Comments 20

5 hours in Venice: from Santa Lucía to San Giorgio

I have to visit Venice at least once a year. It’s in my veins. I need it like my morning coffee fix. So even if it’s only for a few hours, I have to breathe that Venetian salty air that my great-grandmother used to claim was the best of the world. So during my last trip to Italy, between walks in the fields of Vicenza and road trips in Trentino, I managed to spend 5 hours in Venice. Only 5 hours. It wasn’t enought but I made the most of what I had. Venice_Summer_2015_2Arriving at Venice by train it’s a little bit sad. You get excited to see the lagoon, but soon you realize you are only seeing the backyard and you are missing the beautiful front door. However, that first moment when I go out of the station and face that beautiful chaos that is Venice – the tourists that move quickly and in groups like nervous ants against the serenity and calm of the architechture and the water… That’s when I take a deep breath and remember the words of my great-grandmother: Venice has another air that is good for your soul and your body. And I just can’t agree more. Venice makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. It moves me. But enough cheesyness! I have only five hours until my train departs and takes me back to the countryside! The smartest option to start moving? Take a water taxi! Venice_Summer_2015_1Venice_Summer_2015_8Ok, I agree. It is expensive. But if you are in a group and you bear in mind the cost of a vaporetto ticket… It’s actually convenient. No queues, no waiting… and then, as soon as the engine starts you have that wonderful wind on your hair, you feel like a movie star and you get to experience the city at its best.  Try not to smile. Impossible. A water taxi in Venice is the best antidrepressant.Venice_Summer_2015_3Venice_Summer_2015_6Our destination was Rialto market. No, I didn’t want to buy fresh fish or vegetables, besides it was late for shopping (you have to be there very early to enjoy the experience and buy the best produce). I wanted to have an aperitivo at Al Merca next to San Giacometto church. It’s our tradition and it’s the first thing we do everytime we are in Venice. So we enjoyed our short but intense boat ride to Rialto, said goodbye to the charming taxi driver, head to Al Merca and ordered our Spritz and cicchetti. I must confess that those twenty minutes of talk and laughter while sipping that Spritz and eating those tiny bites of delicious food made me happier than a week at the beach. Venice_Summer_2015_9Venice_Summer_2015_11Venice_Summer_2015_4And it was time for lunch! Since our favourite place (La Rivetta)  was closed we opted for the beautiful Osteria Bancogiro, again closed to San Giacometto church. It has a wonderful terrace and a modern cuisine based on regional roots. After a nice meal of fresh fish and vegetables and a sweet tiramisu for pudding we crossed the Rialto Bridge (beware of the current restoration works if you plan to visit Venice soon) and fought our way (those group of French teenagers can be violent!) across the Merceria (the shops! Sigh!) until we got to see a glimpse of San Marco. Venice_Summer_2015_5Venice_Summer_2015_12Venice_Summer_2015_13Venice_Summer_2015_14Venice_Summer_2015_15Venice_Summer_2015_16We then turned left at calle Larga San Marco and headed to our favourite sestier in Venice: Castello. Just five minutes away from San Marco you’ll find the tiniest streets the quietest canals and the most charming Venetian atmospohere, just exactly what I remember from my childhood.  I love this part of Venice because it reminds me of my grandfather. Venice_Summer_2015_17Venice_Summer_2015_18I wished I had more time to walk to Arsenale and enjoy that magically silent part of the city but, again, the clock was ticking and we had to go back to the station. We walked back to San Marco, with a little detour to admire the wonderful church of San Zaccaria and we made ourselves comfortable in one of the tables of Al Todaro, one of the oldest ice cream shops of Venice. We always choose this place for its unique views of San Giorgio island.
Venice_Summer_2015_19Venice_Summer_2015_7We ordered our coffee and we enjoyed the views while hating the hoards of bad behaved tourists at the same time. Because that’s the real problem in Venice: the terrible behaviour of those who visit it. Venice is a jewel and it must be treated accordingly: with respect and care. In any case, if you are a sensitive person you will see beyond those gaudy umbrellas that lead groups or those families that try to swim in the canals. If you are sensitive you will focus on the beauty of city that suffers stoically all those insults and calamities and continues to give the most incredible scenario anyone can dream of.Venice_Summer_2015_20Finally we hopped on a vaporetto and enjoyed our last minutes in Venice along Canal Grande. Back on the train, we felt energised and happy. Venice air always does good to me. My great-grandmother was right. Venice is good for my soul.


  1. Lucky you! I would love to be able to have an annual trip to Venice – alas it is so far to get to for me ( not to mention the $$$ in airfare) so I must be content with memories and photos and dreams of returning again…

    • I’m very lucky indeed! Venice is just a cheap low cost flight away! I’m sure there are plenty of beautiful places next to wherever you live!

      • I live in Tasmania – Australia’s island state so nowheres very close!But I do have the advantage of being able to find a pristine beach or wilderness to explore to myself only an hour or two drive away and the occasional cheap flights to Sydney or Melbourne for bigger city fun!

      • Wow!!! We have always wanted to visit Tasmania!! I guess it must be hard being do far from everyone, but I’m sure it has its perks too.. And we would love to visit some day!

  2. Venice is just SO beautiful! It has been on my bucket list for a while and i am FINALLY going to be able to spend the day there in August (2016, it seems too far away!)… you’re photos have just made me so much more excited. Thanks!!

    CB x

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