Sarah Tucker takes a trip to Venice
I’ve just returned from the Londra Palace hotel in Venice (best hotel to stay there, forget what the guide books say). Central location and within walking distance of everything (which is good as in Venice you have to walk everywhere). You may get stampeded by raging Chinese tourists but apart from that, this hotel is superb. Ask for room 412. It’s got the best view.
Elton John and Naomi Campbell have homes here and Johnny Depp is allegedly buying one as well. Given it’s a place where everyone knows everyone else’s business, I thought it an odd place for these people to choose.
There’s a street here named after a man who used to eat babies. Curious lot these Venetians. And they don’t just wear masks at carnivals so perhaps not such an odd place for them to live after all.
The Piazza San Marco was flooded whilst I was there but everyone is a merchant in Venice so they gamely sold designer wellies and designer plastic things to put over shoes and talked about what the locals do when it happens. They carry on stoically. The smell is bad, boy it’s bad, but the architecture, history and little restaurants, which belong in Hollywood movies are rich with character, eccentricity and genuine romance, make up for it. Stay for two to three days, don’t day trip or you’ll be one of the umbrella following day trippers who stampede the locals. They’re not nice.
Arrive by plane, leave by train and go to Florence, then Rome, then Naples. That’s the best way.
Sarah Tucker is an author, blogger and journalist. She organises highly popular yoga retreats and offers her own gite in Aveyron for rental for holidays.
Follow her on Twitter @madasatucker
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Hotel Gritti is the best place to stay by a country mile!
The terrace overlooking the Grand Canal is excellent.