A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about venice

A Room with a View....

Of the building across the street!

sunny 23 °C
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As you might have guessed, we have now lobbed into Florence and, regrettably, like Lucy Honeychurch, our lodgings do not have the remotest of views of the Duomo or the terracotta rooftops of this Tuscan town. This is as good as it gets.

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The apartment is however quite large and well set out so we have nothing to complain about.

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Yesterday we decided to spend our final day in Venice low key, loafing around in the morning before heading off for a wander through Dorsoduro, the oldest Venetian district.

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We ended up at Accademia, which is one of the major art galleries in town. The girls weren't keen to venture in (Tintoretto masterpieces would be lost on them at their tender age) but they were happy to linger on the famous nearby bridge, which offers fantastic views down to Salute and San Marco.

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While the ladies opted to rest up back in the Palazzo, I decided to soak up a bit of culture by paying a visit to Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which after St Marks is probably the most significant church in Venice.

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Several of the Doges are interred there, as are Titian and Monteverdi. A rather dull looking edifice on the exterior, the interior is most impressive, with some important works by Titian and Bellini, all of a religious theme naturally.

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I lit a candle for my Mum and Dad ('Once a Catholic...) and wandered out into the warm Venetian sunshine to the suitably melodic tones of a busking cellist. I returned to the apartment in a mellow mood as the sun set over the Grand Canal for our last night in this uniquely beautiful floating city.

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Posted by Melbinman 14:03 Archived in Italy Tagged venice Comments (0)

Gondolas, gondolas.....

semi-overcast 20 °C
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Well all I can say is that Venice certainly floats our boat! We've experienced all the options, from water taxi,

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Vaporetti

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and of course the quintessential gondola ride.

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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 (!)

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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.

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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

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into the Piazza and took in the sights of the Campanile and of course the eponymous (and magnificent) church.

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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.

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We then sauntered over Rialto Bridge (which was also packed with shops and tourists)

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Posted by Melbinman 01:31 Archived in Italy Tagged venice Comments (0)

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

sunny 22 °C
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Verona is of course the setting for that most famous story of the two star crossed lovers. The city fathers obviously know how to make a few Euro out of this work of fiction by designating a particular balcony as 'Juliet's balcony'.

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Like the bridges in Paris, visiting romantics have attached love locks in the alcove below as well as scrawling soppy messages on the walls. A bit naff.

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We wandered further around the town yesterday and the ladies were pleased to happen upon Via Mazzini, full of fashion boutiques and the odd gelateria.

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A little more was added to the luggage load including (mea culpa) by your scribe, purchasing a tie and a short sleeve shirt (didn't expect it to be so warm, pleasantly surprised!). After exiting the shopping strip, we came into a big piazza containing Verona's Roman arena, dating back to the time of Christ. We grabbed a bite to eat at one of the many al fresco ristoranti in the square and then had a wander around with the girls showing off their ballet skills.

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On the way back to the apartment we grabbed some gelato which tasted as good as it looked.

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We returned tired but sated to our apartment to pack for the next leg of our Italian journey, to Venezia! I'm penning this from that very place but more on that tomorrow. By way of a taste, here is the view from our apartment, on the Grand Canal.

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Ciao from la Serenissima!?

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Posted by Melbinman 10:27 Archived in Italy Tagged venice verona Comments (0)

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