Travel Notes: Venice, Italy

From my travel files...1978

I felt another blog coming on....but had a good chat 
with myself and came to reason. This one will do :)
I have files busting with travel notes 
and they need a home. 
Seeing that many of you are keen travellers 
whether in person or in your dreams (like me), 
I thought you might like to come along for the ride.  
Hey, you never know, someday, you just might find yourself 
in a piazza in Venice wondering what to do next. 
You may even be having a Kate Hepburn moment, here.
You will then think to whip out your phone, 
ipad..whatever the case may be and voila...
I will be there to the rescue!  
I am hoping you will join in and add suggestions...
dreams are most welcome too.  :))

My last trip to Venice was in 1978. 
I was in my third year of University and was in awe. 
I admit, back then, I was more in awe of the men than the history 
but I will save that story for another day.
I vowed then to go back 
and I know that day will come. 
I can feel it in my bones.

Image taken by me-1978

I came across an article recently and knew it was a keeper. 
The following are recommendations by Patricial Urquiola, 
a leading designer and architect for Alessi
B&B Italia, Moroso and Mandarain Oriental
I am going to trust her judgement. :))
 Patricia has been going to Venice 
for nearly 15 years and 
highly recommends the following. 

Patricia recommends....

Take to the train to Venice, crossing the whole lagoon 
to Stazione Santa Lucia in the old centre.

Walk across the Ponte alle Guglie for brioche or frittelle 
and coffee at Pasticceria Tonolo.

Stop in a few churches along the way and 
keep an eye out for an alterpiece by Bellini. 

Lunch at Osteria Bancogiro near the Rialto Market. 
It has a lovely terrace on the canal. 
Another spot for lunch, Ostaria Da Rioba.

For art appreciation go to  Fondazione Querini Stampalia,  
Palazzo Fortuny, Punta della Dogana or Palazzo Grassi.

A wander thru bookshops, Libreria Toletta in Dorsoduro 
and Rigattieri in San Marco.
An afternoon wine and tapas at All'Arco Rialto or 
Zanzibar in the Campo Santa Maria Formosa.

Dinner at trattoria Dalla Marisa in Cannaregio.

Morning rowboat (a s'ciopon) on the canals.

Afternoon sail in a topo ( a little sailboat) to Locanda Cipriani 
on the island of Torcello..stay for dinner.

I don't know about you, 
but I sort of feel that I just took the trip after
reading that list. :))

Image taken by me-1978

These are the sort of suggestions 
I tuck away in my travel books.
The little experiences,
off the beaten track,
the ones that are often times
the most rewarding.

Have you been to Venice?
What year did you visit?
Anything you would like to add?

Reader suggestions:

From Carla Coulson...where to eat in Venice.

From Lucille....
Venice for Pleasure, here.

From Sunday Taylor...
Read a review
from A Village Life, here.

Travel Notes to the Loire Valley, here.

Article from Perfect Weekend
Financial Times: How To Spend It
Written by Maria Shollenbarger


  1. Have you got a copy of Venice for Pleasure by JG Links?
    I'm told it's a must have. I haven't been to Venice yet, but I will...

  2. OH Jeanne
    Venezia... Was just thinking about it again the other day... and remembering this tiny square and coffee place i found hidden down the back of many winding alley ways.. not a tourist hang.. just somewhere the locals go... Gee all those years ago and I can still remember it vividly..

    Love your shots... makes me yearn to go back...

    Have a lovely week.. ciao bella.. xxx Julie

  3. Thanks Lucille! Everything I have read on this book looks great. I have added it to the post. :)

    Julie..I thought of you when I wrote this as I know how much you love Italy.xx

  4. Oh, yes I have been to Venice and always long to go back. The melancholy feel of the city suits my Scandinavian mind!:-D

    I have to visit Florian every time. Just the thought of Henry James, Hemingway, Lord Byron, Proust et al having visited before me is enough for me. I don't even have to eat and drink anything.

    I also have to see Palazzo Barbaro - where Henry James lived when he was in Venice. The cemetery island - San Michele is also worth a visit.
    I can't explain the route - that's kind of difficult in Venice, but there is a small shop near San Marco which has the most well-crafted beautiful animal masks - nothing like the tourist ones you can have on every corner.

    Oh, I could go on...I'll stop now!

  5. Wonderful Carina! Please feel free to come back and tell us more..I was hanging on every word and I am sure I am not the only one :)

  6. I did a whirlwind Europe trip in 1984. My favorite city was Florence with Venice coming in second. We were there on a quiet lazy Sunday, so there was a lot of walking and eating gelato (which I highly recommend because it's unlike anything we have in N America). Beautiful city.

  7. Sandy...agree, Florence is beautiful as is Siena and I think the list could go on! The gelato in Italy is absolutely the best anywhere!

  8. A good talking to usually stops us from doing silly things! Thank you for my trip to Venice via Patricia!

  9. Jeanne,

    I love Venice and have been several times, the last in 2006. One never tires of wandering the streets, visiting the surrounding islands, Burano, Murano; or visiting the churches, sitting in St. Mark's Square savoring a cup of hot chocolate and taking in the sights and sounds.

    I know from your blog that you are a reader, if you have not read A Thousand Days in Venice, by Marlena Di Blasi it is a must! She has written several books on Italy, to include cookbooks, but each explore in detail her experiences with realy Italians, eating real seasonal Italian food and enjoying life in Italy.

    Thank you for sharing your photos!


  10. are so right!

    Elizabeth...Thanks for the reminder, I read it years ago and would be well worth a visit. :)

  11. I am just itching to go somewhere. Wow. You are coming all the way from England to go college shopping. That will be some trip. I wish we lived on the East Coast again too so we could easily show M. lots of options. Yes, we are also waiting on all test results with a few Subject Tests left to take. I do NOT miss this stage of life either. She wants Chem. E and we have one of the top programs in the country in Texas. So, its hard to discount that. That must be tough thinking of sending you child to college a country away. I would love to hear what your (son?daughter?) thinks about the schools.

  12. Great tips Jeanne...Venice must be my second favourite city....xv

  13. I was last in Venice in 2007. Absolutely loved getting lost in all the little narrow streets. Longing to visit again. I am going to enjoy your travel notes. I remember a great little restaurant in the Dorsoduro area called Pane, Vino e San Daniele. MMmm. My rule of thumb is to avoid the popular spots and eat where the locals eat.

  14. Hi Sarah...I can tell you.. a trip to Venice is sounding a whole lot more appealing than driving across PA NY, VT, NH, MA and CT. My only consolation is that I will be with my daughter and it will make for good one on one time. :) You and I should confer :)

    Vicki...I can easily guess your first!

    Loree...thanks so much for mentioning those spots. I will be sure to add them to my 'postscripts'. x

  15. Dear Jeanne - loved reading this - have you read 'A Thousand Days in Venice' by Marlena de Blasi? If you haven't, please do....& let me know what you think...
    One other point, would love to know how you organise these 'travel books' - I have boxes of travel cuttings, ideas, magazines & souvenirs and still haven't come up with a great way of storing them....your input would be welcome! xx

  16. Hi Susie...I read 'A Thousand Days in Venice' a few years ago and think it is time for another visit to the book. I recall enjoying the story but never got around to the second book.

    You asked the million dollar question...what to do with all this travel info. Like you, I have it everywhere and seem to be in a constant state of organisation. The other day I grabbed one very large spiral binder, put a heading at the top of each page and just started making lots of notes and lists. I call it my travel bible. Once I started writing I thought it would be easier to dedicate a page to each location on the blog so that I could keep a running 'dialogue' of notes in one place. Once I have a few, I will create a link list entitled 'Travel Notes' and work from that. I was going to do it under a separate blog but thought I would go bonkers doing so. I have just finished creating a blog for a charity organisation and am about to start another...I am going a bit blogmad these days. Fingers crossed my new system works.
    If you wanted to do the same, you could also create it under pages. I worked with a post because I like the addition of people's comments for extra travel tips...

    Hope this helps...if you have any more questions please feel free to fire away :) xx

  17. Jeanne, what a lovely blogpost. Nostalgia combined with travel joys. I went to Venice for the first time 5 years ago with my husband and my daughter. It was amazing and I will never forget how mysterious, beautiful, and magical that city seemed. The sounds of it were amazing -- no cars, just water and footsteps. All the history and the many writers and artists that have been inspired by it. We hired a boat and visited the islands. Jan Morris, the travel writer, has written beautifully about Venice. I need to go back! xxx

  18. It's places like Venice, Jeanne, that keep my travel dreams alive. I haven't visited but have been transported through the pages of Marlena di Blasi too. I love your photos and can't wait to snap some of my own one day! gxo

  19. Sunday...I love reading stories like yours. You have carried that feeling with you all this will always be a special place for you :) I came across Jan Morris' s book yesterday and wondered what people thought about. Great to hear that you enjoyed it. I will add it to this post as well :)

    Georgie..Keep that dream alive Georgie and keep reading! Take notes...and enjoy it all when you get there :)

  20. Blogger ate the comment I wrote last night! I love Venice. Everything about it. Haven't been since 2003 but it is definitely on my very short list of places that I would go back to in the blink of an eye. Along with the other book suggestions (that I wrote out last night!) I can add The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. It's non-fiction, and very, very good.

  21. ....visited in Nov 1984 as a student and fell in love with the charming Italian men! Then again in Aug 2009 - loved it but prefer not to visit in Summer.. too hot..too many people.. you know the rest.
    Totally happy with Hotel Violino D'Oro, a stones throw from St Marco; next to a gondola station with views over a canal and the gondoliers! And not to mention the photo opportunities!
    Love your 1978 shots Jeanne...

  22. Ilse and Kerry...thank you both for your suggestions!
    I am going to add them to the list. So nice to read travel stories. It is like a mini vacation...ok, maybe a 5 second vacation if you read very slowly...but still uplifting just the same :))

  23. I am posting this for Jackie @ Home , great suggestions here...thank you Jackie :)

    I tried to comment on your Venice post the other day but blogger was being awkward and wouldn't publish my comment. I think that I must have tried at least 4 times !!
    Venice is one of my favourite places. We last went 3 years ago and arrived by train from Florence. It was such a wonderful way to greet Venice as, you don't see anything of it from the train and then you emerge from the station and down the steps and there it is, in all it's glory. I think that my heart stopped for just a second and i left part of it there !!
    Apart from the most famous tourist attractions there..... the Piazza San Marco, The Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Basillica, the canals and bridges, boat and gondola rides, Burano, Murano and Torcello, the Bridge of Sighs etc., etc, one of our favourite places was the Guggenheim collecion shown in her palatial home and sculpture garden, on the Grand Canal and, a tour of St Mark's clock, where they take you to the top, telling you the history on the way and then you emerge into the sun and out onto a terrace with fantastic views over Venice. One more was the Arsenale district, where there are fantastic but very modest restaurants where the locals eat and our favourite, where the owner and his wife burst into song whenever the mood takes them !!
    I love it so much

  24. I Love Venice!
    The Mr. & I last visited in 2004! (Writng that makes me sad - we must return!)Found a couple shops selling beautiful butterfly specimins...
    Favorite Story?
    Daphne du Maurier's supernatural thriller 'Don't Look Now'

  25. Amazing - is the only word that comes to my mind right now. A trip that took place more that took place more than thirty years ago. The sites are astonishing. Thank you for this post very very much.

  26. This is fabulous! a really nice blog. keep it up!!!
    venice tours


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