Get Away With Fran

July 10, 2009

Ah Venice

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:44 pm

I overnighted in Venice on my way to check out the Seabourn Odyssey, the first luxury ship to debut in six years, and first new Seabourn ship in more than a dozen years.

Like nearly everyone I know, I count this city as one of my favorites (I even had one “love” relationship that began here; it’s a romantic place).

Some things change, others don’t. The city, with all its canals and winding streets, still feels like a living museum – everywhere you look there’s something amazing. It’s simply beautiful.

St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is still full of pigeons and there is still a Prada store

nearby (fortunately I passed there last night after closing, my credit card unharmed). The Grand Canal is still stunning. The city hasn’t sunk.

But the Bridge of Sighs – the place where if lovers kiss they will share eternal love; the 17th-century bridge that Lord Byron wrote about; a place affiliated with Casanova no less (who crossed the bridge from the Ducale palace to get to the nearby prison as a prisoner) – is now full of advertising. Blah.

But there are the quiet canals with laundry hanging in the breeze, and outdoor cafes with canal views (the perfect spot to enjoy an Italian beer). There is wonderful pizza by the slice you can eat in one of the numerous squares and beautiful selections in the shops (I could not resist a purchase of some stationary; having been here many times before I already have the requisite hand-painted masks, etc.). And there are people on the streets/canals – and not just tourists (my favorite to people-watch, the numerous dog walkers).

Yes, this is still one of my favorite cities.

BTW, I stumbled into a great little hotel find right near P. Le Roma and the main ship pier. I found Hotel Arlecchino online, and chose it more for location than anything else. But I have a nice double room complete with canal view and even a flower box, air conditioning, Italian TV, free Internet, a nice tub/shower, even pretty curtains and fancy wall sconces, for about $110 including breakfast.

And it only cost me about $4 to get here from Marco Polo airport via express bus. Not bad at all.

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