Italia Home Page Link


Day Eight - Santa Croce, Murano, and a Hidden Gem

Fruit, eh?
Fresh Fruits Greet the Early Shoppers
Statue on a Venezia Corner
Statue on a Corner Near the Laundry
(Click to Enlarge)

Today was laundry day. I awoke early, gathered our clothes, and walked down to a laundromat we had passed a few blocks from the hotel. The machines seemed simple enough, but a kind lady insisted on assiting me nonetheless. I started the wash and went out for a croissant.

Normally I wouldn't enjoy doing laundry, particularly at a laundromat, but this gave me a good opportunity to walk around some of the neighborhoods behind the store and witness the early morning routine.

There is a bit of an energy shortage in Italia and while the washers were relatively cheap, dryers were another matter. Luckily, two cycles of 15 minutes were enough.

Our third night in Venezia would require a change of hotels. We checked out of Zecchini and took a vaporetto to Santa Croce and found our stop. Hotel San Cassiano took a little effort to locate, but it would be well worth it. Unlike Zecchini, which was right in the heart of the action, San Cassiano was in a quiet, out-of-the-way, area, which made for a nice change of pace.

Hotel San Cassiano
Hotel San Cassiano (red)
Osteria Antico Giardinetto
Osteria Antico Giardinetto
A Hidden Gem

Aside from its canals and gondolas, Venezia is most famous for its glass. The island of Murano is where most of the glass is blown, and has been since 1291.

We purchased a 24-hour vaporetto ticket and made our way to the island, about a 30 minute ride, with all the stops.

Possibly due to the holiday season, Murano was very tranquil when we arrived. We walked around and did some shopping and tried to find some glass being made, but most of the factories were shut down at this time. It was a little disappointing. Not much was happening in Murano, so we took the next vaporetto back.

Strangely enough, I had been in Italia for eight days and I had yet to drink some wine. We decided we'd find a nice place to dine for our last evening in Venezia and have wine with dinner. We had seen a few places near Piazza San Marco that would fit the bill.

As we neared the hotel, we heard a guitar playing and someone singing Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing." It sounded very good and we were curious where it was coming from. We followed the music and found a very nice but well-hidden ristorante called Osteria Antico Giardinetto. A quick step inside and we were sold.

The good people at San Cassiano had arranged for a complimentary bottle of wine to be delivered to our room, which we enjoyed while resting a bit and dressing for dinner. We arrived back at Antico Giardinetto at about 9 PM and it was very empty. Most everyone in the region was already in vacation mode. They assured us we could still dine and we chose a seat out in the garden patio.

We chose a bottle of wine and began trying to decipher the menu, which was a bit more difficult than other places we'd been. We called our server over and asked him for some help and he began pointing to words on the menu and pointing to various fish that were decorating the walls. Right about then another server brought over the English menus, which was a great help.

I ordered some black linguine with raw shrimp and it was absolutely fantastic. Fai tried a more traditional spaghetti. Both dishes we superb. The musician began to play a collection of classic rock songs and was quite talented. He sat down with us between sets and we chatted about his career and history.

The sever, Luca, was also very friendly and nice. He explained the holiday a bit and why the place was so empty and then told us of a party on Lido they were having after they closed for the evening.He gave us a card and invited us to the gathering. In the end, we were just too tired and we had an early train back to Roma in the morning.

Dinner at Osteria Antico Giardinetto was the perfect way to conclude our stay in Venezia.



Day Nine

Day: OneTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTen      Italia