We arrived into Venice by train in only 2 hours from Florence, Italy. We booked the train tickets on Trenitalia.com a few weeks in advance but were confused when we couldn’t find anywhere on the site to book Coco. We were very happy to find out he didn’t need to be booked in advance and was free of charge in first and second class carriages after doing some research. We also brought his carrier after finding out small dogs, cats, and other small domestic pets must be in a carrier that is no larger than 70 x 30 x 50cm on trains in Italy.
I highly recommend taking the train into Venice. DON’T make the mistake of driving. Cars are banned on the island and the parking lot you’d have to leave your car at is very expensive (from what some locals told us). If you need to take a water taxi to your hotel, dogs are required to wear a muzzle and be leashed (we bought one before our trip just in case).
On the second day of our visit, we were eager to just get lost in the streets with Coco without making any plans. We grabbed a map from our hotel so we could get an idea of where we were and find our way back at the end of the day.
I have to say- the island was a dog’s playground with all the new smells and sites to take in. He seemed more relaxed and excited without a single car or bike stopping us on the streets. Most local dogs were off leash and running free though the streets, canals, and alleys. Like I said in the previous post, Venetians have a long tradition of owning dogs..
We ran into one of three leaning towers that can be found around the Island. It’s inclination can be seen best over the rio dei Greci (where we are standing), close to the Ponte Dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs).
Standing in the middle of St. Mark’s square it’s hard to imagine it being flooded with water up to ten inches each year. The city is very sensitive to water levels and St Mark is one of the lowest areas of the island -therefore, it’s the first area to get flooded. About 14 percent of Venice is flooded with water four times a year during the winter months, especially November through December.
Make sure you do your research for potential flooding before booking your trip. Many times airlines and hotels will book big discounts when flooding may occur so don’t be fooled into booking them.
If you experience a flood but still want to see St. Mark’s square, elevated (but narrow) walkways are placed in the square so you can keep dry.
We stopped in a bar in St Mark’s square to try a refreshing alcoholic beverage called a Bellini. The cocktail is a mixture of Prosecco wine and peach puree or nectar. This Bellini at the bar was very good even though it came pre-made in a bottle. To get the best experience with the cocktail, you want to find a place that makes the peach puree from the Venetian region’s fragrant white peaches.
We went to the famous Harry’s bar where the birth of the Bellini took place for the best of the best. The beverage was made from local fresh white peaches that made all the difference for a delicious refreshing drink. The Bellini’s were not really bargain at 22 euros a piece (we had 4) but they were delicious and the service was perfection. The best part was the complimentary olives and bite sized chicken and mushroom croquettes.. so yummy!
The atmosphere was lively in the bar and we felt like we took a step back in time, where the waiters are in white-coats and Ernest Hemingway or Alfred Hitchcock could have been right by us. The waiter told us this historic bar has not changed since the beginning in the 1930’s. I’d say the bar was worth the money for the experience and the one off treats.
If you want to have dinner they have an upstairs area that is supposed to have wonderful views. We tried to go up and see for ourselves but they told Daniel he didn’t meet their dress code since he was wearing jeans.
They also allow well behaved dogs so don’t leave them behind at your hotel.