Where We Be
Our best decision before coming to Venice was
buying a 7-day vaporetto pass online that let us
ride Venice's public ferries (vaporettos) as
much as we wanted. Our favorite moments were
spent riding the ferries, enjoying the Grand
Canal at different times of day and night,
exploring Venice Lagoon, and journeying to the
glass-blowing island of Murano. We hopped on
and off all over the city, which allowed us to see
a great deal of Venice in just a few short days.
We did our best to see the cultural highlights of
this powerhouse city but only scratched the
surface. There's so much art here, so much to
see and do, that you could easily fill up months.
Our top recommendation: "Musica a Palazzo,"
an Italian opera performance in a centuries-old
palazzo right on the Grand Canal. The intimate
setting combined with the gorgeous voices
makes for an unforgettable Venice experience.
|The Grand Canal is especially magical at sunset
|Vaporetto #1 approaches the stop for San Marco Square. Here you can see
the Campanile (bell tower), Doge's Palace (the big white building at right),
and, in between and partially hidden, the dome of St. Mark's Cathedral.
|Famous Rialto Bridge -- one of only a handful of bridges crossing the Grand Canal
|Gondoliers add their own element of magic to Venice
|Masquerade masks make for fun window displays
|The wooden Accademia Bridge was meant to be temporary
but the citizens of Venice liked it so much they kept it
|An ornate staircase in the courtyard of the
Doge's Palace leads to a wealth of fine art
|Whether it's Murano glass or gourmet food, Italian window
displays are exceedingly good at enticing you to enter stores
|Mom and Robin wearing their
sweaters in the European fashion
|My mom and dad joined us for our last day in Venice -- the start
and end point for our shared cruise to Greece and Turkey
|The nearby island of Murano, famed for its glass blowing, makes
for a fun getaway from the hustle and bustle of Venice proper
|Nothing is more magical than Venice at night.
We took several rides by vaporetto in the
late evening and at night. Simply delightful!
|Expansive view of Venice from San Giorgio Maggiore's bell tower
|The Winged Lion is the symbol of Venice --
you see it everywhere once you know to look for it
|A "traghetto" lets you ride across the Grand Canal for 1 euro in places
where there is no bridge to cross. Traditionally you cross standing up.
|From our bedroom window we could see this delivery
man delivering soft drinks and bottled water by boat
|Gondolas let you explore the quieter corners of Venice by water
|Yes, this pair of shoes really does
retail for 850 euros (~$1200 US)!
|St. Mark's Cathedral has mismatched marble columns and a plethora of
statues -- yet somehow it all comes together into a marvelous monument
|We stayed at Locanda Silva in the midst of Venice
but on a quiet side canal -- what a great location!
|The Doge's Palace was the ultimate seat of power when Venice ruled the world. Looted art
from Constantinople (Istanbul) was put on display here to wow Venetians and the world.
|One of the best things we did in Venice was attend Musica a Palazzo --
an up-close-and-personal opera performance at a palace right on
the Grand Canal. We moved from room to room during "Rigoletto."
|Serene side canals make for quite a contrast to the Grand Canal
|The picturesque island of San Giorgio Maggiore sits on the
far side of Venice Lagoon and offers fine views back to Venice
|The Campanile came crashing down
in 1902 but was quickly rebuilt.
|Just a sampling of the statues
and frou-frou atop St. Mark's
|The dark side of Venice: insert a note into a secret
box like this to accuse your enemy of wrongdoing
|A week in Venice is barely long enough
|Water laps right up against the buildings, with
boats moored just outside the "front doors"