’23 Sep: Venice

We Made It

After a long loong time, and one does lose track of time when traveling long distances, we made it, Venice, Italy. Just like the movies.

Our flight wasn’t until 5pm on the 9th, which means being up all day fussing around, feeling very civilized. From getting dropped off at the airport (thanks Lucas) to sitting at the gate in LAX = 7 (SEVEN) minutes. We had boarding passes, TSA-Pre, and no luggage to check. We never stopped walking! And the BA flight LAX-Heathrow was surprisingly Just Fine. The connection in Heathrow was less delightful, we were a little tired for lines, and by then we’d been awake for so long, all through our ‘night’, then we had to look forward to a 5 hour layover, a 3 hour flight, and a water taxi transfer into town.

In the Venice International Airport (called Marco Polo, I always say it twice), the below is a picture of the floor outside the ladies room.

We pre-booked the transfer from the airport to town. We got a water taxi, known in Venice as a taxi, and the ride was our first highlight of the trip. The woman picked us at the gate and escorted us to the docks where our boat and driver were waiting. They were charming, helpful, and informative.

Here come some more pictures of the ride.

By now it’s 11pm and the band in Piazza San Marco plays on!

We hauled our bags up those many steep and narrow stairs (that’s Windy at the tippy-top)… It feels like mountain climbing… Who put those bricks in my backpack?

The view from one of our bedroom windows. Today, the 10th was Windy’s birthday although we didn’t do much of a celebratory nature since we spent the whole time getting from one place to another. We will have to declare some other day her birthday!

Piazza San Marco And Surrounds

Plusses and Minuses. We live right off Piazza San Marco, it’s down a small street that is always packed, and then it’s a quick turn into a dark narrow alley between buildings large enough for one person to walk, and we’ve never seen another person there, which enters into a small courtyard where we find the hidden door to our flat. We rarely hear street noise but walk for 10 seconds and BAM you are in the river of people with no choice but to sidle yourself into that river.

We enjoyed the Correr Museum today and with the entrance you also have access to the Archeological Museum and the Marciana National Library. These three museums face St. Mark Square and are connected to each other. We spent a couple hours in the morning, had some lunch at the Museum Café so we could go back in and finish looking around. With the inexpensive Museum Pass you can go to all the civic museums anytime you want, skip the line, but only once.

It’s not one of the most popular museums, for 5 seconds we even had the whole ballroom to ourselves, but it is very well regarded.

The rest of these pictures are not in a particular order from the three museums, they’re just things I happen to like, like globes! These things were amazing, and featured in several of the rooms showing what the world was like in that particular era, this being two of them.

The one on the left was a huge painting with about 15 major characters and all of a sudden that little guy on the upper right poked my eye with a stick. The cards are a very old tarot deck, tarot having first been known in Italy in the 1400s.

The old and the new.

You can see these figures from the back and from the front reflected in the mirror. I forget their story but they are quite lovely.

Following are some pictures from a walk to the market, and the end of our first day in Venice.

So Much Walking

Venice is made for walking but after hour after hour, I reached my walking limit. Hey, let’s do what everyone else does and ride the vaporetto. We are now vaporetto-ridin’ fools!

Below are maps of 2 of the many lines. It’s not particularly fast and it’s not particularly comfortable but they surely save you some steps!

You can see one here.

Our first destination was the Rialto Bridge and on the way we ran into the morning commercial tasks such as restocking and sanitation.

And gathering up the tourists.

Ah, yes, just like the pictures…

..and offers the classic Venice view of and from the Rialto Bridge.

Some sites on the way to the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

We weren’t much taken with the Basilica except they did have a couple of Titian’s works. We didn’t stay long but rather moved along to LUNCH.

We asked the woman who picked us up at the airport what was her favorite restaurant. And we went there! It was pretty good, a nice homey place specializing in fish. I got sardines and onions. YUM.

This picture reminded me of lunch…

We came back to Piazza San Marco for our visit to The Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. I thought the displays were very well done and I came out of it with a feeling for the era of the Doge. Now is a good time I think to read the wikipedia article.

This is inside the palace walls.



..after room of this.

You have to go through the whole HUGE palace and then you can walk across The Bride of Sighs and into the jails. This is the Bridge of Sighs from outside.

In the square, I forget right now where it leads.

We staggered our way home and made a tasty and well-balanced meal out of scraps in the refrigerator.

A View And Murano

We made our way over to an upscale shopping block called T Fondaco dei Tedeschi where, if you made a reservation weeks in advance, you could spend 15 minutes on their roof. We did, and it was great and more than worth its cost of nothing!

Above is the magnificent Basilica of San Marco/St Mark’s Cathedral and below their promotional photo and Windy’s picture.

This was the day I ate PIZZA and played hide and seek with a little kid who wanted to get under the table and Windy visited with a couple from Texas who were sitting next to us.

On our way to the views… snaps from the vaporetto.

Weird coloring between these two pictures. Both of them off.

From there, very near the Rialto Bridge, we wandered our way to the vaporetto stop that would take us to Murano, the great glass making center of Venice.

What used to be all glass warehouses and factories.

It was crushingly hot and I decided to call it, and enjoyed a liter of water and a side of veg, not really hungry because of the PIZZA. I shared the patio/restaurant with the pigeons. Windy went on to the museum which she reported was very interesting.

Everyone was hot, some of us got a fan!

We happened to luck into a great demonstration.

One of the rare times we got a seat outside.

Usually all the seats are taken and we stand outside in the open middle because the breeze is so nice.

Three Big Deals

The top picture is from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and Angelenos will recognize the sculpture from the Getty Center, both cast from the same mold. Windy had to play gate keeper and the woman agreed to cooperate so I could have this photo. I might mention the crowds a few dozen more times…

A visit to the Guggenheim was worth the trip to Venice, that’s how cool it is.

This was a museum worker standing by the window and when I asked could I please, and of course no pressure At All, but could I please have a picture of you with this picture… Sure!

Who doesn’t like a Picasso they’ve never seen before hung behind a Calder they’ve never seen before?

Glass sculpture in a glass town.

A retrospective of Edmondo Bacci’s work ‘primarily on the 1950s, the most lyrical and creative period of the artist’s career.’

I didn’t take any pictures in the exhibit except the one below. You can look him up here in the Guggenheim website.

From the garden.

Polished stone produced this upside down image.


It was a Big Deal Day, two out of the three being absolute highlights.

I’ll tell about the least of them next, the Accademia (Gallerie dell’Accademia). We called it the Museum of Suffering Humanity. The art is mostly pre-1800s religious paintings by all the big names – Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto, even a couple Bosch who is always happy to stick a few forks in your eye.


Getting around and having some food before we hit the big one, The Basilica of San Marco/St Mark’s Cathedral for a guided tour.

Sights along the Grand Canal.

Flags of the EU, Italy, and Venice.

Gondolas are only for the tourists. Our guide said, ‘only for You’. Even the taxis (the power boats you see on the canal) are for tourists. Local people ride the vaporetto or walk.

What tourists do when they’ve escaped the raging river of tourists.

FOOD. This is where we stopped for a morning break, coffee and a yummy omelet we shared and a sample cicchetti.


Now for the Basilica! Not my picture of the inside and not my picture of the outside either. Here you can actually see the scene without the wall of people and major construction projects to block the view.

Now come my pictures. Even in the pictures it’s pretty eye-popping so you can just imagine IRL.

Our Guide.

And to end our day on the long awaited panna cotta that was indeed heavenly.

Last Chance In Venice

Yesterday, the 15th, I did nothing, not one thing. And it was beautiful.

Today we had a couple of places in mind that seemed easy to get to and easy to enjoy so that’s what we did, which included two meals out. Which reminds me that although we had heard complaints, our experience with the food in Venice has been very good indeed.

The first picture is our view from the café at Ca’ Pesaro where we ate in sweet peace and quiet on a beautiful and spacious patio in big low comfortable padded chairs with views to the Grand Canal. Here’s another picture. We had a seat like that. What a joy!

Street food – fresh coconut and 5 kinds of grapes and more fabulously interesting cicchetti.

This was our first stop to look at 19th and 20th century art at Ca’Pasaro, a Baroque marble palace. This is along the side as the ‘front door’ requires you arrive via the canal.

Here’s wiki’s picture from the front.


Some things I liked:

Awwww spss spss. That’s how they call a cat here.

Then we made our way to Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo. They were supposed to have a perfume thing happening that Windy was interested in but that part was not available. They did have a young Japanese artist who made modern and rather esoteric pieces in cloth and beads that were scattered all around this handsome Palazzo. ‘In 1985, the palazzo was designated as the Museum and Study Centre of the History of Fabrics and Costumes.’

It was Venice Glass Week and there were many specific demonstrations and exhibitions. We didn’t go to any of them but did run across this. The glass art pieces were from Hungary I think and we liked it.

A door was open and a guy was arranging rocks. Art? I asked. Yes! he replied.

To remind me of a coupl’a vaporetto ridin’ fools.

A dead-end flooded walkway. We had our first meal in a restaurant after dark. I know. Either so grown up or so youthful… In any case it was entirely delicious and worth getting home past my bedtime.

Yup, more.

This is a good place to end. That arched walkway under the clock tower will take you to our flat in about 37 flat steps and the 37 steps up the stairs. We constantly heard the clock chime the hour and it was nice. Those two characters on the top actually hit the bell to make the unique sound. And you can also see here the winged lion, symbol of Venice. Once you start to notice, you see them everywhere.

So this is it, we’re off to sleep and then it’ll be arrivederci Venice, caio Florence!

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