Monday, July 16, 2012

Venice, Italy Reviews

The following is a list of reviews of hotels, restaurants and other services during our travel to Venice, Italy in July 2012.

Venice, Italy 

Casa Rezzonico
This was our first stop in Italy, and this hotel was recommended by family.  We stayed here for two nights.  The hotel was easy enough to find directly off the Vaporetto stop at Ca' Rezzonnico.  To find it, head straight back past the Ca'Rezzonico building.  When you come to a small campo, cut over to your right to the canal and continue to walk along the left side of the canal. Go past a small bridge and then the hotel will be on your left.  

We had a stately room located right on the canal with a picturesque view. There is a bell tower directly outside, so you do hear bells often, although this was not necessarily disturbing to us and we liked the charm. Very large, updated bathroom by European standards.  The bed was not necessarily wonderful by American standards, but was very much typical of the beds we stayed on in Europe. We never met either of the owners, but most employees were helpful and nice.  Upon checkout we used Travelers Checks in lieu of cash.  I know this is not common practice anymore, but I had pre-approval from the hotel.  (Since many of the places we were staying required cash or travelers checks, we opted for this for hotel payments only so we would not be carrying around huge amounts of cash on a daily basis.)  The employee that checked us out didn't really understand this too well and it ended up being quite a lengthy check-out process. 

  • We liked how close it was to Campo Santa Margherita.  Very lively at night with college kids, good food at Pier Dickens Pizza (see below) and great gelato at Il Doge (see below). 
  • Scenic view from canal-facing window
  • Nice, secluded garden
  • Typical European breakfast including juice, cereal, coffee, croissants, yogurt
  • Formal decor
  • Large bathroom
  • Air conditioning
  • Must ring bell to enter.  Not a huge deal, but somewhat inconvenient. 
  • There is always someone on duty to let you in or out, but they sleep on a cot in the "breakfast" room that leads to the back garden. Both nights we were there, we wanted to stay up (past 10:30 pm) and drink a bottle of wine in the garden, but didn't feel like we could due to the fact that we would be walking through the "bedroom" of the on-duty employee or inconveniencing them to stay up and wait for us. 
Pizza Pier Dickens, Campo S. MargheritaVeniceItaly
****We ate here on our first night in town because it was so close to our hotel and it had been recommended by my aunt. It was early for dinner and late for lunch by European standards, but we had just stumbled off of a plane and wanted food.  We were probably there around 1:30 pm. We sat outside under the covered patio.  Service was average. We ordered water, a coca cola light, stuffed green olives, and a margherita pizza. I was not a fan of the green olives, but Sam liked them ok.  I am not really sure what they were stuffed with- some sort of meat mixture.  However, the pizza (our first in Italy!) was amazing!!!!  We still agree that it was by far the best pizza we had in all of Italy!  Simple and perfect. Reasonably priced. $$

Il Doge, Campo Santa MargheritaVeniceItaly
****We stumbled upon this gelateria after wandering around in our first night in Venice. It was our first official sample of the famous Italian gelato, and it was a success!  Very creamy and good. I sampled something similar to Italian Wedding Cake and Sam opted for the amaretto and dark cherry. I highly recommend this place.  It was so good we ended up going back two more times since it was so close to our hotel! Super affordable!  $

La Pizzeria da Giorgio, Cannaregio(Lista di Spagna)230/a-30121 VeneziaVeniceItaly
***Very average in all respects. We stumbled upon this place our first night out in Venice.  We were wandering and ended up in this neighborhood near the Scalzi bridge and the train station.  The area is a bit touristy, but this restaurant had several people out front, which we considered to be a good sign.  We sat and were brought menus, although the server was a bit curt. We order a fairly inexpensive pizza with prosciutto and an awesome bruschetta.  I would say the latter was better than the pizza. We split a carafe of the house white wine, which was surprisingly good!  The service was something to be desired.  Not bad, but not good.  Although we didn't realize that this is much more common in Italy than in the U.S., the waiter actually answered his cell phone while waiting on us.  A couple nearby ate, paid, and then left, but returned several minutes later upset about their bill, as they felt the waiter had deceived the about the cost of the fish.  They were upset and the waiter didn't back down- just yelled back. $$

Bar Pizzeria Vittoria, Calle Lunga delle Chioverette 74530135 VeniceItaly
We stopped here in Venice while wandering around.  It has sturdy outdoor booths. It is located directly off of the Ferrovia stop, but on the other side of the bridge. We each ordered a glass of wine and split a margherita pizza. It was cheap and enjoyable.  $$

Bar Olimpia, Steps Nearest Train Station | Northern SideVeniceItaly
Terrible. As predicted for something directly on the canal and at the stairs of the Scalzi bridge, this was a poor choice.  We were early for our train next door and wanted to grab something to drink while we passed some time. This place was close and looked presentable, so we thought we would give it a try. Mistake!  Sam got a cappuccino, and I ordered a Coca Cole light (the small European bottle) and we sat outside. Our bill was ridiculous!  The cappuccino was €3 and my Coca Cola Light was €6!!!!!  Do not go here!  $$

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