Venice is a great city just to meander and wander around. No cars, traffic lights, horns honking - well a few boats do have horns and of course there were the 2 boat drivers having a bit of 'water rage' when we first left the train station - yelling at each other for about 5 minutes while we decided NOT to take the water taxi (€80!) and walk the 20 mins to our apartment. Speaking of our apartment, it was right on the grand canal a bit north of the Rialto bridge. And I mean right on the canal - we could almost reach out and touch the water. It was quite amazing to see the amount of traffic going by here all day - the vaporetto (water buses), ambulances, boats delivering produce to the stores, garbage 'trucks', police, EVERYTHING in the city is done by boat.
View from our window:
We hit the main tourist sites - including St. Marks Basilica - again an amazing church lined with gold mosaic tiles for which no picture can do it justice.
The intricately tiled floor made me think this would be a good place to do a lesson on tessellations (Math 8)
Even convinced Garry to take the 'cheesy' gondola ride - at night when the canals were peaceful and calm and ultra-romantic (hah!).
Most complaints about Venice are about the overload of tourists which is likely helping to cause the island to sink lower into the sea! However, without tourists I'm not sure there would be a Venice.
Almost all our accommodation for this trip was booked through Airbnb and if you haven't used it before I'd recommend it. Most of them were apartments with kitchens and living rooms; quite a range of quality but the range went from very good to excellent. You also need to check the details carefully including bed arrangement - lots will claim that the couch is a bed.
All in all Italy is like one great big museum/art gallery/history lesson and even though we missed lots it was wonderful to see some of the major works (Sistine chapel/David). The food has less variety and less spice than you would generally associate with Italian food - I guess what we eat are all 'americanized' versions. We were pretty done with pasta and pizza by the end of our trip.
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