I’ve always longed to visit Venice – the floating city and embodiment of romance!
Earlier this year I finally got the oppurtunity when my lovely boyfriend whisked me off there for a couple of nights as a special 30th Birthday present. We were lucky enough to stay in the glamorous Ca’Sagredo situated right on the grand canal (www.casagredohotel.com (www.casagredohotel.com/). Lying between Ca’D'oro and the Rialto Bridge, Ca’Sagredo is a beautiful 15th Century Palace originally built by Morosini Family and now lovingly transformed into a plush and luxury 5 star hotel.
Nominated for Conde Nast Traveler for this year’s ‘Gold List’ as soon as you enter the grand building you can see why! There are frescoes on the walls, marble staircases and ornate furniture and sculptures. It took my breath away and I couldn’t quite believe that I would be staying in this glamorous former palace.
The staff are extremely and conscientious and gave us a tour of the hotel before showing us to our luxurious suite. I must say the best parts of the stay by far were the snuggly bathrobes and the amazing view from the window.
It was late so after a delicious meal of Gnocchi in one of the best pesto’s I have ever tasted and succulent Calamari we hit the sack eager to be fresh for the next days adventures. Waking up on the Grand Canal in Venice is truly a magical experience. After sampling some yummy breakfast and Prosecco (it’s never too early for Prosecco in Italy darling) we jumped onto a waterbus at the nearby Ca’D'oro stop and headed out to see what wonders Venice had to offer.
We decided it would be an absolute sin not to have a wonder around the infamous Rialto Market so hopped off over the way to see was being sold and generally soak up the atmosphere of the bustling market. Rialto Market is a brilliant place to wonder around for an hour. The seafood is spectacular as well as the abundance of fresh fruit, veg and herbs also on offer.
Deciding a cultural hit was required we headed off to The Guggenheim (www.guggenheim.org/venice).
Located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice, the museum housesa huge collection of European and American Modern Art from the first half of the 20th Century. The pieces on display including the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection & the Gianni Mattioli Collection are amazing but my favourite section of the museum by far was the Nasher Sculpture Garden (seen above). Complete with sculptures and installations the garden is a lovely place to while away some time. My favourite installation was the 2003 Wish Tree created by none other than Yoko Ono. I loved seeing the wishes of people from all over the world hanging delicately on the branches, just waiting to be granted and couldn’t resist hanging one of my own!
After a delicious evening meal (ask for recommendations from locals, such as Water Taxi Drivers) we headed back to the hotel to enjoy a bottle of red and rest our weary legs.
The next day we headed for the obligatory St Peters Square, visiting the ridiculousy ornate (we’re talking gold ceilings people) Basilica and Doge’s Palace. The palazzo is breathtaking but don’t under any circumstances go for a coffee! We are talking big bucks. Instead grab a delicious from a cake from a local bakery and enjoy the scenery.
From there we headed off to the Island of Murano, world famous for it’s glass. We wandered the streets nipping into shops and galleries and watched some extremely complicated pieces being blown. Murano is a must see in my opinion, but remember to talk some Euro’s to bring back your own little piece of artwork. Impressive scultptures appear around every corner and lovely little tavern’s and restaurants are waiting to be discovered.
Heading back to mainland (so to speak) we explored all the little streets and bridges that make up Venice and enjoyed looking at the love locks left on numerous bridges symbolising lovers eternal committment to each other.
My verdict on Venice is that it is everything I had ever imagined, beautiful and romantic. I can’t wait to go back, maybe Carnival next time tho – there’s a hint to the Boyfriend!