• The Grand Canal - Venice, Italy

Our Itinerary:

Nice, France to Venice, Italy

Duration: 2 Days

Travel: Depart Nice, Italy 09:00 – travel by rental car.

We drove from Nice to Venice as it had been a life long dream to spend my birthday in Venice.  When we landed in Nice we picked up our rental car – an Opel Mokka – with the intention of driving to Venice.  After several wonderful days in Nice, we loaded up into the Mokka and hit the road!  Now it should be noted that the Mokka may say it is rated for 5 Adults and their luggage, but what it really means is 3 1/2 people with small overnight bags.  Alas, that was not us.  Instead we had suitcases jammed all over the vehicle.  A tight fit indeed.  It should also be noted that this particular SUV has all of the power of a squirrel pushing a skateboard.  The driving in Italy can only be described as break neck.  I suspect this is the reason why Italy produces so many professional race car drivers.  More on the drive here.

Hotel: Hotel Villa Adele – 3.5 Stars out of 5.  Average price $84 per night for a triple room with balcony.

This hotel is a well situated within 10 minutes from the Historic Venice Downtown in a nice, quiet area.

There are only 18 rooms in the hotel – spread over three floors.  Unfortunately, there are no elevators.  And our room was on the top floor.  That said, I loved the hotel.  The rooms were very historical – and unique.  A really good value for the price and location.

There is a breakfast that is offered during the early hours as well…though we didn’t manage to wake up early enough to partake.

Within a couple of blocks from the hotel is a stop for the local transit (passes can be purchased from the front desk).  From there it is a short journey to the Grand Canals.


Must See/Do in Venice: Take public transit to the Grand Canal.

Places we visited on this trip, and reviews of them:

  • Caffè Lavena – Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square). 2 Stars out of 5.  This restaurant is the exact reason why you should never eat in the touristy areas.  But in our case, even though we knew better, we were starving.  We were still starving after we left.  I started with the coquille saint jacques – see pictures – which were so over cooked they were nearly impossible to get out of the shells.  I then had the Ravioli – again see the pics – which really looked as though they dumped canned cat food on top…kinda tasted like it too.

The service is overly pompous – and odd.  We wanted water.  There were four of us.  The waiter brought one small bottle (6 Euros).  We requested more.  Again, one bottle.  Ugh.  That was the real sign of things to come.

  • Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) – The main attraction on land in Venice.
  • Pizzeria Capri – 5 Stars out of 5.  A must stop for some of the best pizza you will have!  Fantastic service, great prices and amazing food.

Resources for Travel to Italy:

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