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Italy : Venice - July 2010

Country Code: Dial ++39 for Italy

Summer sees Venetians take to the water to cool off. The aquatic activity comes to a head on the third Saturday of July, when hundreds of vessels, from rowing boats to working barges, converge in front of Piazza San Marco to watch the midnight fireworks marking the climax of the Redentore Festival. Roderick Conway Morris prepares his hamper

Getting around

Marco Polo International Airport.

Taxi: A road taxi from the airport to Piazzale Roma costs about €30. A water taxi will cost approximately €90.
Tourist information: The most helpful tourist office is the Venice Pavilion on the St Mark’s waterfront (tel. 041 529 8711, www.turismovenezia.it).
Ferry: Alilaguna ferries go from the airport to Piazza San Marco for €12 (or €25 for the fast, direct service on the Alilaguna Oro). Alternatively, buses cost €3 and stop at Piazzale Roma, opposite the train station. From here, hop on a vaporetto (water bus) to your hotel. One ticket costs €6. The 24-hour pass costs €15.

LIDO

The Lido is a 12km-long sandbar that shields Venice from the waves of the Adriatic. Sparsely inhabited until the late 19th century, it became a fashionable resort during the Belle Époque. It’s still a summer playground for the Venetians, many of whom rent beach huts there for the season.

Must eat – A stone’s throw from the main Lido boat landing, Al Mercà (17A Via Enrico Dandolo, tel. 041 526 4549) is picturesquely located in the high-roofed, open-sided old fish market. The location is reflected in the menu, with Venetian seafood antipasti such as schie (tiny shrimps), folpeti (little octopuses) and bacala (whipped salt cod), as well as delicious pasta dishes. Another favourite with locals is Andri (21 Via Lepanto, tel. 041 526 5482), with its pretty jasmine-scented pergola and famous seafood risotto. Beachside Caribe (58 Lungomare Marconi, tel. 041 526 1136) has freshly cooked dishes for all tastes, and also umbrellas and sunbeds for hire. In Alberoni, at the far end of the Lido, is Trattoria Scarpa (5 Via Ca’ Rossa, tel. 041 731 034), a family-run trattoria and pizzeria easily reached by bus.

Dance the night away – Take to the seashore and dance under the stars at Ultima Spiaggia (23 Viale Umberto Klinger), which has lounging areas to chill out in. Expect reggae, funk and classics, plus live bands on Fridays.

DORSODURO

Built on an unusually (for Venice) solid spit of land running westwards from the old customs house at the mouth of the Grand Canal, the name of this district literally means ‘hard back’.

Sleep soundly – The peaceful, canalside Locanda San Barnaba (2785 Calle del Traghetto, tel. 041 241 1233, locandasanbarnaba. com, doubles from €140) is one of Venice’s most charming and welcoming hotels.

Culture vultures – With its flamboyant rococo décor, frescoes and paintings, the Ca’ Rezzonico (3136 Fondamenta Rezzonico) museum of the 18th century is one of the city’s most entertaining.

Shop til you drop – In a pretty square near the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is Venetian resident Leslie Genninger’s Genninger Studio (364 Campiello Barbaro), offering an array of blown and flame-worked Murano glass jewellery, beads, goblets, mirrors and sculptures.

GIUDECCA

This island is normally a few minutes’ vaporetto ride from the city, but during the Redentore Festival (which annually celebrates the end of the terrible plague of 1577) you can walk over a temporary pontoon bridge across the Giudecca Canal. On festival weekend the waterfront is lined with tables set out by the locals for family feasts.

Must eat – Roberta and Alessandro’s Mistrà (53/C Calle Michelangelo, tel. 041 522 0743) is unusual in offering specialities from two great maritime nations: Venice and Genoa (including classic Ligurian pesto pastas). The main fish dishes come grilled, oven-cooked and baked in salt, while the lunchtime menu is good value.

Must drink – The Skyline (Molino Stucky, 810 Giudecca) is the rooftop bar of the Molino Stucky, a huge former flour mill that was derelict for decades before being converted to the recently opened Hilton Hotel. There are magnificent views over the city and lagoon – take the free motor-launch service to the Hilton from Piazza San Marco via the Zattere.



Compiled by Roderick Conway Morris

Previous issues for Venice
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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