Punta Sabbioni 16/04/2016
Venice, is there anywhere else like it in the world? Not Bruges, the Venice of the North. Not Birmingham, the Venice of the Black Country. Not even The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas even as tacky as it is. No, the real one is like Waterworld without the cheesy acting of Kevin Costner to mess it up. It is a place where vehicles are cars, where streets are canals and where everything costs three times as much as anywhere else in Italy and generally without the high-quality we have become used to. But as it is such a one-off you put up with its faults and enjoy this stunning city like no other.
The journey was straight forward enough along the Autostrada by-passing Verona and Padula before turning off and following the peninsula of Jesolo. We were going to go to Verona for an afternoon but in the end we just could not raise the enthusiasm to see another terracotta tiled town with a half-built sports stadium and a balcony built 200 years after the play was written about a mythical family; and nowadays mobbed by young Asian women having selfies while making the V-sign.
Venice Day 1 13/04/2016
Punta Sabbioni was our choice of residence while visiting Venice as it had a frequent ferry service across the lagoon to the main touristy island. 35 minutes after leaving Sabby we were in St Mark’s Square. First impressions; not as good as Siena, a bit samey and full of flying rats. But it does give off a good vibe. So after a quick first look we headed off underneath the clock tower and got lost. Not once but many times.
If you are going to Venice do not invest in a map. They are all completely useless. If you do want to find your way around then use Google maps. Yes you will look daft walking around staring at a phone but you won’t get angry. But just get lost, it is a small Island and at some time you will come out of the maze off lanes and alleyways and find somewhere to get a boat from.
Here are some pictures of us walking around the back streets of Venice.
Bridge of Sighs
Tracy and one or two others at the Doge’s Place
As cheesy as Kevin Costner
The real Venice
Not a straight Line in sight
As soon as you get away from the main tourist areas of St Mark’s and The Rialto Venice opens up to become a truly wonderful place to stroll around. It still remains an expensive place to stop with coffee and alcohol excessively priced. You don’t mind if the place has a view or it’s in the sun or it is a decent Spritz, but in Venice it’s still dear without any of those things.
We managed to find the Rialto Bridge which like many of the main tourist attractions we have visited over the last few years is covered in scaffolding. Crossing over we once again got lost many many times before ending up hungry by the main railway station. After wrestling Tracy out of a nearby Burger king we found a small Osteria and had a truly unremarkable meal. Once again we fell for the forged Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence notices.
From the Rialto Bridge
From the Railway Station
Where we eat, so you don’t have to
To cheer ourselves up we made our way to Harry’s Bar, a Venice institution and the home of the Bellini Cocktail. As soon as you walk through the door you want to walk out again but you have no choice as you are instantly collared by a waiter while the eyes of the living dead are fixed upon you. We were the only people in the bar under the age of 127. €40 later we had drunk our teeny weeny drinks in a bar with no view or living people and left. The Bellinis were Boss.
€20 Each. Bargain
Now for something cheap. We got on the No1. Boat Bus and managed to bag a couple of seats on the back and went up and down the Grand Canal before heading off to Lido for a nightcap and bed. Pictures of the canal.
Grand Canal Eastern end
Venice Day 2 14/04/2016
Having made a strategic decision not to see the inside of any buildings we made day 2 a trip up the bell tower for a view and then over to Murano for some glass perusal. The weather was good enough to sit up front and get a few snaps of Venice as we pull in to St Mark’s.
Doge & Bell Tower
Carved up by the No 10 Bus
Not only Pisa has a wonky one
So after waiting in-line for about 20 minutes we got the lift to the top of the Campinalle and a rewarding view across the whole of Venice. This 16th Century tower is one of the most recognizable structures in Venice and is also where Galileo, inventor of the Telescope first demonstrated the instrument to the Doge in 1609.
In reality the tower was built in 1912 after it collapsed in 1902 and Galileo did not invent the Telescope. The visibility however was excellent and we took some pictures.
St Mark’s Domes
Canals and Islands
After that we went down to the Square for our very own selfie before heading off on foot to get the ferry to Murano.
Us at St Mark’s
We thought we would follow our footsteps of the previous day to find our way to the appropriate ‘Bus Stop’ for Murano. Unfortunately we failed miserably but after asking the doggie in the window we were fine and arrived in mild excitement on the Island to Get Glass.
First left, Second Right. Are you barking? Buy a map
The journey over to Murano stops at Cemetery Island. Yep, Venice has a whole Island as a cemetery. Perhaps, we could turn the Isle of Wight into one. After all most of the people are nearly dead.
Do not buy glass in Murano as it is severely overpriced. Even compared to Venice it is expensive and for what? Why would anyone pay €100 for a tumbler? It is not a limited edition, it is glass and will still break when you drop it. Way beyond my comprehension. It is far cheaper to buy in the UK. We did like the run-down feel of Murano and thought it a great balance to Venice. Our boat back went via the Island of Burano where the locals paint their homes in bright colours and is very popular with visitors. As the next boat was not for an hour we decided to give it a miss. However, if you are one of those people who have made a mess of that painted terrace in Bristol then you may want to go and see how it should be done.
To sum up. We really loved Venice. It is a one-off, unique, fascinating, arty, alive, quirky, just a great place to walk about once you are off the main tourist attractions. The only small downer is the food and drink is a bit expensive and poor in quality compared to the South. We loved it, one of our favourites.
Love to All