Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday, April 28; more about planning...

I think that in a previous post I had mentioned my wife's Italian relatives...there she is (the redhead) with three of her cousins in Towsen MD. She has some truly wonderful relatives...these three are but a few of the many. We once started talking about a reunion for her side of the family and stopped counting at 33 cousins!

This visit was just before we departed for our visit to Italy in October 2004. We took the train back to NYC on Monday morning, October 4th and caught our Iberia flight at 9:30 that evening. We arrived in Madrid early Tuesday morning the 5th (my wife's birthday) and were in Rome by noon, as I recall.

What a rush! that first day in Rome...

The following morning we left for Venice (again by train) and spent the next five hours on a very pleasant journey north through Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and the Venato to arrive at the train station in Venice mid afternoon?

When one steps off the train and exits the station this is the first picture of Venice. To the left is the corner of the Vaparetto stop (at the right middle edge of the photo) and the experience of Venice must begin with this water taxi ride. For us, we were headed for the Rialto Bridge. Our lodging was the Pensione Guerrato about three (Venice) blocks from Rialto and right around the corner from the fish market (no it was not smelly at all).

I may have already mentioned in a previous post our dinner that night...wish I could remember the name of the place we dined, but suffice it to say...not too bad...not too bad at all! This is us in front of Pensione Guerrato.
(Do you really care about this photo)? We think it important to share the best experiences and this little albergo was one of those Rick Steve's recommendations that as with most of his...proved to be simply excellent!

But...I was starting to talk about planning so next post I will bring my focus back to "The Plan" the history of this experience and how it evolved is pretty cool!

Gotta go for now...stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So we take the train to Venice...

The train to Venice can take as little as slightly under five hours. We left Rome in the late morning and arrived Venice mid afternoon. We had been to Venice in 1984 on a tour but this time we were on our own but quite comfortable that we had planned well and with the assistance of the Rick Steve's travel books, we made all of our Venice accommodations online and with ease. We stayed at the Pensione Gueratto, just a few short steps from the Rialto Bridge. We walked out of the train station and just like it said in the book, walked over to the ticket kiosk for the Vaporetto, bought our 24 hour ticket and and took the fast taxi to Rialto. As suggested by Rick's book, we traveled light with carry on sized luggage, one each, and a small backpack each and it is a good thing because getting across the bridges in Venice would be a hassle with large bags or with more than one bag to wrestle. We certainly saw many folks who did not travel light and what a show,watching them drag two or three bags over the bridges in Venice.

Anyway, that first evening was great! We ate at a little restaurant next to a canal that had been recommended by my wife's cousin and had a great dinner then a stroll to St. Marks where we enjoyed the orchestras and to bed, eagerly anticipating the next day, a tour of Venice on our own....just to wander...see this marvelous city and perhaps the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and what ever else we could squeeze in between seven in the morning and midnight. And one cannot get lost in Venice. There are signs everywhere directing lost tourists back to the Rialto or to San Marco or to any number of other well known places in Venice. All you have to know is which landmark your hotel is near!