Venturing in Venice

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September 16th 2008
Published: June 26th 2017
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On Sunday 14th, we said goodbye finally at breakfast to our fellow travelers and went for a walk along the Bosphorous. We stopped for coffee at the water's edge and it was very pleasant sitting there for a short time. After an hour or so we returned to the hotel and then were taken to the airport where we flew to Venice via Budapest on Malev airlines. We arrived about 7pm and were able to take a bus from the airport for only 3 Euros each to Piazza de Roma from where we walked to our hotel, albeit we had to drag our suitcases up and down steps in the dark. Fortunately it wasn't far!!
Fletcher was keen to see St Mark's Square so we set out along the main pedestrian path from the railway station. I had been here in 2004 but Fletcher hadn't. We reached the Rialto and decided to have dinner at a restaurant at the foot of the bridge.This was very pleasant with the water lapping at our feet and a nice Pinot Griglio... We then hopped on the Vaporetto. We bought a 48 hour pass and headed to San Marco. It was great walking into the square at night and Fletch was happy to see the most famous sight in Venice. We then returned to Hotel Canal .Our room looks out over the Grand Canal!!
On Monday morning we set out on the vaporetto to St Mark's Square. It was a joy to travel along the water where every turn reveals another magnificent building or vista. We went to the The Doge's Palace. This is the must see place in Venice, much more interesting than St Mark's. We went through the private apartments first. The features here are the magnificent ceilings and the ornate fireplaces. The public rooms in the Palace are amazing. The Senate meeting room and the Hall of the Grand Council are mind-boggling. They are huge in size and the walls are covered by murals by Tintoretto, Titian and Bellini. The ceilings are also amazing. I spent the entire time looking up gawking at the elaborately carved and painted ceilings, especially on the Golden Staircase. The other attraction here is a visit to the Prisons. First the tour takes the visitor past the Armoury. Here there is an amazing collection of swords, crossbows , armour and other weaponry from several centuries. Then there is the descent into the prisons. We walked across the Bridge of Sighs from the inside and then wandered through the cells below. Returning to the main building we emerged into the courtyard which is also impressive. The Giants staircase has the statues of Mars and Neptune at the top. It is very decorative.
From there we returned to the main square. Part of this was under water and we had to walk on raised boardwalks across the front of St Mark's. We strolled around the square and checked out the shops. Then back to the waterfront and to a café where we could sit at the entrance of a small canal watching the gondoliers taking their clients into the maze of waterways. One gondola had a piano accordionist and a singer who were trying to serenade a bored looking Japanese honeymoon couple!!!
After a pleasant lunch we went through the small winding streets to Rialto, crossed over the bridge and got lost in the maze of streets. Realizing we had gone back towards San Marco we found a vaporetto station and returned to Ferrovia. .That night we returned to the Rialto Bridge to dine at one of the lovely cafes.
On Tuesday we set out for the Lido. The ferry trip took us around the island and down the Canale Della Guidecca. This is a much wider waterway and is the route for the larger ships. We passed a huge ocean liner heading away from Venice. It dwarfed the buidings on the shore!! We crossed the lagoon having an excellent view of San Marco from the water as we went. The Lido is the beach of Venice on a narrow outer island. As it was a cool sunny day there were few people on the brown sand.
After exploring there we went back to the Giardinni stop hoping for a stroll in the gardens but this was being used for an exhibition and there was an entrance fee. So walked back towards San Marco. We detoured to Campo S.Zaccaria where we took a picture of Zac's church. We had lunch in Campo Bartolomeo.
In the afternoon we again let ourselves explore the narrow alleyways and unexpected canals. Everywhere there are gondolas and small boats and great looking buildings.
That night we found a really elegant restaurant on the Strada Nuova and had a more substantial meal than the usual pizza and pasta offerings.
Venice was great!! It is now on my small list of favourite cities and it was lovely being here finally with Fletcher to share it .


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