We do a little orienteering, then off to Murano, island of glass blowers.

Venice Travel Blog

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Street sweeper on the Rialto Bridge (note broom)

I was up early the next morning, July 16, to head down to the Rialto Market to watch the grocers unload their produce and stock their stalls.  The only word I can think of to describe the Market is awesome!  Produce stalls dominated, there was a butcher shop selling horsemeat, pork, and chicken.  The fish market was unpopulated, I expect I was too early to see them set up.

 

Venice at that time of the morning was delightful, no hordes of tourists, only the workers hurrying to their jobs.  I came across some street sweepers on the Rialto Bridge, using old-fashioned twig brooms, the kind you would find the Wicked Witch of the West riding over the skies of Oz.  The sun was painting the buildings with a gold light, the only sound the susurration of the water against the quay, docked gondolas with their royal blue coverings rocking in the wakes of passing boats.

Early morning on the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge
  On the way back to the hotel, I picked up a turkey sandwich and 2 cups of cappuccino for our breakfast from a café obviously catering to the early-morning workers.

                 

We headed out for St. Mark’s Square, Carol to find a bank to change more dollars into euros, and I to find out where we should be the following day to tour the Clock Tower.  I was directed to the Correr Museum, which was, of course, on the second floor; more stairs! 

 

I must now describe my attire.  My hat had a very wide flat brim; a scarf was tied around the headband and hung down my back.  My travel purse was on a long strap that I wore across my chest, right to left, like a bandoleer.

Veggies in the Rialto Market
  My camera in its case was belted on my right hip.  I was wearing my cargo pants.  I walked across the marble-floored anteroom of the Correr Museum to the information desk, which was manned by a tall, slim, grey-haired, debonair, suave, Italian gentleman impeccably dressed in a gray suit.  He greeted me by saying, “Pardon me, Madame, but I must ask, where did you leave your horse?”  I cracked up!  I guess I probably did look like an escapee from an Italian spaghetti western movie set.  I told him I was pretty quick on the draw with my camera.

 

Having learned where we needed to assemble for the Clock Tower tour the next day, and assuring the gentleman I would leave my horse in the park, I departed to meet Carol.  Our quest was to get postcard stamps, which we had been told we could purchase at any tabacci shop.

Setting up in the Rialto Market
  The post office was right behind the Correr Museum, but there were long lines, so off we went to find a tabacci shop.  Our quest was fruitless, all the shops we stopped in directed us to the post office.  So, biting the bullet, we went back to the post office.  I waited outside, sitting on the steps of the Correr Museum, contemplating my new identity as a cowgirl.  Eventually, Carol exited the post office, and we started to head off in search of a pharmacia.  But wait!  Carol’s hat!  Where did she leave it?  Dashed back to the post office, where she retrieved her hat.  More adrenaline.

 

We located a pharmacia and I explained to the chemist that I would like something for my swollen feet and ankles.

And even more veggies
  By now, my lower legs looked like fat sausages, I had no ankles, and my fat feet resembled those of a hobbit, but without all the hair.  The chemist sold me some diuretic pills, which I immediately started taking.  Then, of course, we had to keep our eyes peeled for the WCs, just in case I needed one!  I’m guessing the excessive heat caused the problem.  And the diuretic worked, but it seemed like I was just maintaining the status quo, with no reduction in swelling.  Perhaps if I had had the sense to get the diuretic when we first got to Florence, I wouldn’t have had such a problem.  At least, it didn’t get any worse.

 

We selected this day to go to Murano, the island of the glassblowers.

Ginger on St Mark's Square
  We hopped a vaporetto for the trip over, passed the island cemetery of Isola di San Michele on the way.  The Grand Canal of Murano was lined with shops selling glass products.  We window-shopped all the way up to a small square, where we had lunch at an outdoor café.  Then we headed for Santi Maria a Donato church, which has a 12th century mosaic floor.  On the way, we stopped at a glass-blowing factory for a demonstration.  Afterward, we toured the glass museum, which was fascinating.  It’s hard to imagine glass blowing technology existing in the 1400’s, much less artifacts from that time existing today.  Since I wanted a necklace, we trolled the glass shops on the way back to the vaporetto dock, and I found a lovely red and gold pendant necklace.  The heat was beginning to get to us again, so we opted not to go to Burano, the island of the lace makers.
Carol on St Mark's Square; St Mark's Basilica in background
 

 

Back to Venice.  Having discovered an alimentari, we stocked up on wine and lunch fixings for the next day.  We decided to dine at a restaurant touted in one of our books, so off we went in search of the restaurant.  Did I mention the dearth of street signs?  We wandered around for an hour, we were SO close, but we couldn’t get there from here!  Finally, exhausted, and the day waning, we stopped in a small plaza and dined on pizza at an outside café.  The pizzas were quite large, we could only eat half of each, so we asked our waiter to box up the remains.  Pizza for breakfast would work.  So we waited for our pizza to be packaged up.

Gondola parking lot
  And waited.  And waited some more.  As it was approaching 9:00, we asked our waiter where our pizza was.  Horrors!  It had been given to the people at the table next to us, who had left some time ago!  But not to worry, he would fix it.  He would have a pizza made just for us to take home!  We demurred, but he was insistent, we would have our pizza!  And so we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more. 

 

By now, it was approaching 10:00.  I suggested that since we were on the back side of the island, instead of wandering around the maze of streets and alleys, trying to find bridges across canals to return to the hotel, we walk two blocks and catch the vaporetto at the hospital dock.

A passing vaporetto
  True, it would be the long way around, but it would be better than trudging through dark streets.  Brilliant!  What a plan!  So we FINALLY got our pizza and headed for the dock.

 

There was not a soul around.  We reached the dock, looked at the route board, and discovered the last vaporetto came by at 8:30!!  Horrors!!  We were gonna have to wander around the maze of streets and alleys, trying to find bridges across canals, to return to the hotel!  Now, our book on Venice mentioned that the streets at night were quite safe, so we had no need to worry.  Easier said than done.  We headed out through semi-dark alleys that pass for streets, nary a soul in sight.  Aha!  At last!  People!  And a few streets farther on, more people!  And we even knew where we were, and how to get back to the hotel!  What an experience to end the day.

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Street sweeper on the Rialto Bridg…
Street sweeper on the Rialto Brid…
Early morning on the Grand Canal f…
Early morning on the Grand Canal …
Veggies in the Rialto Market
Veggies in the Rialto Market
Setting up in the Rialto Market
Setting up in the Rialto Market
And even more veggies
And even more veggies
Ginger on St Marks Square
Ginger on St Mark's Square
Carol on St Marks Square; St Mark…
Carol on St Mark's Square; St Mar…
Gondola parking lot
Gondola parking lot
A passing vaporetto
A passing vaporetto
Church on San Michele cemetery isl…
Church on San Michele cemetery is…
Isola di San Michele, island of th…
Isola di San Michele, island of t…
Approaching Murano
Approaching Murano
Muranos Grand Canal
Murano's Grand Canal
Santi Maria e Donato Church
Santi Maria e Donato Church
House dripping flowers
House dripping flowers
More dripping flowers
More dripping flowers
And even more flowers dripping
And even more flowers dripping
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy