Subject: Re: Trip to Italy - Cinque Terre / Venice

You could include Verona and Vincenza between Venice and Milan. Verona was a tiny bit disappointing but perhaps I was feeling over-touristed! Lots of people gawking at Juliet's balcony, has a good Roman amphitheatre. Vincenza, the Palladian city is on my list of places to see when I can.

First, I really don't mean to be petty, but since so many of us to research on the internet these days, the misspelling of Vicenza could make it very difficult for someone to find any information on that wonderful city.

As for Verona, it is one of my favorite places in all of Italy. I have been there several times for visits as short as an afternoon and as long as two weeks. I love it! Of course, I am an opera nut, so the summer performances at the Roman Arena are worth the trip by themselves. (Incidentally, in addition to the Arena, there is also a small amphitheater across the Adige river; it is sometimes used for dramatic performances). As you say, you may have just had all you could absorb of tourist activities; if so, give Verona another try, and I predict that you will find it quite wonderful. But I would skip most of the Romeo and Juliet attractions; they are not genuine anyway, and the crowds of tourists make them less enjoyable than the many other parts of the city you might visit.

Venice is another of my favorite cities. My wife and I are now planning a trip there for next March (we went last March and April, and we have been several times previously). Venetian restaurants are not the finest in Italy, but the seafood is famous, as is the traditional dish of liver and onions, done so that it is delicious even to those of us who normally hate liver.

We like to stay at the Hotel Olimpia. The location is near the Piazzale Roma, the least attractive part of Venice, but the hotel itself is quite nice, and its immediate surroundings are delightful. The neighborhood is more like a true local one, with relatively few tourists (once you leave the Piazzale Roma itself), and it is very convenient for transportation into and out of Venice. In the Piazzale Roma are the large parking garages where cars driven into the city must be left, and here also you can catch buses to the mainland and the airport. One vaporetto stop away is the train station. It is a 15-minute ride or so along the Grand Canal to San Marco and any of the main tourist areas of the city. Near the hotel are several small, local restaurants; none of them is on the highest gourmet level, but they are dependable and inexpensive by Venetian standards.

In case you are interested, here is a link to the hotel:

Another great place is the Hotel Galleria, a fairly inexpensive but beautiful small hotel located directly on the Grand Canal at the Accademia. Many of its 12 rooms have views onto the Grand Canal. Again, here is a link for its website:

Let my know if I can be of help in any way.

Ron Fredericksburg, VA (Near Washington, DC)