We arrived in Venice on a gloomy Autumn morning. The air was wet and chilled. Venice hid from us behind a thick marine fog as we crossed the Via Liberta on our way to the Grande Canal on a beautifully varnished teak water taxi. And then suddenly, without notice, Venice peaked out at us. She smiled broad with glittering white teeth. We were instantly enamored of her every charm.
We pulled into the Boscolo Bellini Hotel, a mid-priced hotel right in the sestieri of Cannaregio. We’d chosen the Boscolo for its proximity to convenient transportation and their floor to ceiling balconies overlooking the Ponte dei Scalzi. I was so excited to just sit in a perfect Venetian trattoria, sip a little Italian wine (when in Rome, or her affiliates…the Word of Wisdom doesn’t apply I’d decided) and watch Venice empty her belly of tourists and refill herself again.
The narrow five-story hotel had a modest but lovely white marble and burgundy velvet lobby, and the rooms were gaudily decorated in Venetian Rococo. They dripped with chandeliers, gold-leaf, and richly lacquered oak. I left the bags to Justin and the porter and stepped out onto the balcony, throwing open the heavy emerald green velvet drapes and stepping out to watch the city.
The rich green waters lapped against centuries old mossy stones and people of every nationality called to each other, smoked, and double kissed cheeks. The bells were ringing next door at the gray Chiese degli Scalzi and I could feel the energy of the city as if they’d turned all of this bustle on as a perfect Venetian tourism commercial just for me.