Venice - Day 2

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September 21st 2013
Published: November 10th 2017
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So far so good. This morning I made my way to San Marco. It is a beautiful Piazza next to yet another magnificent Basilica. On entering the basilica I swallowed my fear of heights (again) and climbed upstairs to the terrace. Upstairs they have a museum where you can see some of the works of art, but you can also walk around the alter and get a close look at the mosaics. The entire ceiling is covered in these massive golden mosaics which took 500 years to complete. They are really overwhelming. You can also walk out in the terrace and see Piazza San Marco from above. It was impressive but as I was up quite high and the floor is slanted, I didn't stay too long. After leaving the church I walked around the Piazza checking out all the little shops. The glass from Murano is quite lovely but expensive, at some point I will have to make it over the water to the factories and see if I can get something cheaper.

I stopped for a bite to eat. As I had lunch I realised that the Swans v Freo game would be starting so googled an Irish bar in Venice...if course there was one. Appropriately called The Devils Garden, and they had Sky. The pub was on the other side of San Marco, so map in hand I made my way across town to find it. Made it there without one step wrong. Don't know why people get lost in this city, I seem to be doing quite well, maybe I was a Venetian in a past life. So get to this little pub, buy a drink and politely ask if they could search the sky channels for Australian football. The young man behind the bar had no idea and suggested I use the Wifi to access some website, I cant recall what it was, something box. Either way he wandered off before I could enquire further - Gen Y, what can I say? So I sat down to nurse my drink and watch the atrocious scores. With only the final quarter to go, an Aussie couple from Newcastle wandered in and asked the same question, this time of the older barmen. They were looking for the rugby but he found the AFL. So I got to watch one sad quarter. At least we came back a little.

After the football I wandered the streets for a while until I found the place I was to meet up with my tour group. It was at the Galleria Del Academia. I still had several hours to kill so I meandered through the gallery. This gallery had mainly Venetian artists, massive oil canvases. Really lovely, but I think I have definitely reached renaissance overload. So all I had left to do was wait at a cafe for a couple of hours for my tour, which was good because that gave me time to rest my feet. As luck would have it while I was waiting for the tour an Aussie couple sat next to me. On seeing I had wifi the gent asked me if I had a footy score, wouldn't you know it, Freo supporters!

The walking tour was great. I am glad the guide knew where she was, as we walked down so many little streets and alleys I had no idea where we were. We stopped by a little church which had two entrances. The guide explained that many years ago there was a dispute between the two districts on which the church bordered. So the parishioners from different districts did not have to mix with each other, two doors were built so they could enter and exit on their respective sides. So much for love thy neighbour. We also walked past Ca Dario, the cursed palazzo. The guide explained that almost everyone who had purchased this house has died in tragic circumstances. The daughter of the first owner, Marietta Dario is said to have been walled up inside and starved to death after disgracing the family. Many owners after purchasing the property, were financially ruined (not because of the purchase price) and committed suicide. Kit Lambert, former manager if The Who, owned it when he OD'd and fell down the stairs of his London residence. The property cannot be sold now, no-one will buy it, despite its great location on the grand canal. Can't imagine why!

After the tour we took a gondola ride. It was quite nice but a little spooky as we drifted down the small canals. They are quite dark at night, and it's really very quiet. I did try to get some pics but have yet to master the night scene setting on my camera, and my trusty iPad wasn't flashing so nothing much came up. I gave up after a few minutes and decided to enjoy the moment. The Gondolier did remarkably well steering it across the Grand Canal. Which made me wonder, what are the road rules here? With so many boats of all sizes there must be some etiquette to how they navigate the waterways or there would be accidents everywhere.

On exiting the Gondola I reached for my trusty map only to realise I had lost it. I think I left it at the Irish pub. Well I had no choice but to find my way home blind. Inside of two minutes I found the vaporetto stop Giglio, which is the first stop I had to get off at on my way to the opera last night. No dramas, I'm not getting lost here, Venice is my bitch!


23rd September 2013

Ah well done Mizz Trace, you're brigning all my happy Venice memories back. But I wish I'd been there in the sun. And congrats on being a good navigator in that place.

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