venice recommendations

969
12
Joined Jul 3, 2002
My husband and I are going on vacation in about a week and we'd love some help with eating well without breaking the bank in Venice. Nothing fancy, please (we usually travel for 3 weeks with one carry-on each, so no "nice" clothes). Any ideas? We'll only be there a couple of nights, but, after that, we're staying at family-run hotels in the Dolomites at half-board, so food won't be a problem--or even a choice (though the thought of Austrian-Italian fusion cooking does make me just a little bit queasy :eek: ).
Also, if anyone has any "must-sees" or "better-to-avoid" travel recommendations, we'd be very greatful! :D

Thanks guys.
 
1,310
15
Joined Dec 4, 2001
Venice is perhaps my second favorite European city next to Paris. It seems to me that Venice is comprised of dozens of Piazzas (sp?) connected by a series of alleys and foot bridges. It's practically impossible to give directions. My best advice is to simply get lost in Venice. Wander the squares and narrow streets. It doesn't matter where you go, eventually you will come back to the Grand Canal.
For eating, avoid the restaurants at the Ponte Rialto and Piazza San Marcos. They are overpriced tourist traps. We got some really good practical advice from a guide book to Italy by Rick Steves. I would strongly recommend it for advice on not only where to eat (inexpensively) but eating practices. For example, what days and times restaurants are open in Venice as well as bars where food is served and so on. There is lots of other good advice on how to get around and what to see when you are there.
Have a great trip.

Jock
 
9,209
68
Joined Aug 29, 2000
We were just there in July. Bring buckets of money if you plan to enjoy the famous seafood (spider crabs, etc.), because the find dining places are very pricy (expect $75 per person for three courses and modest wine). Get away from San Marco area if you want to lower your food bills. We dropped $19 for a coffee, small slice of cake and 3 scoops of gelato on Piazza San Marco. It'll be more if your cafe has an orchestra- probably $4-5 per person more for a cover charge.

We ate at Trattoria Della Scala, Corte Lucatello 571. For three courses and no wine, it was $96 for two- just for an example. My antipasto was not prepared correctly (I learned later from an Italian chef), and the rest was average.

I stumbled on a very good site, Slow Travel. I met a chef from Florence when we were there, through the Slow Talk board. They are great people! The travel tips are invaluable. Be mindful: the orientation is slow travel, not "If this is Tuesday, this must be Belgium" type of board. Here's the link:
http://www.slowtrav.com/

There are postings for restaurants by people who've "slow traveled" to various destinations.

Good luck!
 
2,550
13
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Oh Mez! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Even though I'm not going anywhere this year, I find this website priceless! They even teach vacationers/tourists how to make coffee à l'italienne! :cool:
 
9,209
68
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Kimmie, I love it too! There are plenty of foodies over there. Although there are places on their BB for other countries, Italy definitely attracts the most interest. Thanks to them, I had the courage to buy one of those little espresso pots that has a reservoir for water on the bottom, and the coffee appears on the top. Saved me lots of money, because I was about to buy an electric espresso maker.

Enjoy!
 
2,550
13
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Good choice Mez! Your little coffee pot will give you a better quality espresso than any electric espresso maker. I have a GranGaggia that I practically don't use anymore ever since I bought a little espresso coffee pot. It's not even plugged-in :D

Enjoy it! ;)
 
969
12
Joined Jul 3, 2002
Jock,

I love the suggestion about "getting lost." We both prefer to see where the actual residents of a place live and it sounds like if you go just a few blocks beyond St. Marks, you can get away from the other tourists. And I just bought Rick Steves's book on Venice. It looks really helpful, especially for people who don't have tons of time (or money!).

And Mezzaluna,

That site is a lot of fun, even if you're not going anywhere! It will be a nice place to visit when I'm back in the class-room pining to be traveling.

Thanks for your help!
 
1,310
15
Joined Dec 4, 2001
I envy you Phoebe. I wish I were going back to Venice. Oh well, next year perhaps... :) :chef:

Jock
 

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