Welcome To Venice

March 23, 2018

By Tab Byrum

Join us today as our Italian adventure continues and we head north from Rome to Venice. On Tuesday morning we got up and headed to the Roma Termini train station where we caught our train to Venice and began a three day stay in one of the most unique and peaceful cities I’ve ever been in. Remember there are no cars in Venice as well as no motorcycles and not even bicycles, with all the bridges in the city linking neighborhood to neighborhood there’s no way to ride anything safely for yourself and the other inhabitants. While we were in Venice it seemed that the snow we had in Rome had followed us as we had a couple days of snow but once again we didn’t let that slow us down, we bundled up and headed out to experience something the people of Venice rarely see and enjoy. Today we are going to look at our first couple of days in Venice as we walked the narrow streets of “The Floating City”, rode our first gondola and experienced a city and it’s people who live surrounded by water and beauty. Enjoy!!!

Masks are synonymous with the city of Venice because of Carnival and the masked balls that have been and are still held in Venice. There are beautiful stores devoted entirely to the sale of masks, this was a board set up outside a market not far from our apartment. 

We arrived in Venice in the afternoon, checked into our apartment and began exploring and of course, it wasn’t long before sundown and Venice took on a whole different look and feel at night. This is looking up a random canal from one of the many bridges in the city. 

This was a small restaurant next door to the Venice Opera House, it was really like being on a movie set than in a real place. This is one of my favorite pictures we took. 

The next morning we woke up and it had been snowing in the night and everything was covered with a layer of the white stuff. We had decided that we were going to ride in a gondola today and hired one on a canal right outside our front door. Our gondolier’s name was William and he was awesome. If you ever do take a gondola ride make sure to tell them to stick to the smaller side canals as much as possible, that’s where you really get a sense of the city and an up-close look at it. 

Our greeter at the apartment had left us a list of 4 restaurants he recommended and we visited one of them on this day for lunch, on our way back to St. Mark’s Square we passed this awesome little bakery and coffee shop. Michael and Donna had coffees and I couldn’t resist these little meringue birds. They were little puffs of sweet air. Yum!!!

We made it to St. Mark’s Square, kind of the Times Square of Venice, and like all large cities, there are pigeons everywhere. Donna took a couple of potato chips from a young man and she was immediately mauled by a horde of pigeons. 

Here you can see St. Mark’s Basilica on the left and the famous Bell Tower on the right…

…and yes you can go to the top of the Bell Tower and see all over the island of Venice. This is looking down on the Square where we were feeding the pigeons.

And, this view is looking down on St. Mark’s Basilica from the Bell Tower.

After we came out of the Bell Tower we turned and went out to the main “gate” of Venice. Beyond the gate, you can see the San Giorgio Monastery which is on its own island.

A friend and client had told me to check out the Hotel Danieli in Venice because the lobby is amazing so this is where we decided to take a nice break during the afternoon. This photo is looking up from the lobby area of the hotel into the beautiful stained glass ceiling.

We headed over to the bar area where we settled into a lovely sofa and a couple of overstuffed chairs.

We ordered coffee, hot chocolate and a couple of beers and with that, they brought us some snacks. We sat, relaxed and just let it all soak in, a beautiful way to spend an hour during the afternoon in Venice. 

We continued walking along the waterfront and we spotted the famous Bridge of Sighs, this is the bridge that links the Doge’s Palace to the prison. I’ll tell you more about that later when I share our tour of the Basilica and the Palace. 

That evening we headed out for dinner and on our way, we spotted this candy shop. All of the candy is in giant barrels, a lot of it is jellied candy. You grab a bag and put whatever you want in the bag and it’s all the same price.

The candy came in all kinds of fun shapes like these fried eggs. 

You can get an idea of just how big these Gummi Bears were by looking at the tongs laying on top of them. HUGE!!!

We ended the night on the Rialto Bridge looking up and down the Grand Canal. It had been a beautiful day in a beautiful city and we weren’t done. 

Check back later this morning for a second post where I share our adventures and images from a snowy day in Venice.

Words and images are my own.

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