Of Venetian Vaporetti and Vinotecas

Trip Start May 24, 2010
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Thursday, June 24, 2010

We arrived in Venice mid-day and then caught the vaporetti, Venice's public transit fleet, to our hotel near St. Mark’s Square. Our hotel was on one floor of a former palace with a grand chandeliered common room.  After getting situated in our room, we set out for lunch.  We grabbed lunch at a sandwich place a couple blocks off St. Mark’s Square.  Wanting to relax and take a break from all the tourists, we then proceeded to wander around the back streets of Venice, figuring it’s an island so we can’t get that lost.  Creighton was surprised at how many dead-ends there are but he quickly adapted his navigation skills (i.e. started using the map).  After wandering for awhile, we found a vinoteca recommended by Kelly’s fabulous friend Annie.  It serves 2 euro liters of wine in whatever container you bring in and also offers generous samples.  We filled up a water bottle and set up for a vaporetti cruise of the Grand Canal.  We enjoyed seeing all of the palaces along the canal and the obelisks placed above certain ones to denote the houses of former Venetian five-star admirals.  Creighton liked the former Turkish "Fondaco" Exchange which is now the natural history museum.  Kelly enjoyed the Ca’ d’Oro (House of Gold) in its lacey Venetian Gothic architecture.  After the cruise, we went to see a concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (one of Creighton’s favorite classical works).  It was a very good performance of the piece.  Kelly really enjoyed the passionate lead violinist.  We ended the evening with a nice canal-side dinner.  The food was okay but the ambiance more than made up for it as we watched gondoliers glide by.  We returned back to our hotel to find a festival celebrating one of the saints in the square outside our hotel.  We listened to the music for a while and then retired for the evening.

The next day, we wondered around town to the Accademia Bridge and then caught the vaporetti to the Rialto Bridge in search of the Rialto market.  At the market, Kelly enthusiastically purchased some cherries for herself and cherry tomatoes for Creighton.  We then returned to St. Mark’s square, snacking on our market treats along the way.  At the square, we decided on a light lunch at one of the venues on the square with a small orchestra playing music.  There Creighton had a tea-time special with small sandwiches and scones, which was served on a large silver platter, catching the eye of many onlookers.  Afterwards, we toured St. Mark’s Basilica.  Inside we purchased admission to tour the Treasury Room with complementary audio guides.  Unfortunately, we were told that all of the audio guides were broken.  No more than ten steps into our tour did we overhear another group listening to an English audio guide.  Creighton figures that with all of the admission fees we’ve paid to the Catholic Church that we should have gotten our complementary audio guide.  Kelly was surprised by the many relics featuring Saints bones, fingers and teeth.  Creighton told her she should audit all of the relics to see how many fingers and toes each Saint “really” had.  For dinner that evening, we found a nice, homey Italian restaurant specializing in rustic pasta with seafood, Osteria al Mascaron.  After dinner, Creighton treated Kelly to one of Venice’s top gelaterias, La Boutique del Gelato, where we enjoyed the lemon gelato.  To cap off our last evening in Venice, we took a gondola ride.  It was a quiet evening and the full-moon added to the enjoyable, romantic experience.

We had one last day to spend in Venice as we were taking a night train to Vienna.  We checked out of our hotel and stashed our bags at the train station before heading out to explore some islands surrounding Venice: Murano and Burano.  We spent the afternoon enjoying the blown glass in Murano and the colorfully painted houses in Burano.  After three days and 300+ photographs (luckily for our readers, we've uploaded only the best), we caught the night train to Vienna.
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Mary Anne Wherry on

This is the best travel blog! I feel like I'm there. Venice is such a special city-there's just no place like it, and you've brought back so many terrific memories! I love how much you are enjoying everything! The "tea table" picture is so great of both of you!
Have some Sacher Torte for me in Vienna!

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