Colleen did her homework on this one (like all of our moves) and two options for our Venice stay were in play. The first choice was an affordable VRBO right in the heart of the old city, overlooking the canals and even close to some food markets. Great location, easy access from the train station, and in the heart of Venice!
After three days of trying to book it and being told by VRBO that our multiple credit cards had been declined, we finally gave up. Our credit card was no good?! We spent a bit of time on the phone with the card company who assured everything was good on our end. Rather the IT folks at VRBO could not capture the correct information on their booking platform. We still had money – phew!
We ended up going with our second choice, the Four Points by Sheraton Le Mestre. It was a brand new and modern hotel that seems to cater to business people. The breakfast spread was awesome. It was a short five minute walk to the train terminal and we were enroute to the Old City (19 minute train ride to the centre). They even upgraded us to sweet suite! Walking to the train, the kids remarked how it was like our own neighbourhood in Barrhaven. Mestre like Barrhaven? Does that mean Ottawa is the Venice of Canada? Read on to find out …
The classic Venice scenery was started immediately outside the terminal of the train station. The hustle and bustle of the city was a complete pleasure to watch and immerse ourselves in.
Ponte degli Scalzi (The Scalzi Bridge)
Built in 1934 the name literally means the ‘bridge of the barefoot monks’. It faces the church of Santa Maria di Nazareth which belonged to the Carmelitani Scalzi religious order for three hundred years. The bridge crosses the Grand Canal linking the train station to the heart of the city.(source)
The Doge is a term for the oldest and highest political position in the Venetian Republic. The word means leader and comes from the Latin dux. Under the Byzantine Empire, Governors of provinces, which included Venice, were given the title Doge. The Palace, built in the 11th century, served as residence and offices of the Doge. The prison was added in the seventeenth century.
The iconic church was established in 828 A.D. when the body of St Mark was brought from Alexandria to Venice. By the tenth century the mosaic work began and in the twelfth century works of art were brought from Constantinople following the 4th crusade.
Finally some Gelato
Lunch Time – Italian Style
We ate in two different restaurants the Trattoria da Gigi which was amazing and the Trattoria da Gianni which was meh!
Next Stop – Savona and the Costa Cruise Ship
We spent three nights and two full days touring Venice. The sites were amazing and our only complaint was the lack of time to see everything. Unfortunately, we have timings to meet in order to meet the cruise ship in Savona.
We do highly recommend staying at the Four Points hotel in Mestre. It was significantly cheaper than anything in old Venice, close to a shopping mall with grocery store, and the train was only a five minute walk and quick ride to Grand Canal.
Venice is on our list to do a repeat visit! And sorry to break the news but Ottawa is no Venice. Ciao!