In the last day of my literary wanderings through my favourite day in Venezia, I look at my ultimate evening. And after yesterday’s hard afternoon of rowing around the Venetian lagoon, you’ll certainly need a cocktail or two to rest your weary legs….
Part 3: The Evening
There’s really only one place in Venice to recuperate after a hard day’s gondola graft – Bacaro Jazz, a lively bar/restaurant in Venice. It’s my favourite place in Venice, and for good reason – they do a mean Happy Hour every day between 4 and 6pm, with 2 for 1 cocktails and beers.
Tuck into as many delicious bellinis, sangrias, and frozen margheritas as you can possibly manage in two hours…. Did I say Bacaro Jazz was my favourite place in Venice? Forgive me, I meant in the world.
The atmosphere is fun, the stream of jazz music from the projectors relaxing, and the banter between staff and tourists alike entertaining. And let’s not forget the intriguing decor… look up to the skies to see row upon rows of decorative bras.
By this point the activities and the (numerous?) cocktails of the day will have tired you out, but there’s no need to venture out for food. Bacaro Jazz has a good array of dishes available on their menu. Don’t linger too long under the bras, however, there’s one last thing to do before you finish off your day.
Stagger, walk, or skip the three minutes journey from Bacaro Jazz, around the corner to the Rialto Bridge vaporetto stop. Jump on the number 1 or number 2 vaporetto heading towards San Marco, jostle past the other tourists for an outside seat at the front of the boat, and enjoy a moonlit ride down the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is certainly beautiful during the day, but there’s something regal and majestic about traversing the famous Venetian canal under the stars. It really does feel like you’re in a fairyland.
Your final destination – the drawing room of Europe – St. Mark’s Square. The Basilica rises up like a shadowy apparition, and the feeling of being in a wonderland is reinforced by the jaunty live music emanating across the square from the competing grandiose cafes. Yes, there may be several impressive cafes in the vicinity but there’s really only one cafe in St. Mark’s, and indeed Venice. The Florian.
The Florian is the city’s oldest cafe, and famously the most expensive. It is obviously ostentatious, with its luxurious, plush interior, its army of attentive waiters in their crisp white blazers, and its live orchestra providing entertainment to its clientele and passing tourists.
With a spritz costing an eye-watering 18 euros, the Florian is completely overpriced, completely over the top, and completely worth it! It is in essence, Venice itself. And nothing can compare to enjoying a decadent glass of fizz and listening to some live music in one of the most famous and beautiful areas of the world, under the guise of the imposing St. Mark’s Basilica. Take your time, savour the moment, and make your 18 euros count!
Finish off your day with an evening passegiata along the Zattere, overlooking the lights of the Giudecca island, and say goodnight to La Serenissima.
And so there we have it, my ultimate day in Venice. I suppose I better crack open a bottle of prosecco, make like a Venetian, and finally face the Christmas madness!
Buon natale a tutti!