Joe and I left Philadelphia on Sunday, July 21, our 46th anniversary, and landed the next morning -- guess where!!!
Venice is a charming city. Everywhere there is water, and there are millions of narrow alleys and small footbridges over waterways. There are no cars; we took a water-bus from the airport to the hotel and a boat-cab later when we were ready to move on. No, we didn't choose to take a gondola ride with a serenade; there was enough romance just being in Venice.
There are police boats, ambulance boats, commercial delivery boats and although we didn't see one, hearse boats.
The restaurants at St. Mark's were expensive, perhaps justifiably so. This square is amazing in its scope. There are outdoor cafes in abundance, some with live music. One day we lingered over iced tea while we listened to a quartet and watched the people. And the pigeons. We found that the restaurants further away from the square were more reasonably priced and the food was ever so good.
On our second day, we took a water bus to visit two islands: Murano is famous for glass; Burano for lace and colorful buildings. We weren't overly impressed with either island. The weather was hot and the streets were so crowded.
In Murano, though, I bought a clear glass necklace that was different from the colorful beads we saw everywhere.
The "bus" to Burano was crowded and we stood for a long ride. Burano was as pretty as we'd been led to believe, but again the crowds and the heat were mighty. The lace we had heard so much about was mostly imported from China (and I didn't have to look all that closely to determine that) although there was some local-made lace that was lovely and very, very expensive. We had lunch (superb calamari!) at an outdoor cafe where we interacted with a non-English-speaking family who were taking photographs of each other, ending up with reciprocal group portrait services. I liked noticing that laughter is laughter, irrespective of language.
Hotel Giorgione is a relatively short walk from the Rialto, where the crowds were impressive. It isn't in the thick of things down by St. Mark's, though we spent plenty of time there. Rather, it was in a sort of neighborhood, not as crowded as other parts of Venice. We were there for three days and during that time learned our way around, found our local church, our local cafe, our local gelato shop (we became faithful patrons of this particular establishment), the newsstand, and the good restaurants. We were there long enough that we came to recognize some of our local dogs!
Our hotel room was on the ground floor and opened directly to the small pool/jacuzzi which was adjacent to the breakfast area and bar. The room was larger than we had anticipated and beautifully appointed. The lobby had several seating areas with Murano glass everywhere. The breakfast was more than adequate and the desk staff friendly and helpful.
My next post will just be some additional photos and impressions from Venice. All too soon, it was time to move on!