After a relatively quick flight over from Dublin taking only 2 hours and 10 minutes, I landed at Venice airport around 10.30pm. As I had priority seating in 1F I was first off the aircraft. Jumped on the tarmac transfer bus and got my bag pretty fast. For some reason as I was walking though to the arrivals terminal I had the thought, not all things always go to plan. Maybe it was intuition, maybe a coincidence but boy did things take a turn from the moment I stepped outside.
I had purchased a voucher from Expedia for a transfer from Venice Airport to my hotel. The voucher says “ Drop off – Haven San Toma” so I thought I was being clever by booking ahead. Unfortunately the lady at the bus stop informed me I would be getting dropped off at a bus terminus and would have to make the rest of my way on my own and probably have to get a water taxi. By the time we got to the bus terminus it was around midnight and a storm was brewing! I found the water ferry stand and as I was waiting my turn the skies opened up and I got absolutely drenched! So there I am soaked to the bone with 2 suitcases and a wet summer hat on my head.
To make matters worse the ticket machine wasn’t taking my VISA and I was 20c short of my fare in change. Luckily some kind soul saw me struggling and gave me the extra 20c. He then showed me to the ferry stand and I waited for the boat to take me in the direction of my hotel.
By now it was a full on storm, as beautiful as Venice is – it looks god damn scary at night when you’re all alone at midnight trying to navigate the streets with no wifi. Lucky I had taken a screenshot of the location of my hotel at Venice airport when I had access to wifi.
As we approached San Toma wharf the rain started up again. I bravely stepped off the boat into the empty streets, put my game face on and set out to find my hotel.
After what felt like going around in circles I recognised the common area of the hotel through a window and begged the guy inside to open the door, soaking wet and exhausted I checked in.
The hotel itself is centrally located, simple but all I need. I have a single room with a shared bathroom. Its clean and neat and most important I feel safe. At only 35euro a night its a steal!
The front desk staff are also very helpful and friendly too.
Today I took the opportunity to see Venice on foot. It is a mild 22C today so not as hot as the 31C days they have been having (until the day I arrived of course…ugh) So I thought it would be best to see everything when its a bit cooler and then head off to Venice Lido tomorrow when its warmer again.
I started in Campo San Toma and headed up through Campo San Stin, where I think I have found my new favourite wine and panini place! La Bottiglia is a cute little bar with fresh local ingredients and very welcoming staff. Having no idea what to order, the lovely girl asked me if I trusted her and I said yes of course! She served me a prosciutto, semi dried tomato and ricotta panini alongside a glass of Italian white wine, it was delish! I’ll be heading back there later tonight.
After lunch I walked up through Campo San Silvestro and across Ponte Rialto down to San Marco and St. Marks Basilica. Because it was an overcast day there wasn’t so many people out but was still busy. I continued down through Campo San Maurizio and across Ponte Accademia and came back up through Campo Santa Margherita. I was doing SO well with my little map I got from La Bottiglia, until I went too far up and ended up at the ferry station and for about 45 minutes I did circles trying to get back to my hotel. My Fitbit says I did 8.3km today and I think 3 of them were walking in loops! It only took me about 3 hours to see all the tourist spots and Im happy with the self tour I did today.
It was a really nice day traveling solo, seeing the beauty of this old floating city and getting into some really yummy Italian food. Tomorrow its beach day!
FLIGHT: Air Lingus
PRICE: $225 for 25 kg luggage and priority boarding/seating
ADVICE: Pretty comfortable and basic for a short flight. No inclusive food/drink, ability to purchase on board simple snacks. Flight departed on time and arrived early. Everyone clapped when we landed, ugh. 7/10
TRANSFER: Booked via expedia.com with ATVO
LOCATION: Venice Airport
PRICE : 8 euro to bus terminus, 7.5 euro for water taxi
ADVICE: Make sure to confirm with the company exactly where they will drop you off, preferably in day light hours when its not raining! They ask you to put all your luggage under the coach (even carry on) so make sure you take out any fragile items before. 2/10
HOTEL: Haven San Toma Hostel
LOCATION: San Toma
PRICE: 35 euro per night
ADVICE: Fantastic if you’re travelling alone and don’t want to pay premium for a double room but still want to have privacy in a room by yourself. Its clean, basic and safe. As long as you don’t mind sharing the bathroom, I highly recommend it. 8/10
FOOD: La Bottiglia
LOCATION: Campo San Stin
PRICE: 1.10 for a coffee, 3.5 for a wine, 6 for a panini
ADVICE: Super chill, relaxed atmosphere with jazz tunes playing in the background. Fresh food and passionate staff who really want you to experience the local wine and fresh food. 10/10