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Venice, Italy


The Flight Down

We flew out of Stockholm Arlanda airport with LOT Polish Airlines, stopping in Warsaw, Poland and then flying on to Venice Marco Polo airport.  LOT had REALLY small planes, but they were cushy and comfortable.  When we arrived in Warsaw, the airport was really old - reminded me of a 1950s mental hospital or something.  Lots of military patrolling around - felt like our next stop might be Siberia.

Arriving in Venice

We landed in Marco Polo Airport (much closer to town that Treviso which is used by RyanAir), where we had no problem locating our bags and walking the 15 minutes in the hot, humid air to where the water taxis and water buses were.  We could have taken a regular bus for part of the way, but we figured why switch if you don't have to!  The trip on the Alilaguna water bus cost 11 Euros, and took about an hour.  A water taxi would have been faster, but cost a whopping 90 Euros, so the decision was pretty easy.  We had printed off the bus schedule off the internet prior to the trip, which we were happy we did since the bus only ran once per hour.

When we got off the water bus at San Zaccaria, the last stop before San Marco, we were to meet our representative from Venice Rentals who would show us to our room.  He was about 15 minutes late, so we were getting a bit agitated, but eventually he showed up.  Hauling our bags to our apartment was brutal - up and over three bridges (all stairs - you can't roll them), permanently damaging our spines, and then rolling down the stone streets to our apartment in Castello.

We chose Castello because it was very close to San Marco, but not too close - easy walking distance, but without the crowds.  Very peaceful and more local - a much better feel than the tourist hordes at San Marco.  About a 5 minute walk to reach San Marco is all.  The apartment itself was a 2 bedroom flat, with one bedroom being a loft, quite nice actually, though it didn't look it from the outside, right along one of Venice's many canals down a dead end street which meant peace and quiet.

The apartment had no internet or phone, which was a real inconvenience - I had to walk about 15 minutes each way to the internet cafe each day (a nice 8 Euros per hour or so).  It was just a block from one of Venice's few grocery stores, which was great (and cheap), and just a few steps from two nice patio restaurants including Ristorante Conchiglita, which we frequented (the staff there was the friendliest we found in Venice).

We settled in, and walked over to Ristorante Conchiglita where we sampled some fantastic Gnocci and some smallish Spaghetti Carbonara, along with a nice seafood pasta dish.  The restaurant is right on the water, and is quiet and out of the way.  Very nice - plus the staff was extremely friendly and always smiling - a rarity in Venice.

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