Venice the start of our cultural stay

A  little catch up here, we manage to get the car out of the medieval doors at the Palazzo and deliver the car without any additional scratches back to AVIS. I must say Phew!!

We make a smooth transition into the train for Venice S. Lucia station and only 8 hours later, with Tanya managing the trip like a trooper we arrive to a slightly drizzly afternoon.

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A few short bridges over the canals and we have arrived at our apartment. Again the GPS runs just short of our destination but Tanya finds the important Gelateria which is meant to be next door and we move in. It is a gorgeous apartment looking out on one of the significant churches here in Venice Chiesa Frari ( which says a lot as there are many churches here). We do a quick shop for breakfast essentials and as we head home, our eyes are drawn to the plate of some diners. It’s a tiny restaurant but it’s early enough that they can take us.

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It turns out to be a plate of local specialties and we dive in. The very friendly and fun waiter with cute curly salt and pepper hair recommends one more local specialty dish and as it is a pickled sardine with onion and another with balsamic vinegar both on a little polenta pillow, we give it a try.

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That was yummy, we head back and crash pretty early. Tomorrow is meant to be dry and good for exploring. We have a pretty good feel about Venice.

The stay starts a bit wet, but a nice pistachio croissant and a latte makes a good breaky . We arrange to meet Elisabetta who has bought us tickets for the opening night of “Turandot “ at the Theatro de Fenice. This has been a very generous and trusting gesture , she brings Booba her Dalmatian to our meeting and Tanya and she have a lovely Prosecco, Booba has some potato chips and I have another latte.

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The shops are just incredible, hand made Venetian masks, lots of different shops with the Venetian, Murano glass, hand made and decorated paper it is really gobsmacking beautiful !

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I simply fall in love with the paper shops, the intricate boxes and letter holders, business cards, writing paper and pens. The amount of work and creative talent this would take is amazing.

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We get to understand why taking photos is frowned on greatly as it seems there is a lot of cheap non hand made knock offs appearing on the market from the vast Chinese tourism coming to Venice each summer.

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We really feast our eyes on the amazing creations, each shop offering something completely different.

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Some of the churches have been converted to Museums and concert halls, acoustics sounding so soft and beautiful to the ear as they play classical music when we visit.

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Of course we can not resist some edible goodies as we go along. Pretty frequently as we pick little alleys some not much wider than two people worth, we come across bridges on lovely Venetian canals and when they are big, enough some Gondoliers taking people around.

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Tanya was a bit worried that the gondoliers were not being used much, but we soon see that this is not the case and occasionally a gondola traffic jam occurs.

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We see lots of incredible buildings and although we feel there are a lot of people around, we soon find out from a very friendly Murano glass shop assistant Mateo that Venice at the moment is “dead”. From June the town that has 50K inhabitants swells with a million tourists a day. Apparently you don’t get to walk the streets of Venice you shuffle shoulder to shoulder mostly jostling for forward motion. He says it becomes quite horrible and Venice is choking with tourists in summer.

We end up spending quite a bit of time with him, as he is very willing to share a lot of information and gives us some good restaurant recommendations close to our apartment.

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We pop out on the piazza San Marco , busy but still lots of standing room that is free which allows for a selfie  🙂

 

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