Our visit to Venice was lovely. We headed into the town by shuttle bus, then walked the canals to the centre of town. The morning began with a peaceful gondola ride through the canals. The town was very pretty, and (surprisingly) didn’t smell all that much (there was an occasional pong, but nothing too bad or persistent). It was really interesting seeing boats carrying boxes for grocery stores, furniture, rubble from construction work and other things that would usually be in a truck. Since there were no cars, it gave the city a much more calm atmosphere than the where we had been previously, and although the buildings are very old and most have peeling paint, it added to the charm.
After the gondola ride a lace demonstration had been organised, but we didn’t bother going because it sounded like it would be similar to the leather demonstration in Florence, which wasn’t really worth the time. We did stop by the lace shop though, and there were some pretty things there.
A walking tour was also organised, which is always a good way to see a city. A local guide took us around for about an hour, explaining some history, and pointing out important buildings. It wasn’t quite as good a tour as Florence, but was still a useful way to see some of the sites. The guide, being local, had an accent and was a bit tricky to understand. Also, it was very sunny so a bit uncomfortable standing around listening to her.
We stopped at a cafe down a side street for lunch, and had more yummy pizza (no gelati this time though…) We spent the afternoon just wandering the shops and checking out the beautiful masks and glass work. There wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to see, so was quite happy just wandering. There are a lot of small paths and alleys (lots that don’t have water) and we managed to lose the main square. Because all the buildings are similar, and so closely packed, it’s hard to find landmarks that would help to find our way back.
After an exhausting day of wandering, we caught a ferry back to the bus depot, to catch the shuttle bus back over the 4km bridge to the mainland, and our campground. Dinner was at the campground, and following that a Toga party had been organised at the campground bar (they even provided us with a spare sheet for the occasion)! Sadly no photos to put online, because I haven’t got any on my phone and can’t get them off my camera… Anyway, it was a lot of fun, with everyone turning up in sheets. Someone had found an empty boat trailer, which became a chariot that we rode to the bar.
So, our visit to Venice was very enjoyable, and a lot of fun. Unfortunately the campground was right next to the airport (location, location!) which was noisy at first (it actually felt like our cabin was going to take off…) but after an hour or so we stopped noticing it.