A Most Beautiful Ciy on a Most Beautiful Day

Trip Start Mar 26, 2011
Trip End May 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Venezia Mestre

Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Saturday, April 2, 2011

Up early this morning, had breakfast a little past 7 am and was out with the others at 8 am to go into old Venice.  We took a bus from Mestre to the bus station in Venice.    Our tour leader Erwin offered to lead us around to the Piazza San Marco and said we could accompany him to some of the other places he was intending to go.  One couple--they come to Venice each year for Carnivale-- went their own way and the rest of us followed our leader.  It was a perfect spring day ...sunny and warm.  By the afternoon, I had taken off both jacket and sweater and was hot in my leggings.

We walked along many canals and I think I took a picture of almost all of them.  Each scene had its own charm...either a reflection in the water, a gondola, a police boat or some colorful laundry hanging.  Lots of the laundry seemed color coordinated....interesting.  We went into the Basilica San Marco and some of us went upstairs to see the horses brought from Constantinople.  We saw the Doge's Palace and some of us went inside too but Betty from the US and I both missed the major part of the Palace because we misunderstood what was there...there was no map or brochure to go with our entrance ticket.  We visited quite a few churches and admired the marble and paintings and mosaics.  These are quite splendid.  All in all, Venice is one of those special magical places....at least today..The light was so bright...there was a little haze.  The water in the canals is such a special feature and so are the small alleyways between some of the campos or piazzas.

We stopped in one square to have some lunch.  One of the downsides to Venice is the price of food and drinks.  I had a sandwich which was OK but not special and a tonic water for lunch.  The glass of tonic water was approximately 5 dollars, the same as my sandwich.  We had a nice dinner in an outside courtyard.  I only had a main course....can't quite get used to all the courses here....of fried mixed fish (and seafood) with polenta.  It had lots of calamari which is what I wanted but didn't see on the menu so I was really happy.  I tried some grappa after dinner and Martin insisted I try it with espresso....maybe that is why I am still up at 12:30.  Oh, I also had a wonderful hazelnut gelato cone mid-afternoon.  Why don't we have hazelnut ice cream in the US?  We did quite a bit of walking all around the main island of Venice.  I did get to see the cemetery island of San Michele across the Laguna and some of the other islands but didn't get to Murano.  Since I only had this one full day in Venice, it seemed better to get a free walking tour and just familiarize myself with Venice rather than to try to rush around.  I wonder how some of my photos turned out.  Now that I am with a group, it is harder to spend those long evenings processing photos.

Hmmm, it was a great day,....lovely weather, lovely scenery.  I was totally enchanted with Venice.  Oh, I remember my other major observation.   I wish I had brought along one of Donna Leon's mystery series because I kept recalling pieces of the various stories....the murder of the African handbag seller, the coroner doing autopsy's in the basement of the Civile Hospitale, the ugly murders in Mestre and how the policemen ride in the police boat and the vaporettos.  It has added a dimension to this day's outing even though it didn't really familiarize me that well with the city.  I wished I could remember where Commissario Brunetti lunched because he knew where the best food was.  But I was quite happy with my food here....not so happy with the prices but I guess ambiance is worth a lot..

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