My next day in the city I set out to see at Marc’s basilica from the inside! (Ooooh) A very long line and short wait to enter (maybe the only free thing in the city).
Thought I was done being impressed by church’s, It was probably the cheeses jokes that got me through all the religion unscathed.
A short walk along the water leads to a view of the bridge of sighs. Two things checked off. Time for coffee. I didn’t even notice if the coffee was good in Venice- it was. It was just expected? And it’s all good, any place you go you know you will be drinking a decent cup. Espresso though, brews don’t really exist.
The rest of my day was spent on the Venice ferries island hopping.
Cemetery island first, where I traveled back in time to when Austrians controlled the city, then past soldiers from England killed during the First World War. Something unique to the graves here is on every headstone a all portrait of the deceased was placed next to their name. Surprisingly this did not come out as creepy. Seeing such personal pictures says a lot more about the person than “a loving mother” and looking at the different pictures have a real sense of the time through the style of photograph.
After leaving the island- and it’s many blood sucking insect inhabitants- I squashed onto the boat headed to Murano to look at the famous Murano glass. No photos allowed but believe me, I saw a guy craft a unicorn from the freakishly hot stuff in under 30 seconds. And then bought earrings. Because I’m a sucker.
A longer journey and I arrived at the far more picturesque Burano. Island famous for lace? I skipped past the lace shops (where I suspect all but the tiniest pieces are made in China) and found some gelato-far too delicious gelato.
Ferry card in hand I use my power to catch a ride up the grand canal.
No more energy! Time for dinner at the hostel with the cute mom and daughter Oregonians I met the other day. Hanging out with family travellers is great, it’s like a taste of home.
Venice is canals and bridges, cafés, gondoliers, my favourite drink spritz and yet somehow more then that.
It’s touristy, that’s true but it doesn’t take much more then a random turn into a narrow street to find yourself in silence.
For this I fell in love with the city, just a little.
Venice is full of tourists: every other shop sells leather handbags or postcards or masks (in case you forgot to buy one 8 meters ago) despite this Venice still has something. Cafés where drinking coffee is so much part of the daily routine there is a cheaper price to have your caffeine fix standing at the bar, same for your very important daily breaks with the inclusion of spritz a white wine orange bitters combination and cicchetti; individual fried fish or vegetable snacks.
First morning in the city I started with the free walking tour to learn such important facts as: None of the bridges in Venice used to have railings (eep), where to find the best gelato and also that at one time homosexuals were so common in the city the courtesans were bringing in less money- something the duke didn’t like. Solution? Order the courtesans to show their breasts to passing men.
I thought this was freaking hilarious-along with one other person in the group.
Important information ascertained myself and a great character I met on the tour headed off to complete the venice tourist checklist.
Eventually we found out way to st Marc’s piazza and had to check out the prices at cafe florian: venice a oldest cafe.
We made our way up the tower for views over the city.
Cross a few more canals and we made it to nicos for gianduiotto (only getting mildly lost). gianduiotto is a dense, chocolate hazelnut ice cream served in a cup with heaps of whipped cream. I took a picture of its deliciousness with my mouth. Whoops. I did get a photo of the sunset I saw while eating.