Sunday, November 30, 2014

il nostro ultimo giorno in Italia

We slept in a little barely making it to breakfast by 10.

We mapped out our plan while we had the hotel wifi. By the way, I figured this out in Florence that you can download a city in Tripadvisor so you can look up restaurants and attractions without internet!

Our hotel is in the Cannaregio. So we set out to explore some other areas of Venice.  We walked through Piazzale Roma and Dorsoduro districts. We visited   Campo San Barnaba. This is where Katherine Hepburn fell into the rio in 'Summertime' and also where a portion of 'Indiana Jones and last Crusade' was filmed. We enjoyed some pizzas at Al Profeta (Calle Lunga San Barnaba Dorsoduro, 2771). Thanks Shannon For the recommendation! We split two pizzas between the four of us- we finally have figured out the portions that fit our budget and bellies.  We bought an italian type angel food cake for our early breakfast tomorrow. We leave at crack of dawn!  After lunch, we returned to the nearby Campo San Barnaba so kids could have some gelato at Grom.

Another tip we figured out late was to use restrooms in fancy hotel lobbies! Just pretend you know where you are going. :)

We went back to Piazza San Marco to see it in daytime (don't go here if you have a fear of pigeons!) and spent probably too many Euros to take the elevator (no stairs to take) to the top of the Campinale (bell tower) that was originally a lighthouse. Great views! Supposedly can see the Alps from here but it was overcast.

We saw the two columns and then the Bridge of Sighs which connects the prison to Doge's Palace.  We took turns going through the gratis areas of the Palace since otherwise you have to check your bag which was a little out of the way.

The rain picked up so we scooted in a bar for drinks and free wifi.  Then shopped our way back to the hotel to make arrangements for our early departure.

We bought one way tix for airport shuttle bus for the 5 am departure. We have a 15 min walk in the morning with our luggage..thank goodness we packed light with room to spare for the new gifts and mementos.

We found a great place on tripadvisor for our last dinner. It was near the Jewish Ghetto and close to our hotel but in an alley off the beaten track. Lots of locals. The waiter really wanted us to like everything. He brought us complimentary Prosecco and later bruschetta. We all had great meals! Ravioli, spaghetti pescatore, mussels/clams, grilled shrimp...and we shared a few desserts.  Probably our best overall meal.

During dinner we talked about our bests of the trip...

Pizza - Gusta in Florence (great value too)

Pasta- Rome Il Girasole ravioli with truffle and Bentigodi Chef Domenico in Venice 

Gelato - Eduardo near Duomo in Florence

City- Florence

Attractions- Rome - Forum & Colosseum

Church- Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Cathedral 

Hotel- Florence Della Nazioni 

Ambiance- Venice and Florence

Shopping - Florence - leather!

Beverage -House reds

Best looking italian men and women Venice

After dinner, we said goodbye to our new friends Phil and Morgan from Chicago and finished packing....

P.S.Christmas is still pretty muted here but did see the Venice version of Big Johns Xmas trees...

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