Rome to Venice

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September 16th 2004
Published: September 25th 2008
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Basilica di San Marco, Piazza San Marco, San Marco.
A long day travelling today, as we travelled the 300 km journey north up to Venezia (Venice).

The weather seemed to change from here onwards really.

We arrived in the afternoon. There had been a storm the previous night, and it was quite cool still. The campsite wasn't bad. The cabins were four-share again, and I was with Stu, Tim and Charl. We had an hour to settle in, before we were back off again, and on the motor boat to Venice. This was about a 30-minute journey.

It was a lovely sight gradually seeing Venice come into view, and it was just a little disaapointing it wasn't warmer and that the sun wasn't out. It would've looked amazing if there had been a sunset shining onto the city as we arrived there.

The city of Venezia is made up of 118 islands, and is split into six sestieri (districts), San Marco, Castello, Cannaregio, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce and San Polo.

After arriving, we stopped off at Ponte della Paglia, and then onto Piazza San Marco, where we viewed Basilica di San Marco, such a decorative and intricately designed building, that was finished around 1094. Over the

Campanile, Piazza San Marco, San Marco.
centuries, however, there have been two major additions: 'The Arrival of the Body of St. Mark' mosaic over one of the main doors was made around 1260, and the Romanesque carvings on the central door were finished in the 14th century. The Campanile, also in Piazzo San Marco, was originally used as a lighthouse in the 9th century. However, this was rebuilt in 1902, after the original tower collapsed. From the top of this tower, nearly every building in Venice can be seen, however, not one single canal can be seen either!

From here, we went to a lace-making demonstration in one of the shops just off the Piazza. I didn't realise lace took so long to make, with something like a table-cloth taking a number of weeks to make. Also, I didn't realise that normally it is the same maker who works on the pattern from start to finish. All lace-makers have their own ways of working and so the patterns would look different in places worked on by someone different.

After this, we had three hours to do what we wanted, and then we were to meet up in the Piazza again, where we would go

Basilica di San Marco and Piazzette, San Marco.
and do our gondola rides.

Venice is a very expensive city, and is famous for many things; it's canals, it's islands, lace-making, glass, and also face masks. Basically, all the shops were crammed full of either of these things.

I went round on my own for most of the time here, though met up with Rabi half-way round, so we went round after that. I was looking for a lace table-cloth for my mum, as when we were in the lace-makers, I wasn't sure about what to get her, and thought I'd find something elsewhere, but I didn't, and when I got back to that lace-makers, they were closed. Typical! So it was now a manic rush to find a shop which sold them. In the search for these shops, we lost our bearings, and as we didn't have a map, this made it harder.

To cut a long short, we didn't make it back to the Piazza in time, and the others had left for their gondola rides. I was annoyed with that, as it's one of the things you have to do in Venice. How can you come to Venice, and not travel in a

Ponte della Paglia, San Marco.

Anyway, we finally got to where the gondolas were and waited for everyone to return. They all came back within half-an-hour or so, and then we made our way back to the campsite, via a small ferry boat.

As I hadn't eaten, I went and had a pizza at the camp's canteen, which was lovely - a full-size, crusty, deep pan pizza margherita, and then joined up with everyone at the bar, where some of the guys were on 'attitude adjusters'. It was another pretty late night for all.

Additional photos below
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Where we arrived in Venice, just on from the Ponte della Paglia.

Me on one of the pontes (bridges). A moody shot for some reason.

Canal Grande, the main canal, which runs right through the centre of Venezia.

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