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3 months ...................................... adventure - explore - challenge

Monday, 14 May 2012

Venice: Stepped off the boat and landed on our feet!!

"We're going on holiday!!!"   

Yes, we know the whole Italy trip is a holiday, but after being in one place for 6 weeks and beginning to feel settled, a few days in Venice feels like a new vacation.

Sonja's perfect planning proved invaluable as we managed to park our car and get the boat over to Venice without any issues. On route we met a lovely Australian couple, Kristy and Lee, who would become our holiday drinking buddies and assist us in smashing our Venice budget!!

Having booked a 'hotel deal of the day' on the internet which seemed too good to be true, we were a little skeptical as to what it would be like. We were not disappointed.  Not only was the hotel a 2 minute walk from St Marks Square, but it was right on the waterfront so we had breaky overlooking the most iconic views of Venice.  Our room was luxuriously decorated in a traditional ornate Venetian style, with rich gold brocade on the walls, a gold carved headboard and a little Juliette balcony which overlooked a delightful looking church on the other side of the square. 
Venice Lagoon

Not wasting any time, we headed straight along the water front to St Marks.  Now don't get me wrong, the square is big, bold and impressive, but it really didn't live up to the hype we'd heard. For us it just lacked a bit of ambiance and points of interest. Having said that, listening to the 5 piece orchestras play next to the restaurants was lovely. Unfortunately at nearly 10 Euros for a coffee and 20 for a beer, our budget wouldn't stretch to allow us to sit down.
St Mark's Square

With the Doga Palace and St.Mark's Basilica on the agenda for tomorrow, we headed off on a tour of Venice's back streets, churches and bridges. Don't arrange to meet someone 'at the bridge'. There are about 400 of them in Venice!! The streets are like a labyrinth with some as wide as my arm span, heading off in all directions and always leading to a bridge. We found the Rialto bridge without too much trouble and enjoyed the gorgeous views down the Grand Canal watching the numerous river taxis and gondolers glide underneath us. We also visited the slightly more rustic looking Accademia Bridge where it seems to be the fashion to put a padlock on the bridge with the name of your loved one.  There are hundreds of churches in Venice and we visited several, all had beautiful interiors and all very different.  The Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari had a huge marble pyramid structure along one wall and the I Carmini was filled with beautiful paintings. 

Grand Canal by night

After the dinner issues of Rome, we selected a restaurant through recommendation, at Osteria al Garanghelo. Fantastic pasta and wine enjoyed on the street, the perfect finish to a wonderful day.

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