There is something mystical about waking up in Venice overlooking the Grand Canal…centuries of secrets hidden away in the crusted walls of this wonderful timeless city are begging to be discovered. Built long before Roman occupation, Venice is the ultimate floating city, constructed upon timber poles somehow rammed into the seabed centuries before pile drivers were invented. Historians and architects are still dumbfounded today as to how the ancient Venetians accomplished such an arduous task preceding the invention of modern machinery. These ancient Venetian builders really were Master Builders!

As we alighted the lift up to Restaurant Terrazza Danieli on the top floor, a young dark haired lady in a black suit led us to a table reserved on the outer edge of the terrace. Her eyes were also dark, reminding me of the Dark Lady in “Shake-speares” sonnets 127 – 154 and The Merchant of Venice.

A café latte was soon served to my table, which was elegantly draped in crisp white linen and the finest silverware. It was surreal sitting on the marble terrace with planter boxes of potted colour juxtaposed against a panoramic backdrop of majestic gondolas gently meandering the teal-tinged Laguna Veneta beneath us.

I heard a squawk above me and I peered up. It was my friendly seagull that squawked at my window the evening before. They weren’t like Australian seagulls; this huge gull was at least twice the size. It had a scary demeanour with a large hooked beak. His eyes were squarely on the flaky croissant my carer had just delivered to my table.

I could have sat there all day sampling the delicious temptations from the buffet. A flaky croissant with fresh raspberry jam, followed by perfectly cooked prosciutto and scrambled eggs, with a bombolone (sweet donut filled with crème pâtissière) and a café latte to finish. It was simply perfect!

We heading off to the Venetian Carabinieri to report our luggage was stolen from Hotel Raito the morning before, then onto the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana and the Venetian records office in search of more historical documents.

I soon discovered that I was already famous in Venice. When I presented my library card and passport to the lovely lady in Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, she raved about my research papers and books about the early performances of the Shakespearean plays long before William Shakespeare was born. I guess having identified the real authors as Venetian had something to do with it. I must admit, I was a tad chuffed that a Venetian librarian had read my work.

When we returned to Hotel Danieli, my room was made up perfectly, and there was a complimentary bottle of Desiderio Jeio Cuvée Brut and a box of Venice’s traditional ‘bussolà of Burano’ cookies with a note from the General Manager, Mr Silver Carpanese. Whilst I was not able to drink the champagne (because of a sulphate allergy), I couldn’t stop eating these wonderful cookies. They were so nice that I searched the local shops for another box.

My carer and I sat looking out the window as the sun set on Laguna Veneta, me with a coke zero and the box of delicious zesty cookies, and my carer with her complimentary bottle of bubbly. What an incredible gesture from Hotel Danieli that I will never forget! In my honest opinion, Hotel Danieli is the finest hotel in all of Italy, and their service second to none. To Sgn Silver Carpanese, I say, “bravo, che meraviglioso soggiorno!” (Bravo, what a wonderful stay!)

Click here for Part 1 – Horror in Paradise