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Published: July 24th 2011
Day two, we headed straight to the Basilica of St Mark, we got there 45 minutes before it opened and the queue was huge, we joined the queue and whilst waiting for it to open a woman walked past asking if anyone would like to join her tour around the basilica, the price includes a queue jump ticket, I’m sold. The queue jump didn’t actually pay off in the end as we had to wait for all of the other people on the tour to arrive but it was still worth it as the tour was awesome. We were told about the history of the basilica, the bell tower opposite and a little about Doge’s Palace. Inside the Basilica the decoration is amazing, the mosaics are so colourful and detailed, it is amazing to think of the talented people that built such an breathtaking piece of architecture. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside but I managed to take a sneaky few without anyone seeing and shouting at me
After our tour we headed straight to Doge’s Palace, again the decoration inside was breathtaking, every wall, ceiling and in some staircases the handles leading up the stairs had elaborate paintings
on them, we finished our tour with a walk around the inside of the Bridge of Sighs. Have you ever visited a city to see the sights and when you arrive there is scaffolding up partially covering one or many of the sights you have travelled to see?
I live in London and often pass London’s most famous sights, when ever scaffolding is up I always think how disappointed I’d be if I visited somewhere and scaffolding was up, well in this case that is exactly what had happened to me. Scaffolding was almost completely covering The Bridge of Sighs, in fact scaffolding was up at The Basilica of St Marks, in St Marks Square and pretty much up at every beautiful building you can think of in Venice, I was gutted. But I suppose this means another visit to Venice one day, maybe for carnivale?
The next day we decided to visit the Guggenheim Collection, a collection of mordernist art from various artists including Picasso and Kandinsky. This is the point where all art lovers will read this and think I am an absolute idiot. I don’t claim to know much or anything for that matter about
art but mordernism, futurism and all of the other types of art in the Guggenheim I just cannot see the point in. I know the art is a person’s expression but was can you possibly be expressing by making a piece of art that consists of pieces of cheese and meat on a tray under a clear plastic cover (no I was not lost and actually in the cafe that really was a piece of art).
I always say try anything once and I most certainly will not be visiting a modern art museum again.
We had lunch at a nice little restaurant called Al Theatro, lunch was ok, not bad but most definitely not good, the restaurant itself was not by the water but was fairly close to St Marks Square. Nikki ordered the prawn cocktail, a few prawns, some lettuce and some sauce, now I appreciate prawns can be expensive but at 17 Euros I’d expect king prawns and the most amazing lettuce and sauce I have ever had but this was not what I expected. After our meal, once we had asked for the bill, the waiter hovered over my shoulder like a vulture and
The bridge of sighs
With scaffolding up
said “the tip is not included” if service is good I always leave a tip, if service is bad I always leave a tip but when people ask for a tip I do not leave a tip. I looked at the bill and saw that a service charge was included, so not only was a tip included but he had lied and asked for a tip too. When he saw I had not left a tip he walked away muttering what I can only assume were Italian profanities.
This was not the first time I had heard a waiter being rude to people in Venice. All of the restaurants and cafes on the water front are clearly sign posted ‘No self service’ so I can understand some of the waiters getting slightly annoyed when people buy a drink from the bar and then sit at a table outside. At this particular cafe 3 people sat at a table with a bottle they had bought inside, the waiter approached them and asked what they would like to order. The people replied “we got this from inside”. The waiter asked if they spoke English to which they obviously replied “yes”, as
they had spoken to him in English I thought it would have been pretty obvious they spoke English. He asked what they would like to order and again they told him they had already bought a bottle from inside. “Can you speak English?” “Yes” they replied, “can you speak English?” he asked for a third time, “Yes, we can” they said. “No self service. Good bye” he said as he pointed for them to leave. I have never been so shocked by how rude the waiters are, but not the most shocked I have been in my life.
After our visit to the Guggenheim and after lunch we headed down to St Marks Square to sit in the sun and relax with our feet in the water, we have been very lucky so far as the weather has been absolutely amazing. As we sat in the sun we watched as people walked by, some in a rush to see the sights some soaking up the sun much like ourselves. Despite the few negative factors Venice has been absolutely amazing, it absolutely blows my mind to think of a city with no cars, bikes or roads, instead your only form
of transportation is a boat or your own two legs. As we sat relaxing in the sun, something you can rarely do in England, all of a sudden I felt every muscle in my body contract, I lost my vision very briefly and my arms and legs turned to jelly, my heart began to race and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to lay down or jump in the air. I felt a mind blowing pain in my leg, I looked to see if something had bitten me and when I looked down I saw an exposed electric cable by my feet. My wet foot had come in to contact with the electric cable and sent a jolt through my entire body. My chest felt tight and my head was all over the place, this was THE BIGGEST SHOCK OF MY LIFE! It couldn’t have been a huge voltage as I’m sure I would probably be dead but that was the single most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.
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