Our hotel, the Park Hotel Villa Fiorita was located at Monastier di Treviso a weathly area on the mainland of Italy. To explain in the commjunity of Venice there are about 272,000 but only about 60,000 live in Venice itself the rest are on the 'mainland' There are 117 or so islands in the Venitian lagoon depending on the tides when one does the count *wink.
Established in the 10th Century the Venitians dominated the sea and therefore trade in the 13th to 17th Centuries. As we neared the main city centre on our privately booked boat it was like stepping back into the earlier Centuries. I felt wrongly dressed and yearned for a long heavily embroidered gown and pointed hat with a hanging veil.. *sigh. Yes I know 'snap out of it' but Venice makes you dream... Queue the Vivaldi music.
The weather was perfect as we strolled over the bridges which link the lagoon promenade over the many canals and found ourselves in the famous Saint Marks Square. Here you find Saint mark's Basilica built in Byzantine Architectural style beside the Doges palace. Each building competes for your eyesight with their splendor. Our first destination was to Murano Glass
A craftsman showed us the art of glass blowing and in a few moments a glass prancing stallion appeared Amazing !! THEN we are taken into the store !! Some Venetian glass was on my shopping list and I was truly spoilt when I was permitted to purchase a string of beautiful crystal beads with matching earrings. Oh the glamour in my life will never end now :) I adore them (gloat gloat)
Next stop was our gondola ride through the canals. How Venitian was that ! We had a few gondolas in a procession and a Gondolier sang to us ...naturally LOL The locals peered out of window sto check on their washing it was quite surreal but made funny by the terror we felt then the gondola rocked from side to side They used to flush out the canals but discovered it was eroding the buildings so it was stopped and now the water in the canal looked too much like sewer water for my personal taste. :(
Now as if my beads wasn't enough of a treat, I had spotted Caffe Florians wich opened in 1720 and is the oldest Cafe in Italy It was used
by Angelina Jolie in the movie The Tourist.. Now how could a woman who owns crystal Murano beads NOT be seen sitting in this cafe?? Now I asked you it wouldn't be fitting to stride on past now would it?? With my arm thus twisted and Lou still processing my latest purchase in this mind we plonked ourselves down. OMG Do google this place the interior is also exquisite and they offer a range of gourmet products. We had a cappacino for Lou and a Biceno (coffee and chocolate) for me and a plate of biscotti. It arrived on a silver tray in glasses decorated with silver handles. *sigh.. The string quartet played on in the background.. It was total bliss... The bill?? A mere 41.40 Euro which is about $60 in Australian dollars... Well it's not cheap being one of the 'Beautiful people".
Our day wasn't even over though it was time for a lagoon cruise and lunch at nearby Burano Island. This is a village of fishermen and each house is painted a different colour. We were told so the men knw where they lived but one has to wonder how long htey were away fishing if they
forgot what their wives and children looked like. It is extremely quaint and even has a communal area for hanging one's washing out along the foreshore to catch the best winds. Seems having the tourist see their knickers isnt a problem here. We had a yummy seafood lunch of many courses and including wine. The island is known for its lacework so I had to buy a few examples of this as well :)
It truly was a memorable perfect day for us. Perhaps the best of our European adventures.
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