Today we left the ship for the 8am VE06 Secret Venice Walking Tour. We were taken by boat to a deck near the Santa Lucia Railway Station in Cannaregio. Our tour began here and we weaved and wiggled through the backstreets of Venice until eventually reaching the Hospital San Giovanni E Paolo in Castello. Along the way we saw many waterways, crossed many bridges, squares and saw where the home of Marco Polo was located, now gone but the town square still exists.
We arrived at a café in the square of Hospital San Giovanni E Paolo at about 10:15am. Elapsed time for this walking tour was 2 hours. For reference purposes: The tour tickets list this as a 4 hour tour. You did have the option to wait at the café until 11am and take a 20 minute walk back to San Marco square. However we declined, and got to the square in less than ten minutes by following the San Marco signs strategically placed everywhere in this area of Castello and San Marco.
Along the way we came across the Il Canovaccio store offering Venetian Masks and made a purchase of a masked violin to include in our music themed sitting room at home. The girl at the shop was quite nice, and talked to us extensively about the two week Carnival held in February of each year. At one point she even pulled up a video on her phone to show us people dancing about in the shop during one of these events.
Our guide had told us that the best made pizza in Venice could be found at the Red Tomato Pizzeria. We went on a search for this venue as it was near lunch time. To do this we needed to first return to San Marco square and follow some simple directions. What we found is there are an abundance of pizzerias in Venice and it is very hard to follow directions with lots of streets and alleyways about. Our mistake was searching for Red Tomato Pizzeria itself. In Venetian that is Rossopomodoro pizzeria. After about 15 minutes searching we realized our mistake and found the restaurant at Calle Larga di S. Marco, 404. We arrived at 11:15am and grabbed an outside table only to learn that they do not open for lunch until noon.
With 45 minutes now to spare and in Venice only for the day we needed to do somethings. We smartly headed back towards the Castello area and found a Gondolier who was more than happy to take us for a 30 minute Gondola ride. The cost of the ride was 80 Euro’s the standard daytime rate in Venice. This turned out to be a very nice and relaxing ride. We passed through mostly shaded area’s due to the nature of the tall building about and did not enter the Grand Canal this time.
After our Gondola ride we headed back to the Rossopomodoro pizzeria and grabbed the last outside table precisely at 12:05pm. We ordered the Diavola pizza which was listed as having spicy Italian Salami (hot spicy American pepperoni) which was exactly as we had hoped. They were the small pepperoni’s like Shakey’s Pizza restaurants used to serve if you remember. We included with our order a half bottle of wine which was quite fruity. With the addition of some still water our bill totaled 22.10 Euro.
After lunch we navigated the streets and back alleys of Venice. Time and time again we kept ending up in San Marco square. After three times trying to go in a different direction we concluded that all alleys and bridges lead to San Marco square. This isn’t really true but it did certainly begin to seem this way. Eventually we found a square and a café where we stopped for a water break and decided it was time to return to the ship. We headed down the nearest alley and to our surprise we were standing directly in front of our return tender on the Grand Canal. What luck!
16,422 steps logged.
Tour operator: Bassani SPA