La Zucca (the pumpkin) is a beautifully simple restaurant with divine food - Italian veggie side dishes so delectable that the kids needed no ice cream bribery to eat their greens! Melt-in-your-mouth aubergines, roasted tomatoes, garlicky lentils, wild boar parpadelle, pumpkin tart, pumpkin lasagne, and green salad with feta and pumpkin seeds (pumpkin by name, pumpkin by nature!). The super friendly staff were fab and we feasted until we were full.
So how was Venice with kids? No cars means no worries about road safety. That adds a seriously good wedge of relaxation to a holiday. And although the city was buzzing with tourists, it didn't feel over-crowded, even in high season. In any case it's surprisingly easy to find a quiet square to soak up the atmosphere, people watch and ignore the kids chasing away pigeons while you enjoy a cheeky cappuccino.
We saw some parents with pushchairs which they managed over bridges without too much difficulty. Others decided to abandon pushchairs altogether by taking their youngest on their backs in carriers. Alternatively you can encourage little legs to do a lot of walking fuelled by ice creams - which also ensures a good night's sleep!
And the lovely Valentina was totally right to trust the kids. Despite a couple of provocatively close shaves ("Look at me as I lean precariously far over the edge of this canal, Mum!"), my children remained safely dry. Happy days :-)
www.airbnb.co.uk - "marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodation" worldwide. We've used it for several stays, each very different to the next.
www.lazucca.it - the restaurant with a pumpkin take on life.
www.francescodamosto.org - the fabulous Francesco da Mosto.
www.grom.it - arguably the best gelati in town.