Venice can beat you down!
Don't get me wrong, it's the most magical and fabulous city in the world (maybe the whole universe, but I'm not yet sure), but with the exception of a rare boat ride on the Grand Canal, your mode of transportation is always your feet.
In the summer, the heat and hordes of tourists can drive you to drink, but that's OK, as the Hotel Flora has an oasis of a bar and a quiet, peaceful garden courtyard for your respite. [Note: I suggest avoiding the summer months if at all possible -- visit Venice in the fall or spring for less heat and crowds -- or we found January to be very charming with virtually no crowds]
The Hotel Flora has an outstanding location! On this map, I've colorfully shown the primary sites and routes within the San Marco district. The Hotel Flora is centrally located, as I've shown in the red box. Click on photos to see larger views.
Arrival at the Hotel Flora is a snap. A water taxi from the train station or airport can get you within 50 paces, with no need to go up and down bridge steps.
Since I'm on that subject, let me expound a bit. You don't want to be schlepping your baggage to your hotel! I've mentioned before the 409 bridges of Venice, most of which you ascend and descend via steps. If you're like us, and I certainly know that we are, then you probably travel with numerous pieces of baggage. Here's a poor guy who defines 'schlepping'.
It seems to me that hotel travel sites like TripAdvisor should include a 'Schlep Factor' when describing hotels in the magical city of Venice. My advice, use a water taxi to get as close to your hotel as possible. For the Hotel Flora, you're just a level hop-skip-and-a-jump from boat to lobby.
Each time we've stayed in the Flora our rooms were in the 'delightful' category. Just below, you can see our room, as well as the view from our room. And there is nothing lacking in the well-appointed bathrooms.
Below, I'll take you through your Venetian day as you stay at the Hotel Flora. Let's start with going down the stairs (and there is an elevator if you wish).
There are four floors to the Hotel Flora.
Well, they're stairs, aren't they. Let's move on.
This is not your American box-motel breakfast! In the photos below from the hotel's website, you get an accurate idea of what you should expect.
You are free to dine indoors in the comfortable dining area, if you wish. This morning dining area doubles as the afternoon/evening lounge.
We prefer to take breakfast in the quiet garden, as you can see here. If you looked in the two windows at the top, you would be looking into our room.
Your Venetian Day
If you are like most of the tourist visiting Venice, you will head out at mid-morning when things have opened for the day. The exception would be you who like to rise early and wander Venice with fewer others present...nice. And then there is the Rialto Market, where you will want to arrive early in the morning to see the start of the day's activity.
After breakfast, you will more than likely have lunch out and about at one of the hundreds of outdoor trattoria. All have their menu posted so that you can see what they offer, just as this gentleman is doing. For some reason, it seems to me that he and this eating establishment will be simpatico.
These two are having lunch at an outdoor trattoria on the Campo Santa Stefano.
After a nice meal with unusually outstanding house wine, you will head out again to see the sites, shop, and learn just how fabulous Venice really is.
Tired now, aren't you? That's a lot of walking. Wouldn't you like to sit for a bit to relax? Let's do that in...
The Courtyard and Bar
Here's my friend Scott bellying up to the bar to grab a couple of proseccos to take to the garden courtyard.
Your table awaits, and it sure feels good to sit for a bit.
Well chilled, bubbly, refreshing, and tasty. Ahhhh.
Do you like to read? Maybe it's time to pull out your book to see what the antagonist has in mind to make our protagonist miserable.
Before we head out for the evening, let's recuperate a bit in our comfortable room. Go ahead and put your feet up. Maybe trade foot rubs with your loved one?
Heading out from the well-located Hotel Flora, you will have many, many fine-dining opportunities within an easy walk. So, go ahead and put on your heals.
These two fashionable gals are heading down the runway of the Hotel Flora's narrow calle into ancient Venice. I know where they are going...and you may, too -- if you read my recent article on Ristorante Antico Martini. It's only a short walk.
Italy is not a country of dinner and a movie. This is the place where dinner is the construct of the evening. Plan to spend at least three hours enjoying the atmosphere, the waiters, perhaps the view, and of course the food and wine. But in Venice, there is another opportunity before your head hits the pillow, so let's be sure to walk through piazza San Marco as we head home. But, I'll save that little adventure for another article.
Your Hotel Flora awaits down that narrow calle.
As the evening passes, you reflect on this day, and then the next.
That's the lovely Hotel Flora. I recommend it highly. If you want to explore more, here is the link to the Hotel Flora: http://www.hotelflora.it/
There is one thing, though. There's this mosaic in the courtyard that intrigues me. Not sure from whence it comes, who created it, nor its purpose.
Though, perhaps it's there to remind us that relaxing after a long day of walking is something that is encouraged. Maybe that lounging while on vacation is an activity in itself.
Whatever the purpose, I have to say I like it...but that's just me...it appeals to my artistic interests...I mean I do enjoy the Titians, Tiepolos, Tintorettos and all...surely this should just be thought of as one more of the many wonderful works of art that should be experienced in Venice...right? And, I know it would never be confused with those wonderful mosaics that cover every inch of the Basilica San Marco that I've shown you before. Maybe you have some insight? Use the comment box to let me know.
Ciao for now,