The last time I stayed in Venice was near the Via Garibaldi in Castello. Incidentally you could get a fully furnished apartment for 400 Euros a week then (2006). Now, it’s 700 Euros for a week and as I travel alone these days I am using AirBNB and staying with Italian friends in San Polo. Which will at least be good for my Italian.
I also hear that the apartment business is bad for Venezia so I am trying to do things the right way, I feel that at least I am helping locals to keep a roof over their heads. Rent in England is a lot cheaper than here in Venice but SpareRoom and AirBNB are important factors in helping residents pay their mortgages.
But I digress. Back to 2006. Most days on that last visit I would pass a huge glass greenhouse. It intrigued me. It looked like something from an Edwardian film set – like a miniature Kew Gardens. But it was sad and abandoned and I felt quite distressed for its future.
That was 10 years ago. Thankfully Venice is not a city where old buildings are pulled down to make way for the new, and in February I discovered that this beautiful building had been resurrected. It is the Serra dei Giardini.
Whether I will have time to patronise it on my next trip in May is one thing, but at least I hope to have the chance to view it from the outside.