Venice -- Water water everywhere
It was overcast our first afternoon here, sunny most of the second day and rainy on the 3rd, so we got to see Venice in different moods.
We didn't realize that Venice has no wheeled traffic. I took this on our first afternoon after arriving. We are on a boat, which provides public transportation throughout the city. These boats are called Vaporetto and are the cheapest means of transportation. We are on our way to our hotel near St. Mark's Square. This is the Grand Canal, a large canal that winds through the city in a big backwards 'S'.
I'm not sure if this panel of shiny material is permanent or just here to hide some construction behind it.
After we got off the boat we walked through St. Mark's Square and a few blocks farther to our hotel. This picture is taken from the doorway of the Hotel Monte Carlo.
I had to take a picture of the room before we unpacked anything. This is Venetian decor at its finest.
And here is the chandelier made right here in Venice.
It was warm enough that evening (Oct. 29) to sit outdoors for supper. The man on my right went to UMD for a year or two. The 4 people beyond him were from ThunderBay, Canada (about 200 miles from Duluth.) A young couple from Florida sat down to my left. We had the tourist menu here and it was quite good. This is just a block or so from our hotel.
The next morning we walked to St. Mark's Square and found most of it under water. We had to hop up onto this walkway in order to keep our feet dry. We didn't realize it when we got on, but this walkway led directly into the church. That wasn't where we had planned to go, but once we were up there, we had no choice. That was fine as we wanted to see it anyway. It's just that we had thought we'd do a walking tour first and return to the church later. As you can see the sun is shining.
This is a mosaic floor in the outer part of the church. They didn't allow photos inside. This floor is under water and I am on one of those walkways.
Back out in the square we found a different walkway and walked in front on the church. This one took us across the square and we hopped down on the other side and walked out under the archways in the far left corner in this photo. We had to skip the first stop on our walking tour because it was under water, but we finished the rest of the tour as described in our book.
These men are setting up more walkways. St. Mark's is on the left here. There was a policeman in hip boots telling people to keep moving.
Later in the afternoon we returned to the square and found it had dried out. That is St. Mark's church. Most of the walkways are gone again. You can see the base of the bell tower or campanile. It is casting a shadow on the cathedral. We rode to the top of the tower the next day.
San Marco or St. Mark's again.
There were ensembles playing on the square in the afternoon and evening.
Looking down into the square from the top of the campanile. You can see one walkway still in place on the right. Most of the square is wet from rain, but not under water.
Besides the Grand Canal there are many smaller canals. We crossed these on small bridges. Here you can see that the water is almost up to the top of these steps. I don't know how low it gets at it's lowest.
There were many people enjoying the gondolas on this nice day.
Another small canal.
One of the famous buildings in Venice. This was built in 1499. It is called the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. It was closed for renovation.
The grand canal again. This is near the center of the city and the Rialto Bridge. The next day we had a coffee in one of those cafes.
A cafe, gondolas and the Rialto bridge. The bridge has shops on it and was built in 1588. Until 1854 it was the only bridge over the Grand Canal. Now there are 2 others.
If you want to cross the canal where there is no bridge, you can pay .50 Euros (~$.75 U.S.) and be rowed over on a gondola made just for the ferry crossings. I didn't get a good picture of one, but they don't have seats. You can sit on the edge or just stand. I took this standing in the gondola Traghetto, which is what they call these. I don't speak Italian. I think that might just mean "ferry" or crossing.
The next morning wasn't such a nice day. It rained off an on all day. We walked to this church called San Zaccaria, because we could get to it without getting our feet wet.
This is taken in the crypt of San Zaccaria. You can see how far below the main level the water table is here.
We walked around more this day, wandering back towards the Rialto Bridge.
Here's the cafe we stopped at for coffee this morning. The Rialto Bridge is in the background and across the canal is the Hotel Rialto, where we had dinner the night before. The water was lapping at our feet here.
This is the restaurant near our hotel where we had pizza for lunch that day.
I liked all the different colors you see here. This is near the art museum Academia which we visited this afternoon.
The weather didn't improve until after dinner this day. This is an island in the Venice Lagoon. The church there is San Giorgio and was designed by Palladio, after whom the Palladian Style of Architecture was named. We rode on one of the Vaporettos over here and back. It was very dark inside this church, especially on this dark day, but I thought it was cool to see something designed by an architect I'd heard of for years.
The next day we had to head home. We started our journey at 5:30 AM, in a water taxi that picked us up a couple blocks from the hotel and took us to the train station. We took a train to Milan (2 1/2 hrs) then a bus to the Milan airport, then 3 planes to Amsterdam, Detroit and finally Duluth. We got home on time with our luggage, so except for being a very long day it was fine.