The family owned restaurant was hidden away on a Venetian street off the beaten track. At first we thought Fiore (Italian for flower) was the family name. It turned out to be the name selected by the previous owner when he opened the old osteria and called it da Fiore. If it hadn’t been because we received very specific directions and did a test run a day in advance of our reservations we may have been late arriving. As it was we were the first guests to arrive.
On a recent visit to Venice we stayed at a venerable grandfather of a hotel described in promotional materials as the oldest hotel in town. In 1118, it provided shelter to the Knights Templar and by 1574 it was known as Locanda della Luna.This family friendly hotel, one of 10 in the highest category of luxury in the famed city, was half a block from the Grand Canal and a minute walk from Saint Mark’s Square, an excellent location convenient to many of the major sightseeing points of interest. We especially liked the location because it rained intermittently during most our stay in the city. Being so close to the famed square made it easy to get there and to the nearby attractions even in the rain. An added advantage was that the hotel had a private landing next to the entrance that allowed gondola and water taxi pick up and drop-off. The landing was particularly convenient when we took a water taxi to the airport at 5 in the morning the day of our departure.