New York City
Going to Venice and would love to stay in a non touristy area that's centrally located enough to allow for train trips north. Any suggestions in or out of the city center as well as recommendations on how to tackle the Prosecco Road or Dolomite Mtn tours would be awesome too! Grazie!
We stayed five days at the Hotel Excelsior Venice a Lido resort. What a great choice! It is a five star hotel on Venice Lido, across the lagoon from Venice proper. They have a private launch that constantly runs back and forth from the hotel to Venice. The launch is free for guests.
The hotel is on the beach, quiet, and elegant. It is a different world, away from the crush of tourists in Venice, yet quickly accessible to Venice. If you arrive by plane, their launch will pick you up at the airport. They have a good restaurant too.
My all time favourite hotel in Venice is the Al Ponte Mocenigo It is a very well run small hotel a few steps away from the San Stae Vaporetto stop, which is a stop or two from Ferrovia - the train station. The hotel is a 2** only because it does not have a lift or a restaurant (Italian hotels are graded by amenities) but the rooms are great, especially the suite with a balcony onto the canal. If you are interested this hotel book out months in advance.
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I just returned from another trip to Venice (I go at least once or twice a year) and this time, we stayed in Cannaregio, which I would recommend for your situation. It's in the north of the island, it's only a few minutes' walk to the train station, and it's also less touristy and you'll see more old Italian grandmothers walking around there.
Last October I stayed at the Locanda Marinella in Venice. It's a small B&B/hotel located on a side street and is very convenient to the train station and a major vaporetti stop. The hotel staff is very accommodating. Breakfast in an enclosed patio at the rear of the hotel is very pleasant.
The Vaporettos are waterborne busses used for public transportation around Venice and to the various islands. Everyone rides them in Venice. The Vaporetto that runs up and down the Grand Canal stops at the train station which makes it easy to access from virtually anywhere. Just hop on the Vaporetto and get off at the train station. Google for a Vaporetto map.
One year we rented a car and drove the Dolomite Road on our road trip from Venice to Innsbruck in Austria. What a magnificent scenic highway! The Dolomites are like no other mountains in terms of beauty. The architecture in the towns gradually changes from Italian to Germanic as you traverse the highway. The actual Dolomite Road runs between Cortina (Verona) and Bolzano. However, the drive from Venice to Cortina is also beautiful.
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