We rose bright and early in preparation for our long awaited venture into the island of canals, Venice. We purchased Rolling Venice cards which would cover all of our transport to, from and while in Venice. We caught the bus just in time (literally with no seconds to spare) which carried us from our accommodation through the streets of Tessera and into the tourist filled Venice. We arrived in the main piazza and made our way towards the water bus station. We waited in the scorching heat for our vaporetta along with many other people from all over the world. We ended up taking the wrong bus and so instead of cruising the Grand Canal in leisure waters, we were steered in the direction of the choppy sea.
We ultimately ended up at St. Mark’s Square albeit a roundabout route to get there. We fought our way for a position to be able to photograph the Bridge of Sighs. From there we walked in the sweltering heat through the Square, passing the Doge’s Palace, the Basilico and the Clock Tower. All the while reading about these historical buildings of this interesting island.
The canals were filled with the famous gondolas. This apparently romantic boat ride didn’t appear to follow its stereotype as the couples were just continually photographed by other tourists as they continued on their voyage. The gondolas set the scene perfectly though as they slowly cruised through the canals with their gondoliers dressed in the typical attire of striped shirts, black trousers and the straw hat. I took many a photograph of this scene as they rowed their way through the narrow canals surrounded by quant and colourful buildings.
We darted through the little alleyways of this historical city as our stomachs rumbled. We found a quiet street where our lunch restaurant awaited. We ordered pizza and pasta and truly enjoyed the typical Italian food while our waiter made flirty comments here and there. With satisfied appetites we were once again ready to tackle Venice, this time with energy on our side. We browsed the shops in search of a mask from the Commedia dell’Arte era to take home as a souvenir. We searched and eventually found our beautifully intricate and artistically decorated masks. They cost 8 and 10 euro.
We unexpectedly stumbled upon the famous Rialto Bridge which is another touristy area of Venice. The view from the bridge was magnificent as we could see the Grand Canal filled with gondolas, vaporettas and water taxis. It was a view we were insistent on remembering so we purchased a few paintings of the area.
The day was getting on and there was still so much to see. We walked to the next water bus stop and on the way bought our first gelato in Italy. We had the flavours of lemon, grapefruit, chocolate and vanilla. They were refreshing and creamy! We arrived at the water bus stop and took the boat to the island of Murano. Murano is an island famous for its glass blown jewellery, crockery and lights. The different products of the area are so artistic, colourful and original. We hoped to witness a demonstration of the glass blowing but unfortunately we had arrived too late.
We made our way back to the island of Venice and began searching for a restaurant at which we would dine for dinner. We took the water bus from St Mark’s Square to Rialto Bridge and began our search there. We slowly wound our way through the streets away from the bridge in hope of finding a more inexpensive meal. Our energy had definitely taken a dip as we hit the 8 hour mark of being in Venice. We walked all the way to St. Mark’s Square. This was so frustrating and we still hadn’t found a place to eat. We walked all the way back to Rialto Bridge and eventually sat down at a restaurant right at the water’s edge of the Grand Canal. Our waiters were lively and quirky, full of laughs and jokes. We had found the perfect spot and enjoyed an extremely memorable dinner as we laughed and chatted over our meals of various pastas.
We were absolutely finished after spending 10 hours in Venice and so made our way home. We took a water bus back to the main piazza and from there we took a normal bus back to our accommodation. We went to bed after nursing our aching limbs.
Venice was an absolutely incredible experience and really was more than I could ever imagine.