Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Venice, Italy

 Our last day in Venice was spent exploring the area between St. Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge. In my opinion late April or early May is the best time to visit Venice. The crowds are down and the weather is wonderful. Most tourists seem to go in the summertime when the heat is stifling and the canals are fermenting. Not a good combination!
I loved the narrow "streets" on our way from one area to the other. It seemed impossible that women in the 1800's could have negotiated these streets with their huge dresses. 
 The Rialto Bridge is both beautiful to see for the first time and distressing at the same time. Graffiti isn't reserved for freeway overpasses here, anything is fair game, even historic treasures like this one. But it's impossible not to be totally romanced by the view.

We ate at Al Busco located right on the edge of the bridge which gave us some beautiful views of "rush hour" as the business day came to an end. Water busses, taxis, private boats and gondolas negotiate rush hour with grace.
 It was amazing to be sitting in a spot where thousands of years have passed and thousands of others have stood where I was standing. Being American, this isn't something we have a lot of here in the US. The only things we have that have been around for thousands of years are natural formations and dinosaur fossils!
 The gondoliers get going around mid morning and go until late in the evening. So, as the day progresses, you get a much better look at these boats and their ornate decoration.
 This was the view from our dinner table. In Italy you are encouraged to sit for hours and enjoy your meal. In fact, if you rush through your meal or only eat one course, they consider you to be very rude. So make the time to really enjoy the world going buy while you are spoiled by some really wonderful food.
 At night Venice seems like it's all about romance. Those who chose to eat at more Italian times are filling up the restaurants, couples are strolling the walkways and gazing over the beautiful Grand Canal.
 Glittering lights, gondolas skimming the canal, the music of the restaurants and the chatter of the diners make the whole experience very romantic.
 As we traveled back to our hotel and away from the tourist areas we were thrilled by the serenity of the canal. 
Our last stop, as we changed buses, we were treated by a light show by one of the hotels. This hotel had a revolving light display that went through about 7 different colors. Totally fun. By this time it was almost midnight and our boat for the airport was leaving at 4am. You could say that we were very reluctant to leave Venice. Honestly, it is one of the places in the world that I can't wait to return to and explore further!


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