Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Europe: Venice, Chapter 2

More on Venice.

The big, bustling, broiling hot city of water. We stayed at Pension Seguso, small but right on the big lagoon near the Zattere water taxi stop on the south side of Venice - in the belly of the fish, if you know the map of the city looks like a fish. We were very close to the Academia which is on the Grand Canal. We had lots of time on our own and we made the most of it.

We had our walking tour and then a glass blowing demonstration. Brent wanted to buy Venitian glass so we got a decanter and goblets along with a display tray in the famous red glass colour and they engraved our family name on it. After all, he said, "How often to we go to Venice?" We then had lunch at the Cafe Florian, the most famous restaurant on the plaza, and it cost a fortune but was delightful, and very posh with a great menu and the orchestra playing and sitting in the shadow of the Correr and looking upon the plaza and the bell tower.

The tour of the Basilica was overcrowded and lacked appeal without our regular guide. However, the Doge's Palace was unbelievable. The seat of government for many years, this museum is filled with magnificent art and murals. When you exit, you go across the Bridge of Sighs and tour the former prison - that was not pleasant.

We also toured the Correr. Breathtaking masterpieces and a precursor to Florence masterpieces. Brent and I walked the boat bridge to the Redentore church on Le Guideca. As a special treat, we road the water taxi along the Grand Canal to Rialto Bridge but most of the shops were closed or closing as we were late in the day.

We did catch a view of the marketplace and enjoyed some fresh cut fruit which held us over til we had a bad and very expensive dinner on our own close to San Marco plaza and then we headed up the bell tower - the Campanile - to view Venice at sunset just before our gondola ride. See my previous post about that one...

After the gondola I wanted to linger on the plaza but we went back to the hotel so the young people could go to bed. I sat outside and visited with a few group members until I was cooled off, then went to sleep with the shutters closed. I opted for dead air in our ancient but regal hotel rather than the street noise.

I had my own fresh bath in the morning in the shared bathroom on the floor while B and A juggled their own bath/showers in our in room bath.

It was a great time but I was looking forward to the air conditioning in Florence.

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