I find these floors odd. Stones compressed into cement. Very popular these days but somewhat unique when I looked down at our Venetian floor. Also, an odd, heavy choice for a floating city. Well, that’s not entirely true. Venice is built on pylons like a forest turned to stone over years of preservation. There’s been much talk about how much it has sunk over the past few years. With heavy cement floors like this, is it any wonder? And in winter, are they very cold?
Having left the dark, dank winter days of Amsterdam, Venice is offering us a glimpse of spring. The large, heavy window of our Apostoli Palace Hotel room is open and the sound of nearby church bells chime through the dense, narrow passageways of the ancient city.
The lampshades in our room have been cut in half. This way they are positioned closer to the wall. Another odd choice with such beautiful silk wall “paper” nearby it’s a wonder it’s not at risk of singeing!
Evenings at Apostoli Palace
The hotel has kindly requested that guests do not eat in their hotel rooms so we’re heading out to dinner. Having visited Venice once before we found an affordable restaurant with delicious meals. There are a LOT of tourist traps in this city and we choose to stay in Cannareggio to avoid being ripped off too badly.
Before heading out we open the complimentary bottle of Prosecco kindly left for us by the hotel. We’re on honeymoon after all and what better place to drink Prosecco than in Venice?
Stepping out into the cool evening air, we began our slow walk towards Tre Archi (which now seems to be permanently closed due to COVID) through Calle (roads of Venice). With over 400 brides in Venice, we make our way up and down staircases, barely noticing the up and down motion as the arches charm us into loving the city.
Dinner and Gelato in Venice
and trying to ignore gelato stores, down Strada Nova where fresh fruit stalls can be found selling South African fruit in the morning (true story!), past coffee shops with their delicious baked good and espressos we make our way past the Santa Fosca. A little further down the way is AJ’s favourite church, the Fondamenta Della Maddalena which has roots as early as 1222. This is why we love Venice (and Italy) so much, there’s tangible history everywhere!
Twenty minutes later we’re over the Ponte delle Guglie bride and down the way to Tre Archi. Our favourite local restaurant services fresh scallops with different flavourings depending on the season. AJ always has chips on his pizza, yes, American fries in pizza – NOT something he made up, while I sip prosecco and watch boats pass by.
TIP: The breadsticks on the table aren’t free! So if you tuck in, expect to pay 2Euro for them.
After a romantic dinner, we stop past a gelato shop and squeeze in a treat. As much as promise we won’t, we always do. The Calle are empty. Listening to the sound of our footsteps bouncing off the walls, we make our way through the well-lit passageways feeling like we’re the only people on the whole island.
Arriving back at the Apostoli Place hotel, we use our key to enter and see the empty reception area lit by a small lamp. Climbing up the flights of stairs, we make our way back to our room gently climbing floor by floor; we creep to match the hotel silence. Once back in our room, we feel “home again”!
Having a warm shower and jumping into bed, the ceiling reveals beautiful, dark timbers; an indication of the past and the present of the city of Venice. The chandelier is off and the wifi is on. Tomorrow is another day in exquisite Venice.
In the morning, we wake up to tuck into the hotel’s breakfast. Sleeping well and sleeping late, we have to rush a little bit before the breakfast serving time is cut off. It’s the first time we’re seeing other guests enjoying the typical hotel spread, although modest to keep wastage down. Interestingly, they have some kind of baked goods also available but we stick to the basics before heading out to explore the city further.
Sadly, the restaurant we enjoyed no longer seems to be open; we assume to due tourism coming to a grinding halt during the pandemic. We loved our stay at the Apostoli Palace and would happily recommend the hotel to couples looking for moderate hotel costs, a little further out (more affordable neighbourhoods) but are emerged with authentic Venetian life.