This and That

September 21, 2008

Italy Trip – Venice

We left for Venice in the Euro Night train from Zurich on Monday night. It was a 6 people coupe, 2 people didn’t turn up. So we were comfortable. It is very cramped in the upper berth even for a 5 foot medium built person like me. The 4 people coupe is very comfortable and it is worth spending the extra few dollars.  Since we booked in the last minute 6 people is what we could get. They provided a decent breakfast in the train. We reached Bologna at around 5 and took a regional train from there to Venice Mestre. Mestre is about a 15 mins trip in train from Venice Santa Maria station. The Hotel Bologna. was very nice. Very clean, spacious and just outside of the station. Awesome breakfast spread. The hotel let us check in early. So freshened up and left for Venice Santa Maria in the train.

The information center was overly crowded so came out and bought the Vaporetti(the local waterbus) ticket. We bought the 36 hour ticket(21Euro per person). Well worth it. Took the Vaporetti to San Marco square. Venice is just magical. It is amazing to see this old beautiful city on water with its weathered down old buildings.

We saw a huge line for San Marc’s Basilica so first went to Correr’s Museum and got the combo ticket(13Euro) for Doge’s palace and Correr Museum. Correr Museum was ok. Nothing spectacular. But it helped us to by-pass the line in Doge’s palace. Doge’s palace was nice. It was spooky seeing the prison and Bridge of sighs. Spent around an hour there. Then had the idly mom had packed in Doge’s palace. The line to San Marco’s Basilica was less by this time. So went to San Marco’s Basilica. The trick to avoid the line in San Marco’s Basilica is to have a bag to check in. If you check in the bag in the nearby bag check and bring the token, they let you in without standing in the line! 🙂 The Basilica was nice. There was a long line to climb the dome of the basilica so we chose to go up the San Marco’s Campenile. The elevator took us up. The view of the whole San Marco’s square and Venice was very nice from up there. Spent some time there, came down, took a walk in the narrow streets of Venice.

View of San Marco Square from Campanile

View of San Marco Square from Campanile

The banks in Venice don’t exchange traveller’s check, so found a AMEX office and converted our money. To our shock, found that my passport in the secret waist belt got drenched and bent in all the sweat. Did some cosmetic cleanup to the passport and had awesome gelato to drown our sorrow. Then from there took another Vaporetti to Santa Maria Della Salute. The Dome is under construction, but the church was quiet and peaceful. Spent some time at the steps of the church polishing off the rest of the idlies. Then took another Varporetti to the famous Rialto bridge. The market around the bridge is very vibrant and colorful. They sell all kinds of things from souveniers to handbags to belts to colorful chillies to fruits. Had some cut fruits, bought a mask and took another Vaporetti to San Marco square and relaxed a bit on the park there.

From there walked back through the narrow roads to Rialto for dinner. Went to this quiet cafe(Rosticceria San Baratolomeo) recommended by husband’s cousin. Very tasty. Ordered some wine, caprese and pizza.

After a full stomach walked back to San Marco square to enjoy the night life there. The cafe’s in San Marco square have come alive with live band and lights. It was a festive atmosphere. Strolled around, enjoyed the music, and admired the couples dancing in the square without a care in the world.

Took some night pictures and left for the station in the Vaporetti at around 9pm. There was around 20 mins wait for the vaporetti since lot of people were getting back and the frequency of vaporetti had reduced. Took the train to Mestre, sent mail to Boo and family from the lobby and retired for the day.

Couldn’t believe we did so much in a day. Venice is like a dream now.

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3 Comments »

  1. Hey! You couldn’t make it to Murano? The glass island! Even that’s beautiful. But for a day, you people have covered quite a lot. Great!Venice is a place which I would like to visit anytime. It’s quite a romantic place. But I don’t think I will get to visit again ever, now that I am back in India.

    Comment by aargee — September 22, 2008 @ 5:11 am

  2. Hi aargee
    Murano is on Day 2, that post coming up soon!!
    🙂

    Comment by yaadayaada — September 22, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

  3. italy’il idly! he he.. only we ppl possible (we had a 2 week trip to europe and acted like inji thinna korangus in paris when we saw a street filled with south indian restaurants)..

    It was nice to read this coz I was reliving our trip.. for us the highlight was feeding pigeons in the san marco square! waiting for murano stories.. n wat abt the gondola ride?

    Comment by Reva — September 23, 2008 @ 4:56 pm


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