Down the stairs one last time, hop a train for Venezia.
Venice Travel Blog› entry 13 of 24 › view all entries
Saying goodbye to Florence on July 15, we packed our bags, hiked down the 69 steps for the last time, and boarded our train for Venice. Miraculously, we didn’t have to run for this train, although it did leave from a different track than the schedule indicated. Being the seasoned train chasers that we had now become, we checked the track board before we headed down the track.
We traveled through mountainous country outside Florence, all the way to Bologna. Beyond Bologna, the country flattened out, lots of corn fields filling the landscape. And then we’re on the causeway crossing the lagoon to Venice, and there she sat on the horizon….
There were hordes of people waiting in line to catch the vaporetto to their hotels. Most were courteous, but there was one older couple bound and determined to get on that vaporetto when it docked, and they shoved and pushed their way through the crowd to the front of the queue. We were some of the last people to squeeze onto the vaporetto, and headed down the Grand Canal to the Rialto Bridge, which was our stop. Hard for me to describe our feelings as we cruised down between those buildings.
Debarking at the Rialto stop, we followed our directions to reach the hotel, till we ran into another canal. We spent another half hour wandering around, searching for the hotel. Have I mentioned that street signage was not the best? We finally asked a shopkeeper, who directed us down an alley just barely wide enough for Carol’s suitcase, made even narrower by scaffolding on either side of the alley.
Our room was on the third floor, no elevator (more stairs), and the staircase was just barely wide enough for me carrying my bag. But our room was good-sized, we had a window that opened onto the marginally wider alley, and a bathroom that was small, but wider than the one we had in Florence. We also had a “terrace” off the landing just outside our room. I use the term loosely … it was 2’ deep, maybe 3.5’ wide.
We strolled across the Rialto Bridge to find a restaurant recommended by our host, and enjoyed a leisurely dinner. As it was Sunday, we couldn’t scope out any alimentaris.