Venice on a budget is possible. When we first started planning this trip, we made a wish list of places we’d like to stop. Venice went onto the list almost as a joke—we were certain we couldn’t travel in the Veneto on our limited budget. We scoured the internet but didn’t find anything with decent reviews that was well located. Then we came across Al Campaniel – A B&B for 70 Euros a night. I was reluctant, but could not have been more delighted by this wonderful home. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187870-d563561-Reviews-Al_Campaniel-Venice_Veneto.html
Marco, the owner, made us feel as if we lived in Venice. The room was lovely with a big queen-sized bed and private bath, a window opening onto a little garden area, and the location could not have been better—a one- minute walk from the San Toma vaporetto stop. And the vaporetto pass saved us. For about 12 Euros per day, a multi-day pass covers unlimited rides. Since it was raining about half the time we were in Venice, we really took advantage of the ability to hop on and off to see the sights and cover territory without getting lost (and wet) on the narrow lanes.
We also saved on food costs by eating our main meal at lunchtime—which we’ve done as much as possible through most of this trip. Then in the evenings we ate something light—a salad, or pizza, or in the case of Venice, a cichetti crawl. As they do in Spain, many of the wine bars and shops put out lovely little snacks which you can buy for a small amount of money and enjoy with a glass of wine. A couple of stops along the way home took care of the evening meal. Then there are our picnics, of course. With the incredible Rialto market within a short walk, we managed to pick up fruit, (fresh figs and dates!) wine, cheese, and bread along the way and had our “dinner” in our room one evening. Marco even chilled the Prosecco for us and provided glasses on our last night—just ideal.
The Scuola San Rocco was a revelation. If you are a Tintoretto fan, you will never see so many in one location—at least 50 scenes from the bible, a real labor of love by the Venetian artist. The Frari church, right next door, was also pretty amazing. And both of these sights were right near our B&B. Of course the Doge’s palace and St. Marks basilica were unbelievable, too. And of course, we had another bell tower to climb. But alas, this campanile had no stairs, only an elevator. Maybe in the humid weather that was a blessing. I posted a short video of the Vivaldi concert already—Impressioni Venezia is a very good chamber group, and the concert was a great way to spend an evening. We would have loved to attend “Musica a Palazzo” where opera is performed in an actual Venetian palace, but their schedule and ours just didn’t work together. Not sure it was in the budget anyway, but a blowout from time to time for something really special is not out of the question. It was highly recommended by people we met.
The Rialto market was great fun for we two foodies–as you’ll gather by the disproportionate number of “food porn” shots included in this slide show.
There were no crowds in early October—we were really lucky to enjoy Venice in such a relaxed and stress-free way. And as far as the talk that Venetians are unfriendly—we met more people here than any place we’ve visited. While lunching near the Rialto bridge at Trattoria da Bepi, we got into a nice long talk about politics and food with Giorgio and Loris, the owner, and got lots of inside information about the city.Venice was the perfect romantic getaway – although at this point in our trip, getting away has already been accomplished. Enjoy the photos. Click on a thumbnail image and toggle through using the arrows.