Magical Venice Grand Canal boat ride!

Trip Start Mar 15, 2012
Trip End Mar 31, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 10 - evening

It was almost 6:00pm when we boarded our private boat for a cruise down the famous "Grand Canal" past illuminated palazzo and twinkling chandeliers way up to St. Mark's Square.

Along the route as I looked behind us, the sunset was illuminating the entire horizon with its various color shades.  What a sight it was set against Venice’s architectural structures.  Talk about perfect timing! 

Many gondolas passed right next to us allowing me to have a really good look at the famous boat and at the same time giving me a feeling of life around this water floating city.  The water was calm and not agitated but the breeze was starting to be cool!  Still, the cruise down this Grand Canal was greatly enjoyed!

Looking straight in front of me as we continued cruising the Grand Canal, many bridges were past under but the most amazing one was the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge across the canal made out of stone with rows of shops and several arches.  It was completed in 1591 replacing previous ones dating as far as the 12th century. Interesting facts!   I made a mental note that I definitely had to come back here and inspect it more closely, like walk on it!

Half an hour later, we had arrived at St. Mark’s Square where we followed Ernesta to the “Gran Caffe Chioffa” situated close to the Grand Canal.  Several musicians were already playing beautiful Italian music near the restaurant’s entrance giving a romantic mood to the whole setup! 

We sat on the outside terrace and were immediately served with alcoholic drinks and pretzels!  All of this was part of this optional excursion that we had paid extra for!  I don’t remember the name of the drink that I ordered but it was definitely good.  It was pink in color and that’s all that mattered!  Ha, ha, ha! 

Not being one of those people who can sit still very long and do absolutely nothing…..after all I wasn’t here just to drink…..we quickly finished our drinks and left the café with the intentions of exploring our surroundings.    I absolutely wanted to see the Danieli Hotel and after inquiring to our guide its location, that’s exactly where we headed to….just a couple of blocks away!

The hotel stood up to its famous reputation!  It was more than fabulous, it was incredibly FABULOUS!  The front security guard allowed me entrance to the lounge and time to walk up the famous stairs as Michel took several pictures of me in the process.  It was a scene right out of the movies!  Ha, ha, ha!  Actually, the lobby was a scene which appeared in the movie “The Tourist” which Michel and I attentively watched just before coming here to Italy!   So now you know!   This was the reason why I really wanted to see this hotel in person!

Leaving the hotel, dusk had settled in.  I was happy because it allowed me to capture that special light when taking pictures!   And of course, I took several of them when we passed right next to the Bridge of Sighs made out of white limestone with stone bars windows. 

Having been built in 1602, the Bridge of Sighs connected the Rio di Palazzo to the New Prison and was the last view that the convicts saw of Venice through the windows before their imprisonment.  Interesting facts!    

And then, it was pitched black.  We walked along the canal for a while looking at the many gondolas attached to the wooden piers as they rocked endlessly from the waves created by the passing boats.  The lights around us made the city come alive at night as they reflected on the surface of the Grand Canal!  It was much cooler but I was kept warm with my jacket.

It was 8:00pm when we left St. Mark’s Square.  A much faster route was taken for our way back to the hotel, a short cut in other words!   Still having a bit of energy left inside of me, Michel and I walked for a while around the hotel, just enjoying a peaceful and relaxing evening stroll in Venice!    Right next to me, the reflective lights of the buildings were dancing on the water’s surface of the Grand Canal!

Venice was quite magical but even more at night!

Monique   :-)

Statistics for the day
-            Italian Lakes to Verona:   3 hours
-            Verona to Venice:    1 hour 45 minutes

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