06.05.2014 - 07.05.2014 20 °C
Well all I can say is that Venice certainly floats our boat! We've experienced all the options, from water taxi,
and of course the quintessential gondola ride.
After emerging from Santa Lucia station (guess who was chuffed by that name?) into the film set that is The Canal Grande, we taxied over to our lodgings, the Palazzo Tiepoletto , pulling up to the water door (!)
to be greeted by (yet another) Lucia, who handed over the keys and explained (in brisk Italian!!) where everything was before leaving us to soak up the incredible atmosphere of La Serenissima. The windows of our (surprisingly affordable) apartment provides a dress circle view of the busy Canal (think of St Kilda Road, but a lot wetter), with everything from the postman to hearses travelling via aqua.
After settling in and unpacking, we hit the calli (laneways) and campi (squares) of our labyrinthine neighbourhood, San Polo, and tried not to get lost. Many little shops to keep the girls happy, selling everything from masks and jewellery to the ubiquitous antici murri (Murano glass). After dinner at a local ristorante, we retired to our beds, with the watery surroundings lapping us off to our dreams.
Yesterday after breakfast, we jumped onto the vaporetto (ferry) down to Piazza San Marco which, as expected, was chockablock with tourists. We passed by the Bridge of Sighs
into the Piazza and took in the sights of the Campanile and of course the eponymous (and magnificent) church.
We opted not to sit down for a drink at one of the local bars (we learnt our expensive lesson last time, didn't we Monique Mullins?!) but wandered further for gelati in a little campo. After further wanderings through the alleyways (not really caring if we got lost), Lucia was starting to get scratchy so we stopped for lunch. Clearly, hunger was the reason for her bad mood.
We then sauntered over Rialto Bridge (which was also packed with shops and tourists)
A few presents for the girls' school friends were purchased and we also lingered at a fantastic shop selling Venetian masks (I confess I even bought one).
Eventually we found our way back to the apartment where we had a short rest before heading off again on the vaporetto to San Maria de Giglio for our twilight gondola ride.
It lived up to the girls' expectations though I think L was a little disappointed that the gondolier didn't include Santa Lucia in his repertoire (my explanation that it was actually a Neapolitan song not Venetian went over her head). Afterwards we headed back for a dinner of pizza and pasta (washed down with a very nice local Valpolicella) at a charming ristorante close to our digs before collapsing into our beds to float into our watery Venetian dreams.