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Venice 2018

From the airport on the mainland, we took the Alilaguna boat to Venice.
Our first glimpses of Venice from the Alilaguna boat.
Ruth at "our" stop for both the Alilaguna and the vaporetto (water bus). The San Stae stop in the San Polo district of Venice.

As this was our first visit to Venice, we were not certain what location would be best for our apartment. Traveling with friends, Deb and Kenny, we had read much, and decided on this San Polo location. It proved to be ideal! It was a reasonable walk to the Rialto Bridge, and on to Piazza San Marco. It was also convenient to take the vaporetto if walking wasn't feasible. We arrived a couple of hours ahead of Deb and Kenny, so entertained ourselves taking photos along the Grand Canal at the San Stae stop.

A vaporetto (water bus) passing the San Stae stop.
Top left: a "pickup truck" - a boat used to transport goods, construction materials, etc. Top center and right: Across the Grand Canal. Bottom left: A small canal from the bridge on the way to our apartment. Bottom right: An ambulance turns from the Grand Canal to a side canal.
Deb (and Kenny) arrive at the San Stae vaporetto stop. Deb broke both feet several weeks before the trip to Italy, so struggled along on crutches.
Small canals near our apartment.

Kenny and I had agreed to get up early to walk to Piazza San Marco to try to photograph the sunrise, and to see it without the usual crowds. Unfortunately, he set his alarm for the wrong time, so, after waiting a bit for him to appear, I headed out alone. I walked to the Rialto Bridge, where I saw the lights on the bridge, and had to stop for a photograph. I was photobombed by the bird at top center.

Rialto Bridge just before sunrise.
Rialto, from the Rialto Bridge

Piazza San Marco is normally filled with visitors. An early arrival allowed a glimpse of it with only a few people (and lots of pigeons) around.

Basilica San Marco and the Campanile (bell tower), silhouetted by the light of the rising sun.
Behind the scenes, Piazza San Marco
The Doge's Palace, with the rising sun illuminating San Giorgio Maggiore in the background.
Sunrise over the waiting gondolas with the church San Giorgio Maggiore in background.
The Campanile
Basilica San Marco at sunrise, with pigeons

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace (below left) with the prison (below right). It is said the name comes from those who were condemned by the Doge (the ducal ruler of Venice) in the palace, who walked across the bridge to the prison, pausing on the bridge to peer out the small windows for a last glimpse at their beloved Venice before proceeding to the cells. The tour of the Doge's Palace also allows for a trip across the Bridge of Sighs and tour of the prison.

The Bridge of Sighs
Contrary to appearances, the Rialto Bridge has three paths across the Grand Canal. One on the outside, each side of the shops which line the bridge, and one down the center of the bridge (from which you can not see the canal).
Gondolas at Rialto
A few things of interest while returning from the early morning visit to Piazza San Marco.
Top left: Looking down on a canal from the top floor of the Doge's Palace. Top right: Kenny taking a photo from inside the Bridge of Sighs. Bottom left: Ruth looks into one of the cells in the prison. Bottom right: From under the arched walkway, across the courtyard in the Doge's Palace.
Left: Ruth and Scott outside the Basilica. Right: Kenny, Deb and Ruth in front of the Bridge of Sighs.
Gondolas pass under the Bridge of Sighs

Sending Deb and Ruth off by vaporetto to the location where we had booked a gondola ride, Kenny and I walked, stopping at the Alta Acqua Bookshop. The shop has a gondola full of books in the entry, and it is a maze of rooms, filled with books. It also has a back door that opens directly on a canal (see photo below), and a staircase made of books.

Kenny and I continued our walk to our meeting point with Ruth and Deb. We were to meet at a square where we would also meet our gondolier, "Lucky" Luca. Luca had been highly praised on Trip Advisor, so we had booked a ride with him in advance. We were not disappointed. Luca gave us a lovely ride around the quieter canals, and serenaded us with a traditional Venetian song. He has inherited his gondolier's license, which is license number 3 - one of the oldest in Venice.

"Lucky" Luca

The next day we took the vaporetto to the nearby island of Burano - known for making fine lace, and for the colorful houses along its many canals.

After riding the vaporetto back to Venice, we took another to the island of San Giorgio, where we hoped to see the sun set over Piazza San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore. We were disappointed by the sunset, as it was too cloudy, but it was a wonderful evening and a beautiful view!

Ciao!

Created By
Scott Thomas
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All photos © 2018 Scott Thomas, except as noted. For more information http://scottthomasimages.com

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