A Travellerspoint blog

Venice day one

a wander around

sunny 32 °C

Now there comes the race across northern Italy to get to Venezia. All goes pretty well until we reach Brescia and things pile up on us a bit. We park the car in Mestre leaving a fair bit of stuff in the boot (under cover and backed up against the wall) but there are Jags and Beemers parked in here too, so it should be alright. We haul our bags and bike box to the railway and then over the bridges and canals of Venice, getting a few stares on the way. In Venezia at last

In Venezia at last

We got to our B&B Al Galleon at about 9pm and have a lovely welcome in from Daniella our host. She gets us settled and then sends us for a Pizza to get us ready for a sleep. Just around the corner is Pizza All’Anfora (Lista Vecchia dei Bari, 1223) where they make great pizza, and serve hefe weizen beer, great combination.
After a breakfast with great home made jams and cakes and fresh fruit, we get the low down on Venezia with Daniella’s purpose made map. She has taken a map of Venice, marked on the reasonable $ restaurants, the main sights, the main vaporetto routes and stops, how to get to Murano, Burano, Lido etc. It’s all colour coded for ease of use and guidance. Today is a bit of wander around and get a basic feel for Venice. On the Grand Canal

On the Grand Canal

We have a look around the fish market, now packing up, and catch a traghetto (commuter gondola) across the grand canal to then walk around for a while until we eventually end up in St Mark’s Square, of course. Resisting the temptation to have a $20 cup of coffee, we head over to the basilica. There are lots of women covered in what looks like throwaway tablecloths from a restaurant – these are given out to cover shoulders and legs before they are allowed to enter the church. In St Mark's Square

In St Mark's Square

Inside we head up to the balcony with the four horses. There are some good views of the square and the doge’s palace from here. Your 3 euro also gives you access to a part of the gallery around the inside and you get a close up of the mosaics covering the ceiling of the basilica. And they are seriously impressive. The main colour on the ceiling is gold, produced with real gold that has been fused to glass as gold leaf. The artists then break this into the little tiles that they use for the background of the mosaics. And there are thousands and thousands of square metres of mosaics, depicting the apostles, saints, scenes from the bible and the pictures of the last judgement, all starting in the Byzantine ages.
From here we wandered a bit more, saw the bridge of sighs drowned in advertising and then jumped onto the local bus to Sant ‘Elena. Here we were searching for food, but the place we were after did not open until 7:30 so we wandered around the residential part of Venice, and sat down at the docks and watched all the locals coming in from a day at the beach or out in the water. Kids were taking the family boat out, grandparents minding grand kids and the girls going out meet boys. And not a life vest in sight. Time had come to get food so we headed back and had a good meal at a reasonable price. After that we took the vaporetto back, had a gelati for dessert.
Rialto at night

Rialto at night

On the water

On the water

Posted by lostagain 15:07 Archived in Italy

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