A Travellerspoint blog

Italy

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 Comments (0)

With the Family

In and around Asti

sunny 29 °C

As usual we are running late, but at least not lost as we retrace our steps (roughly) back to Chamonix and Mont Blanc. I love the mountain scenery, the sheer drama of it all, and knowing it is there to be skied! Same as the other day, still can’t see the top, but today we are going through, not up. The tunnel is not that long, but it still costs 35 euros. We are soon at Courmayer in the Val D’Aoste and Italy. The Italian side is just as dramatic and stunning, and this side of the border is totally cloudless with clear blue skies that the mountains stand out against beautifully. And into Italy

And into Italy

The sun is however dropping and we head on past Torino in the dark to arrive in Asti quite late. Robert, Lili and Jessica have stayed up to greet us and it is great to see them all again. Aunt Lili has prepared dinner and we are all back for seconds. Mail from home too – G has a Socceroos scarf from Mum, but I don’t think it will help them from here.
We are late to wake up (surprise!)this morning but we are dressed before cousin David arrives. We sit down to breakfast with him and his son, Ricky. We are heading off to Torino to have a wander around. We get up there spending a lot of time catching up on who does what and how everyone is. This continues around Torino and we get a look at the grand colonnades and squares and down to the river to La Grande Madre. Family Photo

Family Photo

We also go past a TV episode being shot at the university – the same action 4 times – then head up to the Film Museum where they have a great lift up to the roof to look over the city – it is all glass and as it passes through the huge open hall of the museum there are no supports apart from the wires, so it is all a bit freaky. View from the top is great though.
Not happy in his work

Not happy in his work

Italian Parking

Italian Parking


After Torino we head off to David’s place where the boys get to play X box. We also catch up with Simonetta and the girls get to share their hobbies as the boys share theirs. Too soon we say goodbye so we can get ready for dinner with uncle Robert. We are out for pizza tonight, and La Cometa does a good job of it.
The Boys

The Boys


In the morning we are off with David and Ricky again, this time to Genoa. As Genoa drops into the sea, there is precious little flat land available. As we drive in, we come off the Autostrada and dive down through 5 stories of car parks, off ramps, diversions and roundabouts. David knows the way though and we are soon parked in the centre of town – which is eerily quiet. We soon are told that today is San Giovanni Batistuta Day, so most places will be shut. Not to worry. We wander around and stuff ourselves with the menu touristico at a local bar. We waddle up to the centre of town to the ducal palace and cathedrals, then we enjoy a string quartet’s offerings for a while until the council sweeper washes them away!great string quartet

great string quartet


We head down to the docks that have been flashed up for tourists, before heading around to the Maritime Museum. The real aim is to get inside the Submarine docked nearby which is good fun even if we have to dress silly and hit our heads a lot. Genoa waterfront

Genoa waterfront

The Italian Navy!

The Italian Navy!


We head back via the gelati shop, and G gets invited back to Ricky’s to play X Box again which leaves L and I free until uncle Robert picks us up again for dinner. We head out to the local camping ground for dinner (I kid you not) and have a great dinner with all the family. We get to chat a lot and then all the boys go and play football nearby to help the first two courses settle before we head back for desert.Family Dinner

Family Dinner


The next morning we head in to see everyone at work. Lonnie goes off for a coffee and talk with the girls,and David and I compare bruises and sprains from the football last night. Then G and I head out with David to try and find me an Asti cycle top. We get one at the second shop, and then head back to meet the ladies. We wander around Asti having gelatis, pizza and window shopping before the sad time has come to say goodbye. We hope it will not be as long before we meet up again.The ladies

The ladies

Coffee

Coffee

Chicco makes a friend

Chicco makes a friend

Posted by lostagain 00:37 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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