We are excited to be sailing into Venice today. We have been told that we will board the pilot around 10 where we will be pulled by a tug thru the canals, first San Marco, then Giudecca then Di Fusina.
For the sail in it is great to be on the Starboard Side but being out on the open decks is great too and you really get a full perspective of the grandness of the area.
After spending about an hour out on the open decks we went back to the cabin to enjoy some wine and watch sail in from our cabin balcony.
When we docked it took very little time to get clearance and we were off running – well not literally running but we were not going to waste any time.
We walk thru the port building across the parking/drop off areas and towards the people mover. The cost for it is 1.5 E each and we take it one stop. Hmm that was very short and we see it is definitely walkable.
Around the bend and we are at the Piazzale Roma which is the main bus terminal where the buses from the mainland come and go out of. There are no vehicles on the islands of Venice.
|or you can buy them at the automated machines|
Now it does look like a maze here, but the big screen displays what Vaporetto is coming in and what berth you have to go to. For most tourists you will need the line 1 that is the slower boat but takes you to St. Mark’s Sq. Or line 2 that is faster and will also take you to St. Mark’s Sq (but note some end at Rialto, just look at the sign on the valparetto). You can also catch Line 2 going in the other direction too.
But for us right now we want line 1 and we are going to follow Rick Steve’s Grand Canal Tour from his book but also from his Audio Guide. We take a seat right at the back and follow along. Wow I am in Venice.
We get off just past St. Mark’s Square and walk across the bridge (one of many) and walk into St. Mark’s Square.
It is busy but I know this is nothing compared to what it is during high season. We do the Square’s tour with the Rick’s book and learn about the square and the buildings and the history.
We are meeting up with our friends Julia and Jo who have flown in from England for the weekend. Originally friends of ours Kim and Norma would have been joining us and Julia and Jo know them even more and it would have been the six of us but when they had to cancel we were going to make sure to include Kim and Norma as much as we could.
So stay tuned to see how they participated.
We spot Julia and Jo and big hugs and catch up is necessary so we thought why not really go all out and check out Caffe Florian which is right in the square. We opt to eat inside cause it is stunning. The walls, the ceiling the floor, well every surface is ornate and painted – a mini Sistine Chapel.
This caffe is known as one of the first places in Europe to serve coffee. Casanova, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens and Woody Allen have all been served here.
|this is a ship's excursion for gondola rides|
it is a caravan of boats
|this is better, cost is 80E for a ride|
and holds up to six
We decide to head to Jo and Julia’s hotel which is near the Rialto Bridge so they can drop off the mugs and we can all use the washroom. They have a lovely central hotel that is quite reasonable.
On to the next place which is quite small but very decorative and well the wine is kicking in and we are all laughing and having a great time. I even try a pickled onion sandwiched between an anchovy --- note I don’t like anchovies but heck I am Venice and I should try new things. I did and well I still really don’t like anchovies but it was fun.
|okay here it goes|
|yuk,wash it down with a lot of wine|
We all say goodbye to Alessandro and then the six of us (Bonnie/Jim/Jo and Julia) all head to a restaurant that was recommended to us by the Head Waiter in our dining room. And what is funny is the last bar stop we looked to the right and there it was. Restaurant is Calle Della Madonna at S. Polo 594 very close to the Rialto Bridge.
What is funny here is you see this small opening for the door and then you enter and it is huge with many rooms with waiters buzzing around.
Of course more wine is order. For my meal I get the recommendation of pasta with beans and it is something I have never had before but was so damn good. Also very reasonable in price. Make sure you ask for the house wine served by the litre or half litre, very good and very economical.
We put out a room service breakfast order and set our alarm clock and as soon as our head hits the pillow we are out.
I will add that the weather was perfect. It was quite foggy first thing in the morning but it burned off nicely for our arrival. Once away from the water and on shore it was very warm, sunny but a light jacket is necessary. Once the sun goes down it does get cool and I wore my light jacket, long sleeve top and I used my pashmina as a scarf or over my shoulders when necessary. You definitely feel the dampness.