Venice 2013 Day 3: Venice Without a Map

It was a long night last night so we didn’t set any alarm and just wake up whenever since we didn’t have any plan for the morning.  We’ll need to come back during the afternoon to see the boat regatta. We woke up at 9 and went down to get breakfast then we catch the ferry to Zattere to explore the Dorsoduro area.  This section of Venice was quiet compared to the busy St Mark’s Square which we really enjoyed because we could stop and take photos without waiting for other people to get out of our view. The views of the canals and houses were better than St Mark’s Square  we thought! On each side of the canal, there were filled with parked boats of locals which add a different perspective on the view. The clear reflections made the composition of the photos even better; it was hard to find a clear reflection in St Mark’s Square due to more water traffic. We felt like we have the whole Venice to ourselves, without any tourists and distractions, only the sounds of the church bells at every hour.

Somehow we ended up at Ca’ Rezzonico, a museum of the 18th-century Venice. It was one of the museums we planned to go with our museum pass.  We went in and saw a sign of no photo! Awwww!  I was disappointed; I have imagined how I would take photos of each rooms!  I snapped a few shots of the entrance:

The rooms reminded me palaces in France and Germany with glamorous paintings on the ceiling and craved details painted with gold on edges.  We loved the main hall with red lamps hanging down like floating candles….too bad no photos allowed so you have to go to see it yourself! The first floor rooms were all 18th century decors while the third and fourth floors were art galleries. We are not into arts/paintings so we went through the last two floors relatively quickly. We passed by a window with great view of Dorsoduro so I took a photo with the window glass in front but it turned out great!

Recommended by a fellow Trip Advisor member, Robert-J, check out the bar/cafe for a cheap light meal on the ground floor! After Ca’ Rezzonico, we came out to the water bus station side and had another great view of the Grand Canal.

We walked back to the Accademia Bridge via the back roads and I saw the doorbell of a house; I thought it looked like a cartoon face haha so cute!

Venice at end of July was around 80’s degrees but semi-humid made it felt like hot so we constantly had to keep hydrating ourselves. My favorite orange Fantas cost around 2.5-3 euros per 500 ml bottle (boy….it was more expensive than wine!), I forgot how many bottles in total I bought in Venice!  However, you can save some money by filling up water from water welsl which scattered around the city for free! The water tasted fine and I didn’t get sick so no problem 🙂

We reached Accademia and I went in BNL d’italia to use the ATM machine to get some cash. For Bank of America customers, you can use BNL d’italia ATM machine without any fees (only need to pay the 1% currency exchange fee I think). The exchange rate from ATM machine offered the best rate than any hotel or currency exchange kiosk!!

We walked across Accademia and strolled around St Mark’s Square side on back roads and canals. I stopped by this house which I thought the greens of the trees and the orange exterior looked very simple and calm together:

We walked out to the pier to check out the view:

Each corner had a unique view of Grand Canal, that’s what we loved about Venice!

Within few minutes of walk, we reached Campo Santa Maria del Giglio and found the store which one of our wedding photos was taken three years ago….it bought back memories 🙂

We walked through the back roads again and saw many gondolas filled the canal:

Sharp turn required a little bit push from gondoliers:

It was already lunch time and we stopped by an inexpensive cafe, Gran Caffe Torino, for a quick lunch.  The lasagna I ordered was tasty, it was really soft and creamy! Hubby ordered a dish of pasta, the bill was 16.5 euros.

After lunch, we headed to shop for Venetian mask! (Hubby wanted to get one with Swarovski crystals and golden metals; he said he didn’t get one last time!) We walked passed many shops on the way to St Mark’s Square and couldn’t find the shop he had in his mind last time we were here. Then we found a shop he like with prices he thinks are reasonable.  He went in and picked out three kinds he really liked (not the three on the photo below LOL each of those star and moon cost 1,000+ euros each!!!) Alright since we have no clue when we’ll come back again, we don’t want to get home and feeling regret so shopping spree for hubby!

The big one with the beautiful side cost 240 euros, the mid-sized one cost 120 euros, and the little one cost 40 euros total 400 euros!! I bargained it down to 350 euros (that’s the price we are really want to buy) plus we’ll get some percentage back from the tax-free refund. Maybe some of you think we are stupid to spend so much money on masks but that’s what hubby likes (he’s a really picky person so not too many things he’s interested in)!! I had a photo with the owner too 🙂 The one he was holding is the big one which cost 240 euros.

Shopping was completed wohoo! We went back to St Mark’s Square to catch our ferry back to the hotel.

We were very lucky that by the time we got to the ferry pier, the ferry came within minutes wohoo!  There were plenty of seats as well! After we got back to our hotel, we refreshed ourselves by free Fantas in the executive lounge.  The view right in front of the hotel, I love the two lampposts!

Then, we walked up to the roof-top pool to have a wonderful view of Venice! The pool was filled with kids and families….pretty small pool for the size of the hotel though!

Afterwards, we came back down and asked the front desk for the boat regatta time….the front desk told us that the boat regatta is cancelled due to strike!!!!! Awwwwww!  Disappointed but we can’t help it 🙁  We went back to our hotel to rest a bit and then navigate back out when it was dinner time.

We took the ferry to Zattere again, the hotel ferry looked like this:

It was too early for dinner so we did more navigation.  We passed the place where gondolas are handcrafted!!

Once again, we walked through hidden paths and always found some photogenic place:

We almost reached Piazzale Roma (bus station)!!!  We came across to this very cute shop where the owner made all the glasses and it was the most reasonable price we ever seen (aside from made in China products)! He was kind enough to let me photograph him while he was working!

This little shop has no name but it is right across from Hotel Failer:

Picture of the shop window below.  I bought a pink glass bead bracelet for 6 euros, then two glass animal figurines: elephant and fish for 7 euros each! Very good price for handmade products!  I like the animal wine glasses too but it’ll take up a lot of luggage room and I afraid that I’ll break it before it gets home, the wine glasses are mostly 12 euros each, bigger ones are 16 euros each!

We turned back and try to get back to Zattere for dinner.  Along the way, we passed many nice spots for photos:

Hum…a tree grow out from a house:

We checked out all the menus of the restaurants along the Zattere area and found nothing we liked so we decided to head back to Giudecca via the floating bridge, it was two days per year so we had to walk across it once!  It wasn’t crowded as yesterday!

We stopped at Trattoria Ai Cacciatori to have dinner by the water with great view of sunset.

The view was excellent but the service and food…not so good!  We ordered the grilled scallops, fish fillet, and the steak fillet, total 70 euros.  The service was sooooo slow!!!! We waited at least 15 minutes for our bill yikes!

By the time dinner was finished, it was getting dark and here’s a view of the hotel at night:

A lot of walking today but it was worth it, we went to places we never been before!  Love Venice without a map!

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