Leaving the beautiful hill country of Italy behind we head through the coastal mountains to the unique Islands of Venice in the Adriatic Sea. We have now been on the shores of the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea!
The terrain is reminiscent of the California coastal mountains, but the towns have their own unique Italian flavor!
Joanne is on a kick taking pictures of tunnels. It seems that tunnels are preferable to any other technique for getting through the mountains. I think that her fascination with tunnels is linked to the concept of surprise when exiting the tunnel. You never know what to expect at the end – and there are a lot of tunnels! The tunnels are up to 7.5 miles long and you always wonder what the new view will be like.
Our campground in Venice (on the land, but only 4km from the Island city of Venice) is really fancy, but full of 20 something’s wanting to party every night…sleep is difficult here. We have found that municipal campgrounds offer the most enjoyable camping.
CAMP SITE VENICE
We get up in the morning and take the shuttle to the monorail and the monorail to the island. The monorail delivers us and we walk with a couple from Australia to the Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge i.e. famous landmark). They are veterans in the Venice world as they arrived yesterday! We head for the famous St. Marks Square. It is early and the Square is not crowded yet…it will be in a couple of hours!
There are 5 cruise ships emptying their holds of thousands of passengers/tourists and by noon we will be jostled, pushed, and shoved through extremely narrow streets. Buildings are hanging over us with no street going more than 50 yards before dissolving into corners, bends, or just terminating at another canal or Ponte.
SAN MARCOS SQUARE
We visit St Marks, Musee’ Academia, Correr Museum and the Doge’s Palace. Frankly, at this point in the trip, we are more interested in the people, culture, scenery, and dodging the latest umbrella toting tour guide and their aggressive mob trailing behind them.
VENICE CITY STREET
Joanne is fascinated by the incredible mosaics filling San Marcos Cathedral; I by the spot that Charlemagne was crowned emperor (I stood there); she by the Etruscan Pottery (infinite Etruscan Pottery) from 500 BC; I by the fact that almost all of the 1st story of every building is unoccupied due to the flooding problems. We have a few more opinions, but I won’t bore you!
Day Two: We were bothered by the fact that we were not “taken” by Venice the day before, so we decided to go further afield and try seeing Venice from the water…after all, that is what makes this place really unique. We board the Slow Vaporetto to San Marcos, then hop the #47 to Murano for a myriad of glass blowing factories!
VAPORETTO IN GRAND CANAL
As you can see below, Murano is really a picturesque place! We walk all over the island, we eat, we attend a very interesting glass blowing demonstration (FREE) and buy some stuff (NOT FREE).
Off to the Lace Island of Burano. I am not taken with lace, but I think the island is incredibly photographic! Joanne IS taken by lace, and finds the island to be quiet, peaceful and loves the leaning towers and pastel painted houses and flowers.
OK, we didn’t really like Venice as a walking destination for many reasons. We DID LIKE Venice from the water and I think we found the “heart” of Venice there!
The next post will be Cortina, Italy in the Dolomites and Vienna with our friends Stephen and Charlotte!