfy sleeping in. So internet searching happened – and I discovered ‘The Bert’. The Bert is a Bed and Breakfast on a yacht that is moored in a Yacht club on an island near the main island of Venice. And for me – it was the perfect place.

Breakfast on the stern deck, coffee and tea in the afternoon in the main cabin, and upstairs a bar and relaxing area for drinks in the evening.

We arrived late the first night – in the rain. Not fun, and not the best start. We had followed directions – taking one of the transport boats from the airport to the island dock. What we had not quite understood was that we had to leave the main dock before the shuttle boat for the Yacht could pick us up. And with our multiple pieces of luggage (re-enacting is not for the carry on only traveler) this was a challenge. But once the folks from The Bert had understood our challenges – they were quick to help.

We squared away our cabin – with private en-suite bathroom – tiny but efficient. It even had a bidet – although taking a shower meant getting the entire bathroom wet. Stephano – the captain and host extraordinaire offered to cook us dinner – for 30 euros each. We gladly accepted the offer – and I think had one of the most price effective meals of our stay in Italy. Our 30 Euros included unlimited wine (white and red), bread, an amuse, a pasta course, a main course, and dessert. Yummy – private – and served on the stern deck to the lapping of waves and the sound of crickets. Color me happy.

The Bert also provided an ample breakfast – including fresh eggs – cooked to your specifications. That plus unlimited cappuccino – I’m happy.

After breakfast, we either caught the Bert Shuttle to the island dock – or walked 10 minutes. From the dock to Venice was a short boat ride – we spent more time waiting for the boat than actually travelling. Once you figured out when the boats came (you can set you watch by them) – it was easy to time your travel. We quickly become very efficient at getting to and from the heart of Venice.

Venice. Oh yes – Venice. I had pre-planned our first 2 days to be sure that I got to see the ‘highlights’ – St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge Palace. Then we had 2 days to wander on our own – most of which I spent visiting museums, and Victor spent on the internet.

Best museum adventure ever? I wandered into the First Public Library in Venice – and a lovely young female artist explained the drawings – she had written the story of the library – giving the ‘player’s’ – key among them Napoleon – Animal faces. Wonderfully complete, and extremely creative.

In the evenings, we ate. My favorite meal – Quadri. It’s been on St. Mark’s Square for over 100 years – and it rates 2 Michelin starts. Location is perfect, Service is amazing. Souffle was delicious. And as a parting gift – they gave us the menu to remember the meal. Nice touch. After dinner, we wandered the square, then took the boat home.

Sigh – Venice – perfect – absolutely perfect.