Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 349: Navigating in Venezia and Slovenia
By Bob the Navigator from FL, Fall 2002
Trip Description: Two weeks in early October with the first week in Venice and the second in Slovenia.
Destinations: Countries - Italy, Slovenia; Regions/Cities - Venice
Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People
Page 1 of 3: Introduction
St. Marks Square
This trip was a deviation from our normal European sojourn, so I have decided to deviate from my normal trip report format. This time I will concentrate on the factors that made this one unique and try to convey some good advice for fellow travelers.
It was our 21st trip to Europe and our 11th to "Bella Italia". We had been to Venice twice before, but both had been day trips from Veneto locations. This time we wanted to explore this unique and magnificent city in-depth. The total trip was set for 2 weeks in early Oct. with the first week in Venice. We flew directly into and out of the new Marco Polo airport just outside of Venice on Air France --more about that later. We had read several good reports on Slovenia, and that became our destination for the second week. So, a total of 2 weeks to explore the many and varied treasures of Venezia and Slovenia. This is what we learned:
1. LONGER IS BETTER: Perhaps we are getting smarter, or maybe just older, but we have come to appreciate the "slowtrav" mentality of staying in one location for a week. Of course, being retired and having traveled Europe many times before tends to make this option more feasible. This is especially true when visiting the major cites of Europe. We had stayed a week each in Paris and Rome on earlier trips, and felt that Venice deserved the same.
2. RENTING AN APT. MAKES GOOD SENSE: This was a first for us. We had rented a farm house in Tuscany and a condo in Andalusia for a week each, but never an apt. in a city. It makes very good sense both logistically and financially -- we would do it again. This apt. was a 4 room flat in the Frezzaria section of Venice about 200 meters west of San Marco. It was a perfect location for us. And, the cost was half what we would have to pay for a 3 star hotel in a similar location. We loved the convenience of being able eat breakfast without getting dressed, and twice we came back and bought goodies for lunch before our PM exploring. This apt. is owned by Vito & Christina who also run the B&B Locanda Barbarigo -- a very good choice for a shorter stay. You can rent directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. BEWARE OF TIGHT CONNECTIONS AT CDG: Well, you live and learn -- somtimes the hard way. Our connection going was scheduled for an hour at CDG, but the flight was about :15 late and you know what happened. However, being seasoned travelers, we always pack our carryon bag with the essentials that we need to survive for 2 days. The bags finally arrived the 3rd day and they were a welcome sight. So, the return was also thru CDG but this time we had a 1:20 between flights. Well, we have yet to see the luggage after being home for 36 hours, but we are promised that they will arrive later today. I have never been a big fan of Air France, but the point to learn is to not trust tight connections, especially at CDG where most connecting flights are on the other side of that complex. And, you have a long walk to your connecting gate that requires going back thru security. We are smarter now !
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