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Hello everyone…..we are in Venice!! This blog will be a work in progress as we have 4 nights here so stay tuned and we will update this one with some details as we go.
For our first blog we are 2 days behind already, but due to lots of eating, drinking, and walking, we are very tired each night and usually fall into bed with a stomach full of pasta and red wine without turning the laptop on. So here goes for now.

It was on a cold, overcast, and drizzly day that we have our final breakfast in Bellagio and say goodbye to some of our new found friends. Then while having our last drinks at the Bellagio Bar Sports our car arrives and we are off. It’s an hour drive to Milan’s Central railway station, which is a massive and impressive structure, then an hour wait for our train. We have booked 1st class tickets again, thankfully, as we know from our last train adventure that anything else is very ordinary, so we check our baggage and wander around the station a bit to grab a snack. Then with about 20 minutes till departure we head back and grab our bags and make our way up the travelators to the platforms and search the departure boards for our train. It’s now getting on to about 10 minutes to go and still no sign of which platform so we find an information office and since we’re starting to get a bit worried we decide to ask them. They take our tickets, look at the board, and tell us it’s not there yet. No shit Sherlock! It seems that the board is the god of departures and they tell us when it’s up there we will all know. So off we go back among the throngs hanging around the displays waiting for a platform. Finally it comes up, Platform 10, and we head on over. Luckily all the platforms are on one level so it’s not to much of a problem getting to ours. We head down towards our carriage, because with 1st class tickets you get a carriage and seats allocation, but now find that our particular carriage for this train is out of order. But we are told we can get on the next 1st class carriage and are given a range of seat numbers which are vacant. After a lot of luggage manoeuvring to get on then up the aisle we are finally seated for our 2 1/2 hour train journey. The drink trolley comes through and we grab a free glass of champagne each, vote 1 for 1st class rail again!

Day 1 in Venice – Sunday 4th March
And finally we arrive. The views on the way in aren’t to good by rail but you get the general gist of crossing a body of water to an island, and we arrive at a very underwhelming train station. Once you see Milan you’ll probably think all train stations are underwhelming from now on. We make our way down the platform and there it is, Venezia!! Off we go and jump into a water taxi for the journey to our hotel.

From Venice

As you can see Ali is a little bit excited……

From Venice
From Venice

Our hotel is beautiful. The room is huge, we ordered a suite and got one! With a separate sitting room, a step down to the bathrom, and this massive bedroom.

From Venice

And best of all it has a lift….woo hoo!! after 2 weeks of up and down our 52 stairs in Bellagio, (plus Ali’s mountaineering epic to see a church) we are in need of some help. Ali thought it might not have a mini bar. Never been in a hotel where I couldn’t seek this out…….
Found it!

From Venice

Success…….

From Venice

So in our usual pattern we do a very brief unpack and hit the streets of Venice for a browse. And what streets they are, a labyrinth of walkways and canals criss cross everywhere and it is very easy to get side tracked whilst walking along looking at the many shops and ristorente on all of them. However we do manage to find our way to St Mark’s Campanile for a luxury glass of Moet Chandon while we watch the crowds go by.

From Venice
From Venice

After that relaxing interlude we are off again. So much to see. There are lots of people and many sites and we wander aimlessly for a while checking out more shop fronts and more food establishments as we work our way back to our hotel and ponder dinner. Of course being the Italian way we drop into this place directly across from our hotel for a drink and get presented with this amazing platter of food, complimentary! (and it really was because we only paid 6 Euro for the 2 drinks)

From Venice
From Venice

This is of course before dinner, so now we have to figure out what we want to eat……..

There are many many ristorente around Venice and they mostly have touts out the front to entice you. So after a bit of a stroll around we settled on one off the main alleys. It was the only one in this particular alley and their tout, Michael, had the best spiel so he won us. We walked a bit further on to check out some more streets then made our way back to Michael’s place where we had a light meal each.
Ali had a very tasty four cheese ravioli

From Venice

While I had a very awesome Veal in a garlic and oregano sauce

From Venice

So that was it for day one. More to follow…………