Andy
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Käthe’s birthday in the lagoon city

By car from Tremosine to Venice

From Lake Garda to Venice – “Like New York, Venice is a great city”, we wanted to see for ourselves once again. From Lake Garda to Venice – that’s no distance at all. And since Käthe wanted to spend her birthday in Venice, we decided on a 2-day trip to the lagoon city. Since I am not the big planner, Käthe had already booked the hotel, I only had to take care of sightseeing and dinner.

A few years ago we took the train from Rovereto to Venice for a day trip. We parked at the station in Rovereto at that time, the daily rate was 5,- Euro (today it is 6,- Euro). Getting a parking space was easy, there were enough free spaces. I can’t say what that looks like in the high season. I assume that July and August will be busier. Meanwhile, there are also some construction sites around the station, which makes the parking situation a bit more difficult. The train ride itself was very pleasant, we also had to change trains only once in Verona. The train station in Venice is right on the Grand Canal, so it’s right in the middle of the action….

 

View of the Grand Canal from our Hotel Santa Chiara

Parking in Venice – Tronchetto Parking

This time we decided to go by car, from Limone on Lake Garda to Venice is a 2 hour drive, depending on traffic. We parked in the Tronchetto parking garage, on the outskirts of town. Advance reservation is not possible there, but there are enough free parking spaces probably even in the high season (so it says on the Internet). The parking garage is relatively close to the cruise ship docks, so it is popular with cruisers. However, parking is relatively expensive, the daily rate is 22,- Euro.

Attention: The full daily rate is already due after the third hour of parking.

Venice water bus view from the bus stop

Water cab (vaporetto) in Venice
Is it worth it?

From the parking garage, we headed straight to the water bus stop. On the way there we were welcomed by somewhat “shady” characters wanted. Käthe recognized directly that they wanted to put us in an “unofficial” cab at inflated prices.

Fortunately, we found out beforehand how to get to our hotel in the best and cheapest way. Since we had already planned our activities for the day and also wanted to visit the city again the next day, we opted for a 2-day ticket for the official water bus. Here again the costs for the water bus:

  • A one way ticket is about 7,50 Euro
  • the day ticket costs 25,- Euro
  • the 2-day ticket is 35,- Euro

So it really makes sense to think about which ticket to buy beforehand. There was a long line at the ticket booth, luckily there is a ticket machine right at the stop for the water cabs. Buying a ticket there was totally easy and self-explanatory. So why stand in line? For us the ticket was definitely worth it, we made several trips with it. In addition, a special experience is to sail by boat on the Grand Canal.

Hotel Santa Chiara
Directly on the Grand Canal

The boat ride (vaporetto) was short, it was only 2 stops to the Ponte Roma. Our Hotel Santa Chiara was right at the bus stop.

The welcome at the hotel was super friendly, our room was also ready (despite arriving at 11:00 in the morning). As icing on the cake, we also got a room upgrade with a view of the Grand Canal. Our room was top equipped, clean and very comfortable. The only drawback: we would have liked a free bottle of water, so we had to resort to the minibar. Unfortunately, we discovered the dm (drugstore) in the immediate vicinity only later.

View from the Grand Canal to the Hotel Santa Chiara Venice
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St. Mark's Square in Venice with view from the terrace of St. Mark's Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace
– Guided tour

 

If you are already in Venice, a visit to St . Mark’s Square with the Doge’ s Palace and St. Mark’sBasilica is a must, in addition to the boat trip and strolling through the narrow streets. We had opted for a guided tour and that was absolutely the right decision. On the way to the meeting point we found another small cozy restaurant for lunch. The
“Da Mamo”
is located in a small side street a bit away from the big hustle and bustle.

The meeting point for the sightseeing tour was actually easy to find, but due to the many people and narrow streets I was already slightly nervous the closer we got to the agreed time. In the end, everything worked out. After a short introduction in English and with VR glasses (we didn’t really need them) we were divided into groups.

Our German tour group was manageable with 7 people, so that we had enough opportunity to ask our own questions. Our guide Luciana (Venetian with a German background) was brilliant: her explanations and explanations of the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica were very informative but not at all long-winded. Luciana spiced up many historical backgrounds with a pinch of humor, so that a grin or two came across our faces. Unfortunately, we had to wait in line a bit in front of St. Mark ‘s Basilica, probably because of the high water in St. Mark’s Square and the walkways that were set up. Of all things, when we were standing in line it started to rain. Luciana has given the tourists without umbrella and raincoat the opportunity to stand under on the side of the road, She stayed in line in the rain!

We really enjoyed the tour, we would do it again anytime. You get a lot of info and background information about the city and the history in 2.5 hours. You can do this in your own research, but not everyone is an amateur historian.

Food & Drink in Venice:
Is it really soooo expensive?

 

Venice is not a cheap city, that should be clear to anyone who visits the city. If you have a cappuccino or Aperol Spritz right on St. Mark’s Square or on the Grand Canal around the Rialto Bridge, you don’t have to wonder about a glowing credit card. There such an Aperolchen costs already times 15 or 16 euro….

If you do some research and move away from the tourist crowds, you can eat and drink in Venice at reasonable prices. Our lunch at “Da Mamo” was great (even if it was just a pizza), the prices absolutely within reason. After the sightseeing tour we had another afternoon drink consisting of Caffè Latte and Aperol. We were already closer to St. Mark’s Square, so the Aperol price here was 6,- Euro.

Plate dinner in Venice Frutta Mista

We had Käthe’s birthday dinner at the
Osteria Fanal Del Codega
The restaurant is located pretty much in the middle between the Santa Chiara Hotel and the center. Away from the hustle and bustle by a small canal, we had a cozy table outside. The food was top, the service was super attentive and friendly. Käthe even got a tiramisu with sparkler as a birthday surprise! And no, I had NOTHING to do with it. Oh yes, the Aperol price here was 4.50 euros, so even cheaper than at some locations on Lake Garda. There you go!

Sunset with view from the Rialto Bridge

Isn’t there something missing?
What about the gondola ride?

We have actually thought about doing a Gondola ride to make. For many of you this is certainly an indescribable experience and the view from the water on the lagoon has something. Where you can also see from the water bus….For a half hour between 80,- and 100,- Euro (during the day) for a gondola ride was too expensive for us.

We rather saved the money and went the next day to the
Hard Rock Cafe Rock Shop
at the Rialto Bridge. A visit to the Hard Rock is a tradition on our city trips. Coming soon to New York….

 

More impressions from Venice

Here are a few more pictures from our trip from Lake Garda to Venice. We hope to give you some interesting impressions.

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