Venice Travel Blog› entry 27 of 32 › view all entries
July 12th, 2006 – by: coolguy
Today we set out to explore the city in earnest. We hopped on the local transit, large passenger boats which carry you down the canals. Our plan was to see much of the grand canal from the transit boat, but we quickly realized that a lot of other people had the same plan. We hopped off the crowded boat at Piazza San Marco and began exploring by foot instead. The Piazza was full of people, vendors, and pigeons. Overwhelmed, we wandered away until we ended up in an area that seemed completely empty. No tourists, no locals. It was fun to walk around this area and get a feel for Venice without the crowds and vendors on all sides. The buildings all looked like the used to or could be quite beautiful.
In the afternoon we entered the Basilica di San Marco, Venice's main cathedral, which houses the remains of St. Mark, graverobbed from his burial spot in Egypt by two Venetian merchants. The interior of the basilica was very unique; everywhere you looked, it was decorated by beautiful mosaic artwork. We also got a good view of the surrounding Piazza from San Marco's roof. We wandered some more along the Venetian streets and headed back to our favourite cheap pizzeria for dinner (this seems to be our trick, finding a good, cheap restaurant and returning for another meal). At sunset, we decided to take a poor man's gondola ride: another trip on the transit ferries. This time we got a seat in the back and we both enjoyed this late-evening trip down the grand canal very much. We got out at San Marco's again to see what it was like at night. There were still plenty of tourists, photographers, and pigeons, but the nice lights and the ambient music made it very nice. I've decided that the best time to see Venice is at sunset.
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