Venezia Part 1

We arrived in cold, rainy Venice (are you sensing a pattern here?) this afternoon around 3:15. It was a nice train ride; I slept through most of it. Everyone in a while I would look out the window at the lovely countryside and be lulled back to sleep. ahh peaceful! I’ll be honest, I was not too excited about coming to Venice but I thought it was one of those places everyone has to go once. Two seconds after getting out of the train station my mind was changed. I LOVE VENICE. I love the buildings, the canals, the big stone streets, the quaint bridges…all of it. I’ve already decided we’ll be living here at some point in our lives. Jose is not aware of this, but he will be once he reads this blog.

We got a bit turned around taking the wrong vaporetto. TWICE. Finally we got on the right one and it was very intense. Basically, it’s this huge water taxi that stops at various locations and lets people on and off. In our case, more people were getting on than off and we were soon very crowded…on a boat…with lots of luggage. Do you see where this is going? NO we didn’t tip over, but a few times the boatmen did have to yell to have everyone move to the left or right. I think we had almost 175 people plus crew on that boat at one time.
First ride on vaporetto

We got to our stop and managed to get off the boat without falling into a canal and proceeded on our way to the hotel. We had excellent directions and were there in about five minutes. We were completely spoiled by our room in Florence, but this one is much smaller. We have a crazy staircase with a rope banister that leads to a small hallway.
Grab on to that rope

It’s incredible how they manage to squeeze things in. Here are a few pictures of our room/hotel.
Our room

foto 136

We dropped our stuff off in the room and went to San Marco Square. We decided to take a traghetto across the canal instead of back tracking to the bridge and then walking all the way back to the square area. So we get to the traghetto stop and I thought it was going to be a speed boat, but no it was a gondola. I am pretty sure any joe with a gondola can charge 50 cents EURO to take people across the canal. How would we know? So we just climbed in; scary, huh? Two other people got on the gondola just before us and there was no place to sit because it was raining and the edges and seats were wet. Without warning, the traghetto starts to move and I lost my balance. I almost toppled over the edge. So I crouched all the way down and stayed that way the entire 1 minute ride. Here’s a picture of my almost death machine.
traghetto (aka the death machine)

I think next time will be better because I know what to expect. Jose stood up the entire time….my balancing act stinks.

We took a quick tour of the square and tried to take the bell tower tour,but they had just closed for the day. the cleaning guy was the one who told me the tours were over. He kept yelling 45, 45 45 to me over and over. I think he was trying to tell me that the tours ended 45 minutes ago..??
foto 147

On to dinner…so on our last day in Florence we stopped at the sandwich shop to get some food for later that night. One of the “brothers” asked where we were going next and gave me a restaurant recommendation when he found out we were going to Venice. So we thought we’d do some research, check reviews and put it on the list. Thank goodness we did, because it was a terrific meal. It was about a five minute walk from our hotel and we got there a bit before they opened. By the time the doors opened at 7, there were about 20 groups in line. We had a reservation (always have your hotel make one for you…more on that tomorrow) so we were seated right away.

We hadn’t had lunch yet since we’d been traveling all day and we were very hungry. We had some scallops au gratin that were good.
scallops au gratin

I had a bowl of pasta e fagiole soup, which was more like a creamy bean soup…ala lentil, instead of the veggie one I was expecting, but it was tasty.
pasta e fagiole soup

Jose ordered spaghetti with shrimp which was excellent.
spahetti with shimp

We also shared a pizza…..nice crust and very tasty.
wood-oven pizza

For dessert, we had torta della Nonna (grandma’s cake) and it was SOO GOOD. It had a cream layer with tasty cake…yum.0. We also had a Bellini (peach nectar and proseco)
torta della Nonna (grandma's cake)

Bellini

and a vodka, lemon sorbet drink that was good too. Wow that’s a lot of food!!!

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel. It was sooo cold out. On the way down the dark street, we ran into the guy who checked us into the hotel. He was leaving for the night. Apparently, there is no one there at night, just the guests. We think there was only one other person checked in while we were. I didn’t want to think about it too much!

Tomorrow is supposed to be cold (40 and rainy) so we’ll see what we will be able to do. There’s the Doge’s Palazzo, Murano, San Marco’s Square, the Campinile and Basillica if possible, then dinner and the Rialto Bridge. We have just about vetoed the gondola ride because of the cold, but we might take a tour on the vaporetto late at night.

Buona Notte!

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2 Responses to Venezia Part 1

  1. Lillian says:

    What a practical banister! I’m beginning to think that the virtual trip you’re providing us through your comments and photos is actually better than being there. We’ll be looking forward for more details.Lillian & Pepe

  2. Ponix says:

    Que tremendo blog primo y “prima” felicidades por tan enorme viaje, bellas las fotos, espero emularlos algun dia con Johanna!!!Saludos desde Chile

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