The sea was rough when I arrived in Venice and it began to drizzle when I got to the pensione vaporetto stop. Not the best beginning. We are staying at the Pensione Accademia, the fictional Pensione Fiorini where Kathyrn Hepburn stayed in the movie "Summertime." I read somewhere that it is a former Russian embassy. This is a popular establishment, and we were lucky to get a reservation. I arrived tired, wet, and cranky. The room (#29) is a bit odd, but perfect for two singles. There is a room with a small alcove containing a single bed and another room with another single bed, allowing us both some privacy. The bathroom is modern and pretty. Some of the room amenities include a hairdryer, air conditioning, bath sheets, and we even have two telephones -- not that we need them. And it's so quiet!
Saturday, September 13
It was a rather uneventful journey to Venice -- the best kind I suppose. I arrived at the airport early and checked in in less than five minutes. My timing was great as later the line went out the door. I was flying on a British Airways 747-400 using hotel points. The first row of coach allowed leg room, but I was wedged into that seat. They can't possibly make these seats any narrower -- what's going to happen after I eat all that pasta and gelato -- will I be able to get home?
Arrived into Venice a little later than scheduled. The airports of London and Venice are like night and day. Heathrow, orderly and organized; if only they didn't move us like cattle. Venice was somewhat chaotic. I rode the waterbus to San Marcos and back-tracked to Accademia -- 17,000 lire ($10 US) for the waterbus and another 4,500 lire for the transfer. When I went back to the airport later I walked to the motorbus terminal and took the #5 bus for under a dollar. It was faster than the waterbus but not nearly as dramatic.
It's 44 steps up to room 29, no elevator. There are trade-offs in staying in a pensione with character, and this one is charming. There is a patio in the front, a garden in the back, and the view from the bedroom looks over the patio to a canal. Guidebooks said to expect coffee and a roll for breakfast in Venice, so we were pleasantly surprised at the options of cereal, yogurt and honey, fresh fruit, and great hot chocolate. We're paying 260,000 lire ($153 US) including breakfast.