Friday, September 28, 2012


Venice. We arrived yesterday morning on the train from Bologna (about a 1.5 hour journey). The first glimpse from the train station was amazing and it has continued to be so. It has water for streets! I know, everyone knows that, but to actually see it is amzing. There are the goldonlas, of course, shuttling tourists lazily up and down the waterways, but more amzing are the other boats: the water taxis, individual motor boat, boat delivering office supplies, produce, hauling away recyclinge, etc. It is quite remarkable how the whole city operates on the water.

Water aside, there are streets. There are however no cars or motorcycles and very few bicycles, just pedestrians making their way down the streets, both normal sized, and those barely big enough to pass single file, between buildings and over foot bridges, past the glittering canals. It is phenomenal. Walking through the city is like walking through a beautiful maze. Walking down each street one is not sure whether it will end in a brick wall, courtyard, body of water, or connect to another street or piazza. It is possible to use maps, but it much more fun to just follow one's whims.

We took a vaporetto (a type of transit boat) from the train station to our hotel, which is charming, with a front door on the street and a back door that opens right up onto the canal. Our tiny room is on the third floor and loons down onto the canal.

We walked yesterday around the San Marco district, down to the Piazza San Marco, where we stood in the magnificent square and took in the sites, including a hitchcockian mass of pigeons circling overhead, and visited the stunning basillica. We then walked to the Rialto Bridge and aimlessly through the streets and squares. The evening was beautiful. Quiteish (compared to the day) and the streets were darkand decidedly less crowded. I
enjoyed a cigar by the canal and watched the boats.

Today we walked back to the Rialto Bridge and through the market where they were selling produce and an array of seafood. After that we walked up through the Santa Croce and Cannaregio areas, and through the Jewish district before catching a vaporetto to the island of Burano.

We picked Burano because it was supposed to be a colorful, quaint fishing island and it did not disappoint. The streets on the tiny island were lined with small houses, each painted in a vivid color, different from and in contrast to the houses oin either side of it. I don't think there was a single brown, beige, or grey anywhere. It was all bright chartreuses, fushias, yellows, blues... running through it were canals and along side were cute little shops and eateries.  Betty-Lou was in heaven. We ate a delicious lunch after our walk and then caught a boat back to the mainland.

betty-lou in burano, venice

Tonight is our second and final night in Venice and tomorrow we head back to Rome for one more night before returning to Canada.

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