The Basilica in Piazza San Marco
Venice was lovely at night when all the millions of tourists and ship passengers were gone and we were left alone in Piazza San Marco with a devine (if not insanely expensive) iced chocolate and the battle of the bands (orchestra's which take turns to play at each cafe in the square in the evening) This for me was the most beautiful part of venice. Sure the endless jewellry stores, yummy gelato, souvenier sellers and gondola's all have their charmes but this was it for me. A visit to the Basillica and the Doge's palace and prison are also a must. To be honest it's not easy to find a great meal in Venice
. It's horrifyingly expensive so just accept that you're going to have to bring out the big guns credit card wise and not give it another moments thought because you'll ruin if for yourself if you dwell on it.
A typical view of venice. The lamp post on the waters edge with the beautiful buildings in the back ground
We researched and went to restaurant to the stars Hostaria da Franz. A little unasumming place, off the beaten path. Elegant top notch food. A very elegant Host called Maurizio who will tell you your menu in one of several languages and fantastic service. Once again, being in Venice,at such a place you are going to pay big time. No bargains here buddy! :) We were glad for the experience though, it was awesome. And we were treated like any one of the stars and royalty who frequent this restaurant. We decided that the romance of the gondola ride wasn't as important as the 100 euro (or 200 australian dollars) that we were paying for the pleasure so we found a few Swedes and split the fare. Wether you go on your own or share the ride (a good chance to speak to other tourists which can be fun) it's another venice must. All in all,next time we will arrive in the late afternoon, stay for dinner and something nice in the square, listen to the orchestra's for a few hours, crawl into bed and leave the next morning before the tourists get back to ruin the place.