Day 9: Venice

Venice Travel Blog

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We sit out the storm under the Doges' Palace eaves.

"How are you holding up Sister Candy?" -- Peter (from our tour group) to me as I shield my head from rain with my black sweater giving me a rather pious appearance. 

Lucky for us we have a full day in Venice, a city I already love.  Unlucky for us the day begins with some rain.  I shouldn't just say some rain, but rather LOTS of rain.  More rain than I've ever seen come down in one sitting (and I've seen lots of rain).  We are in St. Mark's Square when the sky unloads.  The storm center is so close we see lightning strike down just feet away and hear the crash of the thunder at the exact same moment.  There is nowhere for us to go so we huddle under the eaves of the Doges' Palace and wait it out.

The rain came down!
 

It lightens up a bit and we go explore the Murano glass factory (the ones the Michigan folks told us to watch our spending at).  We are immediately given a harried Italian infomercialesque sales pitch.  "Hurry.  I only have 3 sets left.  Buy now.  It will be a family heirloom."  We somehow resist the urge to spend $600 on a set of tumblers and are worn out from our rainy morning.  We head back to our hotel only to discover the power has gone out.  We don't need the power for a siesta though and we snooze through the afternoon.  We wake up in the late afternoon and head out for an evening in Venice. 

We walk from one end of the city to another.  We get lost a few times, but we're reminded of the words of Rick Steves ("It's an island.

Watching the rain!
  You can't get off of it so don't worry about being lost.")  We escape the tourist locations and see where the people live, shop and go to school.  At the far end, we pick up a bus (water bus naturally) and cruise back along the Grand Canal admiring the once majestic palaces along either side.  Once back at St. Mark's, we stop for a drink in a pub and then a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.  This evening we have tickets for a concert in a small hall off the square.  We hear a stringed quartet play Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in its entirety.  Vivaldi was born in Venice and our setting mimics the original performance hall of this piece.  The concert is lovely.  Afterward, we make a leisurely return to our boat, stopping by the dueling orchaestras to watch people dance, chase pigeons and relax in the square.
A brighter afternoon
 

It's close to midnight when we get back home.  We learn that the power did eventually return, but not before our tour group checked out and moved in to a nearby hotel.  So we pack up and wait for the shuttle to take us there.  While waiting, an Italian man in broken English approaches me and asks me about my Beatles bag.  He tells me how much he loves it and reminisces about seeing them "in Milano many years ago."  Finally we make it to the new hotel and have just enough energy to get into the room where we collapse on the bed after another busy day. 

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We sit out the storm under the Dog…
We sit out the storm under the Do…
The rain came down!
The rain came down!
Watching the rain!
Watching the rain!
A brighter afternoon
A brighter afternoon
Me!
Me!
St. Marks Square and the Camponel…
St. Mark's Square and the Campone…
Venice is busy even early.
Venice is busy even early.
A Venetian bus stop.
A Venetian bus stop.
A gondolier at work (they charge r…
A gondolier at work (they charge …
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy