Yesterday we left our campsite in Belvedere and drove 120 km to Punta Sabbioni. The campsite we originally wanted to stay at which has it’s own private beach and a special dog area was closed for the quiet lunch hour from 1 pm until 3 pm. This wouldn’t have been the end of the world but then they informed us that there was also a 2 nights minimum stay. Since we only wanted to stay one night, go into Venice and then head out again early the next morning, this would just not do. So we started looking for another campsite in the area that was not closed for the Italian siesta and thankfully there are at least 30 here in this area.
The next place down the street from the first site was also closed so we decided we would find out exactly where the ferries to Venice left from and try to find something close to it. Luckily there was a place about 10 minutes walk past the ferries…but they didn’t allow dogs. We started to pack ourselves back in the truck to continue when the receptionist called us back. She very kindly gave us a map which listed quite a few of the other camp grounds in the area and also indicated which places allowed dogs. Then she asked how long we wanted to stay. When we told her it was only one night, she told us that there was a small RV campsite just around the corner.
We located the place which held about 40 RVs. The only condition they had for staying there was that we not be under 25 (because he’d aparently had problems with people partying until late in the evening) and that we pay on the spot in cash. This was fine with us since it meant we wouldn’t have to bother with anyone when we left the next day.
We decided we would all sleep in Steffen’s bus for the night since he has room for 4 which saved us time to set up the tent as well as unpacking and repacking everything the car.
Once we had gotten ourselves together after the drive, we set out for the ferry and Venice. It’s a 40 minute ride over and thankfully dogs are allowed. But they must wear muzzles which is really ridiculous to us but rules are rules.
Venice was crowded as I can only imagine it probably usually is despite it being the off-season here. Lots of people stopped to talk to and pet Ayla which she absolutle loved and she was great the whole day while we were there. She did want to take a swim in the canals but we managed to keep her out. We stopped for a short break during the day and bought 3 Cokes and an orange juice at a litle place called Haig’s Bar. Imagine our surprise when the bill came and it was €26. If the service had been a bit better perhaps it wouldn’t have been so hard to stomach but there was at least a decent amount of ice in there, it was 0.5 liter and it was refreshing. At least we didn’t try dinner there though.
After that stop, we bought our souveniers for the Christmas tree (we buy something small everywhere we go for our tree) and decided to head back to Punta Sabbioni instead of trying to find a place in Venice for dinner. We were tired from walking around for the last 5 hours and Ayla was more than ready to lay down for a while.
When we got back to the campsite, we started talking to the owner and he said we could go to the restaurant next door to us called Al Bacaro. A bit skeptical, we decided to go for it since it was close and we didn’t want to walk another step if we didn’t have to.
We ordered a bottle of local wine and all decided to go with the taglioni with half a lobster. The restaurant manager recommended we also take an appetizer and suggested mussels in white wine sauce. We decided to go for it and least we could see the ocean from our chairs so freshness should at least be a given.
They brought a sample of bruscetta out which was delicious and had just the right balance of spices and garlic. Then the mussels came and we were so pleased when we put them in our mouths. The flavoring was super, lightly steamed and gone in a matter of minutes. We considered telling them to forget the lobsters and just keep brining mussels but thankfully we didn’t. When it came, the pasta was perfectly als dente and clearly freshly made. There were cherry tomatoes cooked in the lobster and they gave just the right flavor to the meal. The lobster was again perfect and delicious and exactly the right sized portion. In fact, every course of the meal was just the right size and the wine the perfect compliment. We were so pleased in the end that we’d decided to try this place out and it actually made us almost want to stay another day. For desert, the owner recommended a light cake which had a layer of pineapples in it and a light sprinkling of coconut. It also was just the right size and a very good compliment to the rest of the meal.
We ended up closing the place down at midnight and then made the short walk back to our campsite. We sat outside the cars while we all wound down a little after all the good food and drink. Apparently we were a little loud, though, since our campsite manager came out at about 1:30 am and shined a light on us from his patio next door. So off to bed we went to rest up for a long day of driving lie ahead of us.