Arrival in Venice
We took the train from Florence and arrived 2 hours later in Venice. Our arrangements for a hotel private water taxi went well and we had no problems getting to the hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, we did have a few problems only because they assigned us to a room that wasn’t ready. We opened the door to the room, found the window open with a stunning view but then discovered that the bed and nightstands were moved around to avoid a large wet spot in the carpet. Fortunately we were able to work things out and move to another room – also with a stunning view. Here are our first moments in Venice.
Venice is spectacular. Our hotel is on the island of Giudecca so we overlook the most beautiful parts of Venice – namely, Santa Croce and San Marco. Over the course of 3 days, we saw no less than 6 huge cruise ships in the lagoon – they’re usually massive and tend to dwarf most of what you see from Venice. In addition, at this time of year, the tourists are rampant and populate most of the touristy parts of the city. Here are a few photos of the most popular areas.
Venice Photo Tour
Prior to our arrival, we had arranged for a photo tour of Venice with a local photographer, Marc De Tollenaere (http://www.photowalkinvenice.com). On his website, he promised to take his clients to non-touristy and hidden locations in the city – boy was he right. He’s an expert on Venetian history and also a professional photographer offering fantastic photographic insights. He’s also written books about the legends of the gondola. As a result, we first visited the workshop of Paolo who is the chief artisan constructing the gondola oars and the sculpted wooden brackets holding the oar. Here are some of the shots in Paolo’s workshop. By the way, Marc prefers black and white photography so I was able to practice that way as well.
We next visited a costume shop that Marc frequents with his clients. Fortunately for us, there were two young men trying on costumes that their mother had chosen. It was definitely a show to behold.
On our way to other remote sights of the city, we met a gondolier on his break and of course, I had to ask for his permission to take his photo – he modeled pretty well, don’t you think?
We spent the next several hours touring some very remote and historic areas of Venice. For each location, Marc had incredible insights into the importance of the area and impressive stories of its history. Here are some of those photos.
The Food in Venice
We had some terrific meals while we were in Venice. The seafood, of course, is always at the top of every menu. We dined at Da Ivo, La Caravella, and a small canal sided restaurant on Giudecca – all of which were great. Each experience was different but always memorable. Here’s a sampling of some of the meals.
All in all, we had a wonderful time in Venice. The people were great, the food was great, and we were able to see some very intimate aspects of the city. Yes, it was extremely crowded – especially on Saturday. Despite that we very much enjoyed our time there.
Check back for more of our voyage updates as we begin our cruising on the Adriatic and Mediterranean visiting Croatia and more.
A few final photos.