08 May 2011

A Venezia


Venice...one crazy place. Arriving on a Saturday meant being thrown directly into the cruise traveler masses...it was insanely busy here. I hadn't been to Venice in about 13 years, and while I don't think much has changed, it was like seeing it again through all new eyes. 

I do know last I was here, it was not this crowded. I know this has a lot to do with the time of year (I was here in November), the cruise day, and, oh yeah, the Pope, who decided his fist visit to Venice (the first by a pope since 1985) should coincide with high season and our vacation! This put a little cramp on things,but we managed!

Upon arrival we jumped right into a vaporetto (water bus) to take us to our hotel. The 1 Lido arrived to Ca' d' Oro, about a 5 minute walk to our hotel. A pretty majestic way to arrive!  It took us a few minutes to finally find our actual hotel- Hotel Georgione - and once we did, we dumped our stuff and thought it would be a good idea to head to San Marco, since we weren't sure of the Pope's schedule.

I describe easily how crowded it was...akin to Disneyland on a summer weekend. We jostled our way through the little streets, and eventually arrived to piazza San Marco.  This is quite an awesome sight...a huge, old basilica sitting right on the water's edge, offering views to four or five other beautiful churches. Amazing. San Marco was all set up for the arrival of Papa Benedetto, with security and barricades all over. The Basilica was also closed -- a real bummer as I don't think I went into it last time, either.

We continued our wandering, and headed to the other side of Venice, near the Accademia. We passed another big church set up for the arrival of the pope, and continued down to the end of the land, ending up at this weird statue -- a young boy, naked, holding a frog...and a security guard or two not allowing anyone near it.  So weird.

All this wandering made us pretty tired, so it was back to the hotel for a nap, followed by dinner, more walking, and bed!

Sunday was decidedly less crowded in Venice... We originally wanted to take a grand canal tour, but things were closed thanks to the pope. Instead we hopped back on the vaporetto 1 Lido, and took it to the end of the line, all the way to Lido. I am sure there is still to see there --  think some sandy beaches -- but we noticed that the grand canal was closing for the Papa, and we wanted to get back before that happened. Mom wanted to take a water taxi back, and of course we did! 

For 50E, we got our own little tour. The taxi took us out and around the city, where we could see San Michelle (I think it's a cemetery) and Murano. Must say, it was a pretty awesome way to travel! The rest of the day was spent shopping, walking, and having a spritz or two (spritz is a popular drink here...refreshing to me but bitter in taste, so not for everyone). 

Our last evening was at a little restaurant owned by GiGi (Luigi), right near our hotel. The gnocchi was one of the best I've had here...clearly very fresh and yummy! We watched the sunset from the Rialto, then headed back with one last gelato.

Tony left very early this morning, and now mom & I are packed up and heading to the airport, too. We get to go by water taxi... So cool! It has been a really fantastic trip... I'm a little sad to go home, but my body is looking forward to walking with a light purse (the big @ss camera gets heavy!), running a bit, and not eating food drenched with delicious olive oil! (my palate, however, is very much going to miss it)

2 comments:

Keltie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hellokeltie said...

UGH! Can't you stay longer? I love reading these and dreaming about being there too. I want to stay on your vacation longer! :)