Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Time to check out of our last little Italian apartment. I did appreciate this place, good view out the back balcony of Castelrotto and the hills, very convenient location, nice apartment with fabulous pool and playground. Really perfect for a family. They even gave us a CD of the music they play in the pool area as a check out gift.
We got back to the Autostrada no problem. It was raining when we left Castelrotto but as we went down the mountains the sun came out. What pretty scenery there is all around here too. We stopped at an autostrada just outside Venice for lunch and to get gas, and it was a super nice new one. Had my new favorite, prosciutto and melon. Love the tuscan cantalopes they have here, they don’t taste like ours, more flavor but also sweeter. (Turns out you can get them here too, Costco has them in a two pack that taste as good as the ones in Italy).
We got to the car drop off at the Venice airport easily enough but it was pretty busy there and the guys that worked there were extremely brusque but we got the car left with no real issues and began walking towards the terminal. We got our water bus tickets and then walked and walked to the boat dock. Not too much longer our boat came, and we made it to our Rialto stop about an hour later.
Then I had to schlep my seriously over heavy suitcase over a small bridge, then over the Rialto bridge and then to the hotel, where I had to get it up three of the steepest flights of marble steps you can imagine. We were staying at the Locanda Sturion, the hotel we’d stayed at on our honeymoon 18 years before. I had started to look for apartments here in Venice too but we only needed it for three nights and nothing suitable was coming up so I checked to see if the Locanda Sturion had a family room available and they did, so I booked it. I brought up the girls suitcases first and Mark took his and then he went back for mine. I felt really bad for him and a bit worried for his back but he did make it up in one piece. The front desk clerk has obviously seen this many times before, we arrive at the front all sweaty and breathing hard and she calmly pours us each an ice cold glass of fruit juice. Just what we needed.
We settled in and got our luggage all situated in the smallest room we’d had to stay at on this vacation, and went out to walk around the town a bit. Took pictures of the Rialto bridge and looked around for the most famous chocolate shop in the Venice, which of course we found. We bought some treats, and then we found the same glass store we’d stumbled on ten years before when we’d been in Venice on a day trip from Verona, and they still had the same style vase we got and the pendulum clock. This time we didn’t buy as much stuff, just a couple watches and bracelets. Next we made our way to St. Mark’s, but the line was super long so we didn’t go in. By now the rain had died down and they were having a bit of aqua alta, the first time we’d been there when that happened, and Genevieve and I enjoyed slipping off our shoes and walking through the water on the way to the sea. There was also music playing in the piazza and it was very festive. We headed back to the hotel and got freshened up for dinner, noticed the water in the canal near the Rialto was also high, and then headed out to Al Paradiso, a restaurant Mark had researched located really close to our hotel. The food was really good and we splurged and had probably our most expensive meal of the trip. We walked around a bit after dinner and desert (panna cotta in berry sauce) and headed back to our hotel. We left the girls there like the irresponsible parents we are and headed back out to the Osteria Ruga Rialto right down the calle from our hotel. We had a drink there and enjoyed the casual ambience, on our honeymoon this was our favorite Osteria and I can see why (we weren’t just super drunk that night 18 years ago when I proclaimed it the best!)