Oversea, Travel

Venice Day 7: Foresteria Valdese, Libreria Acqua Alta & Thello Train

My Europe travelogue so far…
London Day 1: Flying With MAS, Heathrow Connect & Piccadilly Circus
London Day 2: Covent Garden, British Museum, British Library & Phantom Of The Opera Musical
London + Rome Day 3: YHA Oxford Street, Gatwick Airport, easyJet & Tiring Rome
Rome Day 4: Six Beds, Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Part 1)
Vatican City + Rome Day 4: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & St. Peter’s Square (Part 2)
Rome + Pisa Day 5: Santa Maria Maggiore Church, Pensione Rinascente & Leaning Tower Of Pisa
Pisa + Venice Day 6: Piazza Garibaldi, St. Mark’s Basilica & The Grand Canal

First let me introduce you our lodging for a night in Venice. We stayed at Foresteria Valdese, a guest house of the Waldensian and Methodist church in Italy. We were so excited coming to this place as we have booked a room with canal view. It’s the most expensive lodging in our European trip and we were looking forward to it but once we reached the guest house, all hopes dwindle down the drain.

You see, the customer service is really bad. The person who served us show us a peculiar face all the time but when she speaks to others (Eurasians) she smile like a sunflower. Then she gave us a room in the 3rd floor (top most) with very narrow stairs to our room. How on earth does she expect us ladies to carry our luggage up there? Lastly, the canal view promised is just bull$shit. We had to elongate our neck+body far out of the window just to see the canal. #*$(&@ PI$$ED!!!! We asked to change our room but she said all fully booked. Ohh we cursed so much that day man! Feel cheated especially for the namely so called canal view room.

Anyway here’s a look at our lodging in Foresteria Valdese.

Foresteria Valdese @ Venice, Italy. Our room is on the top-most floor facing to the right. It’s a very old building and the architecture inside the building is really nice.
Photo by TZ-7.

Entrance to Foresteria Valdese.

After emerging from the lift, you arrive at this door. And through this door is the VERY narrow staircase to our room which in the midst of madness I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it! LOL. Below is the canal.

Our room @ Foresteria Valdese, Venice, Italy. 1 night stay for a twin room (they promised us double room) with private bathroom overlooking the ‘canal’ with breakfast cost €139.00. We thought it would be worth the price but heck NOPE!!!

The only thing I like is the bathroom and toilet.

Love the bulbs above the mirror.

Canal view from our room @ Foresteria Valdese which we had to elongate our neck+body out just to see this view. Heck I can’t even see the canal… only shops and walkway. LOL

Another view from our room. For me a canal view room is a room on the ground floor. When the room is in the 3rd floor, how can you enjoy the view below?

That morning around 4am we were woken up by sudden jolt of the building. Both sis and me woke up at the same time and sleepily I asked sis whether it’s an earthquake and she said maybe. I looked at the ceiling for a bit thinking whether we should check it out but ahh the sleeping spell is too over-powering so we just went back to sleep. Just like that!!! LOL Nobody say anything about it at the reception in the morning. We only found out it’s a REAL earthquake from our dad’s SMS. We came back to Malaysia and I found out it was a magnitude 6.0 earthquake. So that’s my first ever encounter with an earthquake and I took it so easy. Ohmygod. The building could have collapse and we could have die just like that. Amithaba.

Breakfast at dining hall @ Foresteria Valdese.
Hmm nobody say anything about the earthquake.

Our hearty breakfast. There’s more but I didn’t bother to take photo after that. Eating is more important. Haha

This is the canal view from the dining hall on the 2nd floor.

After our breakfast at 8.15am, we proceed to check out at 9.50am. We left our luggage at the luggage room and off we went on a free and easy day around Venice. We head to Sestiere Castello and Cannaregio this time.

Scuola Grande di San Marco @ Venice, Italy. It’s a school church.

Houses and shops along the canal @ Venice, Italy.

In Venice, you don’t buy a car. You own a boat!
Notice the yellow boats at the bottom right picture? They’re ambulance boats. The hospital of Venice is just beside it.

Hospital @ Sestiere Castello.

Isola di San Michele. The island is a cemetery.

We did not go island-hopping. No gondola ride either as the price is so cut-throat!!!

Sestiere Cannaregio.

Then we chance upon a very cool bookshop near Foresteria Valdese.

The bookshop name is Libreria Acqua Alta (High Water Library in English!) and it’s said to be the most beautiful bookshop in the world. Books are put in old gondola, boat and bath tubs! Unique indeed. Mostly are Italians books. The friendly owner told us to follow the footsteps paint on the floor which leads us to 2 amazing views of the canals.

Top left is a staircase made of books! You can climb on it and the views (right picts) are what you get. So pretty! Bottom left is the entrance to this cute bookshop. We passed by so many times but didn’t bother to go in until this very last moment. What a treasure!

No matter where you look, the view is amazing!

This is one very handsome gondola. Haha

For lunch we have pizza again. Yummmmmmmmm…

Then we noticed something peculiar near Santa Maria Formosa (church). Gondolas and boats ‘jam’ on the canal. What’s going on?

There are a lot of tourist there too looking at something.

We found out there’s an on-going wedding at Santa Maria Formosa. We waited and waited but could only see the groom. Too many people blocking.

After our mini-sightseeing, off we went shopping. Around 2.30pm we went back to Foresteria Valdese to get our luggage. We’re leaving Venice. Thankfully this time the navigation from Foresteria Valdese to Rialto Bridge is easily done.

The ‘expensive’ €7 pax watertaxi from Rialto Bridge to Ferrovia took 10 minutes.

On board the watertaxi, view of the Grand Canal near Rialto Bridge.
Photo from TZ-7.

Finally a peek at the Rialto Bridge from the canal. Look at the sky… it’s a little cloudy. Good thing we departed earlier.
Photo from TZ-7.

We had panino and pizza (total cost €6.90; expensive) for dinner at Venice Santa Lucia railway station. You need to pay for the toilet too at €1.00 per person. It was drizzling then and quite cold.

Our sleeper (overnight) train, Thello arrived on-time at 7.30pm. Yup we waited quite awhile at the railway station. We figured it’s better to arrive early than late besides we have nowhere else to visit. Our itinerary for Venice is all done.
Photo from TZ-7.

Goodbye Venice! Venice is beautiful and its view is worth billion dollars. However I don’t find it romantic (maybe coz I went with my sis LOL). Shopping is quite boring too as I’ve said in my earlier post most shops sells almost similar things. Besides pizza, we did not encounter any great food (even ice-cream is not up to par). What I like most about Venice is the wonder you get at every corner you take. Don’t worry about getting lost. We did not once got lost except for in the beginning when we were looking for our lodging. If you’re lost, there’s always the map, the sign direction and you can always follow the crowds. Yes always. I would love to go back again, just to experience more wonder at every twist and corner and to find yummy food which I failed doing so in this trip.
Photo from TZ-7.

Compartments numbering in Thello train.
Photo from TZ-7.

Our 4-berth couchette (ladies only) compartment which we will spend a night here. Ticket cost €120 per person. 2 others joined us at Verona stop. We were given a bottle water each, pillow and duvet for the night. We slept on the lower berth. It wasn’t comfy and yet it wasn’t that uncomfortable too.

The sleeper train ride took 13 hours 30 minutes from Venice to Paris. Yes, yes we’re heading to Paris next! We passed our passport and train ticket to the officer in-charged once we went on board the train as we will be going through several countries border during the night journey (namely Italy, Switzerland and France).

Around 1am we were woken up by custom border officers. They asked about our destination, how much money we carried and they even checked our wallet. HUH???? Can they check our wallet just like that? But they just checked the other 2 gals’ passport. That’s so unfair. Isshhh I hate it. Then we went back to sleep. For me however, I got woken up every time the train stops. LOL

That’s it for Venice. Stay tuned for my Paris trip…

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  • Reply Constance Ant July 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    their houses and shops so colorful!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Oh yeah. Wish I own a house there. That would be cool eh. Haha

  • Reply foongpc July 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Oh no!! Did I miss a couple of posts? OK need to backtrack…. : )

  • Reply foongpc July 18, 2012 at 12:19 am

    That’s really bad customer service! Why did she not smile to both of you? Because you both are Asians?!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Most probably.

      • Reply foongpc July 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

        Oh, I hate that kind of attitude. I won’t stay in this hotel!!!

  • Reply foongpc July 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

    So no canal view for that price?! I would be so mad if I were you!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      3rd floor room…. I considered it to be non-canal view room. How to enjoy like that right? Oh yeah we were so MAD!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply foongpc July 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

    What?!! You experienced an earthquake and you just slept through it? LOL!! Not scared ah? : D

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Ya not scared. I dunno why. LOL
      It feels like vision blur; like when you’re recoding a moving film and you move the video camera left and right. The jolt is there but not scary. It didn’t feel like the world is gonna end soon. Kekeke

      • Reply foongpc July 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Maybe you were too sleepy to bother about earthquake! Haha!

  • Reply foongpc July 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

    The buildings and the canal are beautiful and charming! Interesting island cemetery!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Best place to be if you need artistic inspiration. Haha

  • Reply foongpc July 18, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Wah! Checked your wallet? So strict?!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      I don’t think that’s legal actually (check our wallet; even police cannot simply check our wallet what else a custom officer) but who are we to protest right?

      • Reply foongpc July 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Haha, yeah more problems if you didn’t hand them your wallet.

  • Reply Dawn July 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I really like the houses along the canals. Venice is a very beautiful place. Were there any feedback forms in the hotel room?

    From all the stories I hear (friends mainly) I always feel that Europe does not accept other races, besides its caucasians, that well. Race/nationality discrimination seems so rampant over there. The continent is so beautiful though.

    To me checking the wallet is unneccesary…check for what and only checked the two of you girls??? The custom officers are racist! There, I said it!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Hmm I didn’t take note whether there’s feedback form.

      Ohh so that’s the case ahh. Tak sangka some are like that.

      But if I refuse to let them check my wallet, they might think I’m trying to hide something. So just give lo. 🙁

  • Reply jam August 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

    So, how much it costs for a gondola ride?

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 1, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      About €100 or more. Expensive ya.

  • Reply Emi February 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I really like your pictures. Could you tell me which camera dis you take them with?

    • Reply Che-Cheh February 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Hi Emi,

      Thank you. 🙂 I’m using Nikon D80.

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