Today was another travel day, so as usual there wasn’t much activity.
I was staying at B & B Ca’ Garibaldi right on Piazza Garibaldi in Bassano del Grappa.
I can’t say enough good things about this place! It’s only 60 Euros a night (although I was able to find a better deal through Booking.com), you have a full bed, dresser, wardrobe, WiFi, I had my own bathroom (detached), access to a living room, television, a balcony, an espresso machine, as well as a FULL kitchen. My room also had two windows!
It was clean and there was only one other guest, so it was quiet too. There were some campaign rally’s in the plaza throughout the weekend and a market on Saturday morning, but otherwise nothing too rowdy.
It’s a great location about halfway between the train station and the river, with a great view from the front bedroom! Bassano del Grappa is a great town, with lots of night life, but also lots of history, scenic views, outdoor activities, and museums. Although Friuli-Venezia has been my favorite place, for personal reasons, I can say without a doubt that everyone should visit Bassano del Grappa if they come to Italy!
Near the B & B, there was a little place called Caffe Gelateria Orientale. They serve crepes, gelato, smoothies, milkshakes, gelato, ice cream bars, and fruit salads. I got a fruit salad there last night and this morning, called the Copacabana, and it was amazing (fresh coconut, bananas, strawberries, and grapes)!
Other than Birreria Lowen, it was my favorite place in Bassano del Grappa. I really don’t have anything bad to say about this town. I do wish the Hemingway/WWI museum would have been open, and would love to know why it wasn’t, but I will definitely return to Bassano del Grappa! It was clean, fun, interesting, beautiful, delicious, and relaxed!
Thankfully, my host at the B & B didn’t give me a check out time, so I took my time packing and went down to the caffe for lunch before heading to Venice.
I walked to the train station in a little under 10 minutes and was able to get a train ticket to Venice for 7 Euros (via Padova).
Just a heads up, most 2nd class seating on Italian trains is void of air conditioner. It’s crazy hot in there in May, so I can only assume what it’s like traveling in July and August…
I got to Venice around 3 and got on the vaporetto or water taxis. The watertaxi map is REALLLLLLY confusing, so I suggest just asking an employee. I had to ask 3 people before I was directed to the right boat, but I made it to my stop in about half an hour. From my vaporetto stop it was only a short walk to my hotel. The tickets for the vaportetto are really expensive in relation to other public transportation in Italy, so I suggest getting a pass or Venezia Unica card straight away, instead of buying a one way ticket (you technically get access for X amount of time for the price you pay, but still…).
I’ve seen lots of travel documentaries and read lots of literature about Venice being a catacomb and the fact that you’re guaranteed to get lost here so I was nervous…but even with my horrible sense of direction I had no trouble.
Carrying my heavy ass back up 4 flights of stairs on the other hand…
After checking into my hotel and taking a little rest, I walked around trying to find store that sold water and snacks (like my favorite one in Florence) so that I don’t have to eat out every meal for 9 days in Venice. In my pursuit, I went into a small family owned grocery store (after further research they do have grocery chains in Venice) and OH. MY. GOD. The prices were insane. Soy Sauce was 6,90 Euros and Apples were 4,50 Euros a kilo! A small bag of pasta and small jar of sauce was only 6 Euros, but still…
Water in Italy is also really expensive (about 4 Euros a liter). I didn’t buy anything there, but found a gelato shop that sold chips and a pastry shop that sold bread and big bottles of water. I had a beer and watched the boats go by for a few minutes, then went and bought a piece of bread and a liter of water for 5 Euros, before going to dinner. It was so funny, I was just walking around and the pastry shop I found was the same shop I took a picture in front of when I was here in 2012, without even realizing it.
After getting water and bread I walked back toward my hotel and found a small restaurant. I got pasta in olive oil, garlic and pepper (it’s been my go-to meal here in Italy because it’s always the cheapest thing on the menu), some cheese, and water and it was around 25 dollars (18,50 Euros)! That being said, yes, it is hella expensive, but so far it is just as expensive as Florence.
If you were able to rent an apartment here in Italy (try AirBnb or Homeaway.com) instead of staying in a hotel and were able to cook, I really do think you could travel in a very budget friendly way! Like everywhere else, of course.
After dinner I just went back to my room and will be up for a while researching the places I want to see.
Tomorrow I will definitely go buy a Venezia Unica Pass so that I can use the public toilets (1,50 Euro each time), transportation, Wifi, and other services the city offers.
I am staying in Venice 8 nights, so hopefully I will be able to take a day trip or two, like I did in Florence, and will be able to take some good pictures!
Talk to you guys tomorrow!