At this time of year we’re looking forward to sunshine and longer days, light evenings and warmth. We have several friends who manage to escape to warmer places in the southern hemisphere for January and/or February, but equally some who head for Venice. Venice in January when the tourists are absent, the restaurants open and the streets covered in duck boards ready for the rain and the winter high tides that flood the streets as well as the canals. Take wellington boots. We prefer October when it’s not too crowded but the sun shines and the days cool enough to walk – and walk you must in Venice, with occasional use of the water bus – great value and very atmospheric, and much more fun than the gondolas – leave those to the “tourists”.
We found a wonderful hotel right on the Grand Canal, that didn’t cost a fortune. It’s housed in the top floor of an old palazzo [they’re all old to varying degrees] which has an art exhibition space [think Biennale] on the ground floor spilling out onto the canal opposite the market. They have eleven rooms in all, with two wonderfully simple panoramic rooms at the front with windows to front and side. They’re either side of a little sitting area reserved just for these two rooms where you can have breakfast [no restaurant]. They don’t have a balcony but the views from the windows are magical, watching the bustling Grand Canal traffic all day long. The best way from the airport is by a gleaming timber water taxi, and you can save money by booking a return trip. The hotel doesn’t have a “water door” – that seems to be reserved for the swish hotels – but they can drop you at the little landing stage on the ground floor. If that doesn’t work, there’s a little canal just to the right with a landing stage. Small lift to the top and then the view…
Lots of good places to eat and drink in Venice – see other posts on restaurants – and everyone should try the cicchetti and spritz. Spritz is 2 parts Aperol [or Campari for a slightly less sweet version], 1 part soda and 3 parts Prosecco. Devine.
3* Hotel Locanda Santa Apostoli