Piombino Dese and Ca’ de Memi
We’ve visited Piombino Dese twice before, at the agriturismo "Ca’ de Memi." It’s a great place to stay on its own, due to its location in Veneto: Bassano del Grappa, Asolo, Treviso, and Castelfranco are all easily reachable by car or train. It’s also a fantastic place to eat. If you’re going to visit Ca’ de Memi, book it soon, because this month they got a write-up in the Guardian as one of the ten best cooking classes with stays in Europe. We have enjoyed their food immensely, but not yet taken a cooking course there…maybe next time!
This time the draw to us was the five-minute walk from the train station. From there we did a 40-minute train trip to Santa Lucia station in Venice.
Venice and Piazza San Marco
For less than 5€ each we took the train into Venice and started exploring on foot. We had just the right amount of time to kill and before our scheduled visits to the Basilica and bell tower on Piazza San Marco. Sarah had purchased us tickets in advance, allowing us to skip the line on both sites. A few words to the wise about the basilica and bell tower:
- No photography of any kind is permitted — no tripods, no video recording, no flashless still photography. Take a picture with your heart if you must.
- We didn’t allow enough time to take in the splendor of the basilica before we were expected at the bell tower. Give yourself at least 45 minutes in the basilica before your next appointment.
- You have to check any bags larger than a medium-sized purse. I was carrying a small backpack, and it was a no-go. The bag check counter is in a separate building around the corner from the basilica. It’s free, but they advise against leaving anything of value in your bag. Thus I emptied all my stuff from my backpack into my pockets or hung it around my neck for our visit to the piazza.
- You can only go up to the bell tower via the elevator. It will be crowded, like everything else about Venice.
- The bells will go off while you’re up in the tower. They are loud. Cover your ears with your hands; plugs are probably overkill.
We got lucky with the weather that day.