Breakfast this morning was down in the dining room from 8.00am. We arrived to find a very generous half litre of blood orange juice, fruit salad and yogurt on the table so we made a start on those. The dining room attendant (hotel owner?) asked if we wanted omelettes and coffee, cappuccino? We ordered ham and cheese omelettes and I ordered a cappuccino. The omelettes were excellent.
We started our sightseeing this morning at the Palazzo Ducale which was only a couple of minutes away from the hotel. Very convenient. Bernie had purchased Venice Passes which covered our visit to the palace. The Venetian Republic was a major European power between 697 and 1797 when the republic fell to Napoleon I. From around 1340 the Doge's Palace has been located in the Piazza San Marco providing rooms for a complex system of councils that administered the former Republic of Venice. It also served as the residence for the Doge of Venice the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice.
Our tour of the palace included most of the rooms in which the council members worked at governing Venice. The palace includes a room that is one of the
largest reception rooms in all of Europe. At the end of the Grand Hall there is a massive work of art 'Il Paradiso' which is the largest work of art ever painted on canvas.
From the Grand Hall we headed into the chambers of justice and then crossed the Bridge of Sighs to the prison that was built beside the palace. When we returned to the palace via the bridge we found ourselves in the gift shop which meant that we should have gone to the other room off the Grand Hall before we commenced the prison section of the tour. Fortunately Bernie had noted a spot where he thought we could step over a rope and re-enter the Grand Hall without having to repeat the whole tour to catch the room we missed.
We didn't get seen hopping over the rope and made our way into a room that was only slightly smaller than the Grand Hall. It was another massive hall of incredibly grand proportions that was lined with cases containing documents relating to various ancient treaties agreed between Venice and other world powers.
After completing the palace tour we went in search of the
supermarket in the daylight. On our way we found Santa Maria Formosa, one of the churches on our 'Circuit Churches' voucher so we exchanged our vouchers for tickets that would entitle us to visit some dozen or so churches ... if we have time?! The church and the Co-Op were actually just around the corner from the restaurant where we ate last night. It was much easier to see this this morning! Instead of paying €2.00 for 1.5 litres of water it was only €0.50. The beer was much cheaper too!
There was a little bakery right across the lane from the Co-Op so we bought our lunch there. It was a real 'local' bakery where we had to order by pointing and holding up two fingers and then nodding that we would like our gondola shaped cheese and tomato pizza thingies heated up when the lady in the shop pointed at the toaster oven. We thought it was a microwave, but our lunch was in there so long we decided it must have been a toaster oven!? Either that or it was the world's slowest microwave.
We dropped our beverage purchases back to our hotel room and
then caught the vaporetto towards San Roma. We were very lucky to climb aboard a vaporetto with seats at the front and we were able to secure ourselves seats at the front. We had decided before boarding that we should try to sit one each side of the boat so that we could photograph different things. Bernie was seated with some other Aussies; Richmond supporters, would you believe it?!
As we zig-zagged from side to side of the Grand Canal we snapped away trying to capture some photos that will do justice to Venice's beauty. Unfortunately when we reached the iconic Rialto Bridge it was shrouded in scaffolding and shade cloth as it is currently undergoing some cleaning and/or restoration work. We had to satisfy ourselves with photographing some of the other smaller, but extremely picturesque bridges. There were plenty to choose from!
There's not a lot to see at San Roma so we decided that we would stay on board for the return journey to San Marco. As we were cruising along we were overtaken by a private launch that had a film crew perched on the bow and a police boat escorting. Everyone got a bit
excited about who it could be who required a police escort. I could only see the backs of the people on the launch and thought it was probably an Italian politician or someone equally boring. The other Australians were pretty confidant that it was Tom Hanks!! They reckon that they read somewhere that Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are currently in Venice working on a film together.
Back in the Piazza San Marco we queued up to climb the campanile. This one was the lazy person's perfect opportunity to go up a bell tower for some panoramic photos as it had a lift all the way to the top! The weather had improved so we were able to take some photos of Venice and the San Marco Basin bathed in afternoon sunlight.
When we returned to ground level we took some photos of the Piazza San Marco which was packed with people and Basilica di San Marco. Unfortunately the basilica is another Venetian landmark that is currently undergoing restoration works with half of the facade shrouded in scaffolding and shade cloth. I guess we were lucky that it was only partly shrouded?!
At this point we decided
that it must be time for gelato so we headed away from the piazza to find a Gelateria. Everything is cheaper if you venture into the laneways away from the tourist attractions! A cone with two generous scoops of gelato for €2.50 seemed pretty reasonable.
We returned to our hotel room to put our feet up for a couple of hours until dinner time. We ate at another restaurant in the same lane as last night. For entree we had sardines again done in the traditional Venetian style with onion and vinegar. We followed that up with a seafood pasta to share. We may not be meeting our vegetable quota, but we are eating plenty of fish and seafood!
Steps for the day 11,720 (7.98 km)
Tot: 2.759s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 15; qc: 26; dbt: 0.0335s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb