Venice Travel Blog› entry 19 of 23 › view all entries
Time to discover Venice, but no great rush in the morning. Felt great having an apartment again, and was able to meke myself as much tea as I needed to get me set for the day. Once we were sorted we headed on out to the only place you can really start in Venice, the Piazza San Marco. Went up to the vapereto stop at the top of the road and caught a bus round the main island. Went past the hospital and as we were sailing past the Arsenale we realised it wasn't just a historical place but still in use, with an Italian submarine sitting up on the slipway.
Got to the Piazza San Marco and the first thing that hits you is the crowds. I'm an urbanite, and love visiting towns and cities, but here the place was just heaving with people, to the point I really wasn't liking it.
Walking up the square you are first stuck by the Campanile Di San Marco, the bell tower, which is probaly the main landmark in the city, though a lot of the time with the narrow streets you can't actually see it. The buildings though were stunning, the Doge's Palace was a lot nicer to look at than I expected, the architecture and the paintings above the cathedral were great and the clock tower was really interesting.
Looking at the long queues for the palace and the cathedral we decided we would have a walk around the town and headed out of the square in the direction of the Rialto.
We came then to a square where the Music Museum is, and just behind it you could see the leaning tower of the Chiesa Di Santo Stefano. I went down one of the streets off it down to the Grand Canal and took a few pictures there and then we went in to the museum since, it was free ;). Lot of old musical instuments, but on the right hand side was a workshop where they looked to restore or recreate old style instuments.
Aimed for the Ponte Della Accademia, one of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal, passing the Venice Institute For Science Letters and The Arts and just before the bridge there was yet another church, the Chiesa Di San Vidal. Great view down the canal from the bridge, but on the other side the Academy was all covered in scaffolding. The plan from here was to follow the grand Canal up to the Rialto Bridge, but the plan never worked :D.
Kept hitting dead ends onto other canals and trying to backtrack and go in the right general direction didn't work. I was quite enjoying it anyway (you can only get so lost in my opinion and you always find your way to somewhere you know) wandering about off the beaten track, but my wife was getting fed up.
All the time we were away my wife had been going on about going to the beach and she decided she was going to go to the Lido, and the kids were going to go with her. I wasn't fussed about a day at the beach, so after we got back to the apartment they headed off to get the vapereto to the Lido, and I decided to walk back towards the Piazza San Marco.
I walked along the northern shore to the hospital and cut down there. Nothing really much to see, just like the strretas and canals we had been down the day before. Getting closer to the Piazza San Marco I found the Chiesa San Zaccaria sitting in a small enclosed square, but didn't bother going in. Want back down and into St Marks Square. Took a few more snaps, though the view of the Bridge of Sighs was not great due to them doing restoration work on the walls of the Doge's Palace and they were covered in hoardings.
Again though, even though I have been to most of the major cities in Europe, i felt it claustrophobic here in Venice. To many people all trying to see the same things in the one small area. Decided again to try and make for the Rialto Bridge, though this time I got the number 1 bus up the canal.
Over the bridge and into the flea market there, rather grandly self proclaiming the Rialto Market -The Heart Of Venice. Aye, Right :O Still all the major tat souvenirs any tourist would want. Here though they were much more into the face masks than the general souvenir shops were. Headed up to where I thought I was wanting to go, not really thinking, just wandering aimlessly. Realised then I wasn't going to come to another bridge back across the canal for ages and decided to backtrack ovet the Rialto.
Back on the 'right' side of the canal I walked along to the Ca D'Oro ,the nearest stop on the Grand Canal to the apartment and headed back there, stopping off at the supermarket to restock on crisps and beers. Rest of them arrived back about 40 minutes after me, having enjoyed their time on the Lido.
Sat anc chilled for a bit before getting ready to go out. Decided to go to one of the restaurants the guy that showed us to the apartment had suggested. He had said it was where locals went and was a traditional Venitian restaurant. Having been I would heartily agree, though it was a bit of a strange, but good, experience. I was thrown straight away when they said they had run out of beer :O Normally that would be a case for leaving, but we were keen to try it, and I had seen folk during the day something that looked like alcoholic Irn Bru and decided to give that a try.
There was no menu, you had the choice of whatever they were cooking, and there were only two dishes to choose from. it was enough choice for us and my wife and daughter went for the cheese and meat plate, while my son and I went for the clams and pasta. Wasn't quite getting into the alcoholic Irn Bru(Aperol) and switched to a few glasses of sparkling wine. Went back to the Aperol after that and it tasted better then ;) though it's not a drink I think I would ever be able to skull in a oner.
A nice night in a pleasant atmosphere, and we headed back late walking up the side of a canal to get back to the north shore and along to our apartment.