On a luckly sunny day the Beard (my boyfriend) and I got ourselves on to Venice.
As we live just one hundred kilometers away, it takes us about 10 minutes drive to the train station and then one hour train to get to Santa Lucia Station in Venice.
When I was a child I used to wander through the city quite often, as my grand parents loved to take me and my cousins there for a day of sightseeing, churchs and ice creams. For me, Venice is one of the sweetest memories of my childhood.
This time I wanted to have a different take on the city, as I am currently trying to “avoid” the big flow of tourists taking over the very heart of it.
Once we made it through the tourist cloud surrounding the whole area between Santa Lucia Station and San Marco Square, we turned right and walked from Palazzo Ducale to Ca’ di Dio, a very charming name for what’s just the promenade that takes you from Piazza San Marco to what was our final destination: the Arsenale.
So he, the Beard, took me to Sestiere Castello, where the military barrack of Venice (the so-called Arsenale) is located.
The whole area seems to be quite parted from the rest of the party: small groups of tourists, mainly couples, just quietly wandering through the main street. The whole area near the Arsenale is filled with a very rare everyday life feeling: here’s where you can find people actually living in Venice, some good Bacaros (small traditional pubs), old ladies hanging out their laundries.
If you’re not on a diet, you can easily indulge in a Spritz e spuncioti, a.k.a. a Venetian cocktail (Aperol + Prosecco + Sparkling Water) with traditional savoury treats on the side. We had our Spritz and ended to eat at El Refolo, a small Bacaro where you can taste good whine and amazing fried baccalà and polpette on a stick, but also a lot of other gorgeous venetian specialities.
The Arsenale is still used as a Military field and barrack and you cannot enter it, but the rest of Sestiere Castello became the last place where actual Venetians live.
It was a relaxing and chilled out day in Venice, very different from your usual walk through small calli and campielli filled in with tourists and shops. Once in a while, I’ll definitely come back to this little beauty of a sestiere.
It was a very well spent day in one of my favourite cities nearby.
Until next time… a presto Venezia!