Venice

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We went to venice over the weekend. Findings are:

1. It can be just as cold in Venice as in London, or even colder. But at least there were no queues. Last time we went in Feb, bit cold at nite, tho sunny blue skies, essential.

2. In november/december , it floods, so they get out lots of little tresltel tables about a foot of the ground, ready for the flood, just like we have piles of grit around the place from december.

3. Harry's bar is a good place to eat, tho menu is 45 quid but wine is cheap so 60 each with quite a lot of wine. It's more fun on the ground floor, so book that. 2nd night try Da Nico, little and cutesy, also near St Marks, about 30 quid each with loads and loads of wine. DO NOT follow recommendation made to you by some waiters n caffs who get kickbacks from Al Columba, utter rippoff and sounds v like La Columba which is Michlin rated, took me 20 mins to smell rat and march out to da Nico. At night, the Antico Martini is fun bar with music, bit of dancing but not a disco, 50 quid for 4 for several hours and lots of drinks, open til er well at least 2.30. Hotels: splendid swiss is fine 3-star 100 ish a nite for 2, Bauer grunwald 350 yahoo, but nice non-residents bar on Grand Canal, Saturnalia bit old and nanky rooms.

4. The private "cabs" are boats, or course. One of the mags did a feature recently, poss giving half-baked excuse for expenses, hmm? It's 45 quid from the marco polo airport into st Marks. much better than the grindy slow public boats, and the only way to arrive, tho no point in using them except for airport-st marks. The drivers are frighteningly good, getting around blind corners by *just* missing the crner on the inside of the turn, then gun to get "way on" when around the turn, single engine, no fenders, lovely varnished boats without a scratch. Big row going on that they make too much wash (and imho, they do) and shd be restricted to airport/islands runs, not all over inside city. When several boats going the same way, they sit in each others wash, about 20yds line astern, quite toecurling.
 

david_steward

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Re: So.....

The Blackwater-Ramsgate-Chichester run with me and BarryD this week is going to be a bit of a come down then.

Perhaps it will be a bit of an eye opener.

Although my driving technique sounds similar.

Get ready everybody, on the count of three.......Drink-belch-fart-barf.

Should be epic.



Dave S
 

peterg

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Venice - that brings back some recent memories

We went in late May this year to celebrate SWMBO's 40th - arrived by watertaxi who 'threw in' a tour of the city enroute to our hotel opposite the station (forgotten it's name already-the hotel not the station), we used the waterbuses during the day but had to have a watertaxi to her birthday dinner at L'Antico Martini - most fun as it was high water watching her in high heels trying to jump down onto a jetty nearly 3 feet below! - yes, of course I helped her, eventually ;-)

We left Venice for Florence using the train travelling 1st Class in air-conditioned comfort on one of those tilting trains and I can't remember ever having as comfortable a journey on a train in GB.

Finally left Florence for Pisa from where we were flying - hotel owner arranged the cab and we were picked up by a mafia hitman built like a brick outhouse dressed all in black with a black Merc limo, marvellous!
 

jfm

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Cor blimey for a pair of francophiles you S's are becoming tres Italian! You must account for about 3% of Italy's GNP this year right?.

Last time we went to V was two yrs or so ago. Mrs jfm bort lots of glass. Dunno where it all is now. Also I seem to remember lots of cheap ties everywhere. No queues you say! You should see it when the trestle tables are deployed! They're all laid out end to end, all at right angles no diagonals allowed, everyone walks along in convoy like ants walking along branches, and thwacking people coming the other way with umbrellas.

Taxis were fab imho. Though not all beautiful varnished wood as you say, I reckon about 2/3rs had white hulls that I guessed were GRP though praps painted wood (?) anyway we worked very hard at only riding in ones that had varnished hull as well as topsides. Disappointingly not Lambo-engined, but still quickish. I know what you mean about wash, but it seems only to make other taxis wobble around a bit, I mean the edges don't erode because they're solid rock/concrete surely?

Re hotels, Cipriani (sp) is the place to go apparently, need to use free water taxi. We have not stayed there, but can recommend Danieli instead which is cl to marks and fab views and most wonderful staircase/lobby bar. also did you visit the marina? We did but it was full of junk, "moonrakery" as you would say.
 
G

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Re: wow

sounds totally fab. I've been to those places, altho sans Merc/mafia man, and each via Gatwick/LHR rather than straight run between. Also spect you had decent sunshine, as in the paintings. Think the Ant.M is a restaurant and (next door) bar.
 
G

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Agreed. Daren't Cipriani-Ello! yeah come and gettus we're lying down on the pier! Marina opposite fab spot - much more world travellers there in calmer/warmer weather. Carnival around feb is unbeleiveable, cast of hundreds all in £££ costumes. Ok, only one varnished wood trip, v smart, only a year old.

Oh blimineck no it is not in the least rock, and will crumble away. See, 1000ish years ago, a builders sells someone a hoouse. Usual deal, 40 florins no discount I'll buildit where you like. Rightyho says punter, over there on the other side of that gloopy marsh and out of the way of marauding Hordes sweeping westwards. No problemo, eyetie chps down a load of tall trees, branches sniped off and bashes them into mud, followed by erm nice house on top somehow, made of bricks, or some of them stone a bit, followed by bricks. These days, the rates (i understand) are made up by people walking aorund sayig cor thatlooks good, so £££rates bill, whereas if a mess then £, hence inside nice and smart, outsides of houses bit of a wreck, cue Euro grant££££££.
 

byron

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Why go all the way to Italy when you can go to Little Venice in London and gaze at all those exotic narrow boats admiring the owners in their stylish bobble hats. Afterwards you can enjoy a satisfying meal at the "Greasy Spoon" in Paddington served up on a cracked plate by Costas in his traditional costume of a stained T Shirt hanging over a baggy pair of jeans.

ô¿ô
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adarcy

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Just a newbie BUT

Right on. The Danielli is tops. 3 years ago now but varnished boat straight from the airport to the steps at Danielli and SWMBO keeps on about the size of the room, size of the bed but, most of all, the sheer coolness of electric shutters operated from the bed giving a fabulous view without having to get up

Anthony D'Arcy

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by adarcy on Mon Nov 12 16:14:49 2001 (server time).</FONT></P>
 

jfm

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Re: Venice and Barcelona

Anthony, if Mrs D'Arcy likes that take her to Hotel Arts in Barcelona, insist on room 15th floor or higher facing sea or marina. There she will find more bedside-control electronic shutters and lecky stuff (mostly Bang and Olufson wave-your-hand-to-operate) to play with than probly anywhere else ont planet. And rack rate is a stunning Ptas 35,000/night
 
G

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Re: So.....

hm, tho praps MV2 could be varnished up a bit? Also have got a proper sea hat, shall I bring that along? Not very east coasty tho?
 

longjohnsilver

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Re: Weather conditions

Arthur no-one asked you for yet another weather report from Florida, you must have logged on to the wrong forum, but as you probably know we're having the best ever Indian summer, 28C and even sunnier in Taunton!!!!! Haven't seen a cloud for months, and no rain forecast until you return to UK for holiday. YLOB
 

ArthurWood

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Re: Weather conditions

'mornin' Longjohn - and I didn't see a request for a weather report from Venice:). Yes, I had read about the warmest Oct in a million years-or was it 340- in the UK. I suppose you have a beautiful tan! What's YLOB - nothing rude, I hope.
p.s. it's overcast here this a.m.
p.p.s. what make of boat is that in your photo? Looks good.
 

ArthurWood

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Re: Weather conditions

Oh Col, I thought you'd never ask!:).
Sustained 50mph winds, gusts over 70, 9" of rain, 200 trees down on the golf course at the back of us, lots of canvas ripped from boats, many sailboats washed ashore. It was nothing really!
 
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Oh, yes, Italian Myth No 1 is that the weather is always good. The weather in north east Italy is affected by the nearby Alps; you get plenty of rain in the summer, usually in the form of spectacular thunderstorms and, in the winter its often damp, cold and foggy. Actually, I think Venice is more agreeable in the winter when the crowds are gone and can be incredibly atmospheric when its cold/misty - if you've ever seen Death in Venice, you'll know what I mean. Unfortunately, the place is sinking and what with increasing sea levels the trestle walkways have to come out more and more these days in the winter/spring. There is a grand scheme to build barriers across the lagoon entrances but in the way of Italian bureacracy this will take years to come to fruition - at the moment the lentil fanciers are whinging about the barrier scheme spoiling the sex life of some obscure newt or some such animal.
I've been travelling to the Venezia-Friuli area for years on business and I've whiled away many a long hour at Marco Polo airport marvelling at the boat handling skills of the water taxi drivers. You're right in that the older taxis are wonderful inboard engined varnished wood boats but these are gradually being replaced by single sterndrive GRP ones - conventional wisdom on this forum would have it these would be a nightmare to manouevre in tight spaces but, with plenty of throttle, it does'nt seem to bother the drivers. Wash is indeed a problem and there are supposed to be speed limits thru' built up areas but the taxi drivers seem to treat the problem with the same cheerful contempt as car drivers treat speed limits. Like Italian car drivers theres only 2 positions for the throttle -on or off. One particular water taxi ride from Marco Polo into Venice stands out for me - a max speed trip in zero visibility with the driver yacking into a mobile phone in one hand and lighting a constant procession of fags with the other and steering with his knees to avoid all the other water taxis and buses veering out of the fog - and all done without ever removing the Armani shades! If you have your own boat, theoretically you can visit Venice in it but apparently its frowned upon by local officialdom - mind you plonking the new Leopard outside Harry's for an evening tipple sounds quite attractive?
I've often toyed with the idea of buying a knackered Venetian taxi boat, restoring it and bringing it back to the UK. Tooling around the Solent in one of those should mark you out as seriously cool. Unfortunately a lot of other people have the same idea and some of these old boats go for a £100k or more. Apart from that, these boats are pretty flat veed so any kind of a chop might disturb one's chic
Personally, I avoid eating, drinking and staying in Venice itself 'coz the locals have a more rapacious attitude to tourists than even London operators. I recently paid 28 quid for 3 coffees in San Marco - OK, there was a pianist. You can eat a whole lot better and cheaper on the mainland - a while back I had a fantastic 6 course truffle themed meal washed down with a couple of bottles of local wine and finished with a few snorts of the owners 25yr old rum and my host paid £70 for the two of us. I love the way the Italians eat - no menu, just leave it up to the padrone to judge the sophistication of your taste and the size of your wallet.
 
G

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ooh I shdve asked advice here be4 going. There is obv some choice of boats cos nice new woody varnished one was only a year old, he said.

Cheers.
 
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