Saturday, July 20, 2013

Venice

Aaah, Venice. What is there not to love about Venice? I loved the tiny and sometimes confusing alleys, the vehicle-less paths, the gondolas passing by filled with awe struck tourists and couples. In fact, I found Venice to be more romantic than Paris but I figured it was because of the hot season that made Paris a little smelly. Apparently Venice can be smelly too.

A typical view of Venice.

We arrived in the late morning from Florence so we had plenty of time that first day to explore around Venice. We ended up walking almost all over the main islands, from the Jewish ghetto to the Rialto Bridge to St Mark's Square and back to where we were staying in the midst of getting lost along the way. Initially, we sporadically used the map but it's confusing with so many tiny lanes that you don't quite know if you're on the right track. As it became increasingly dark, I had to rely on my compass on my phone and look at the setting sun to lead us back. So yes, the compass on your phone is very useful when it comes to times like these!

The Rialto Bridge
St Mark's Square
Saw these at St Mark's Square, drapes that made these looked like men in robes
Happiness in feeding the pigeons
Dodge's Palace. Love the arches!

St Mark's Cathedral's fa├žade was being restored so I took only half the building. Pity we didn't manage to go in.
The Bridge of Sighs
Santa Maria della Salute from afar.
The next day, we woke up late and bought a day pass for the vaporetto (water bus) and headed to Murano. First thing we did was to visit a glass factory who gave us a glass-blowing demonstration on how they made a tumbler. Thereafter, it was shopping for me as I went about searching for little trinkets for souvenirs.

Murano. Amazingly the shops weren't selling many duplicates so if you like something, just get it. 
At one point, we accidentally walked into the housing area in Murano and felt like we had walked into some Zombie land. The only folks we saw were this two old ladies chatting with each other but other than that, it was silently empty.

After munching a quick packed lunch, we headed to Burano. Initially I was asking KS if we really needed to go Burano because all he said was, "It's famous for it's colourful homes!". I'm so glad that we went! The colours are so bright and cheerful, you can't help feeling happy too! Highly recommended to make a pit stop!

Isn't this such a cheerful sight?
There was this cute dog in Burano who cuddled up to us for some time. It was only later we realized he was lost as he ran up and down the streets looking for his owners. 

Since our daily ticket is valid for 12 hours, we simply hopped into any vaporetto attempting to make our way to St Mark's Cathedral but ended up in Lido. We didn't explore Lido as we were trying to make it to the cathedral before it closed. Alas, we didn't make it on time so we ended up just walking back.

We had planned to eat at this Jewish restaurant at the Jewish Ghetto. We've never had Jewish food before (don't think there will be a Jewish restaurant in Malaysia anytime soon) so we were excited about our little food adventure. Alas, the restaurant was closed for a private function and from the limited communication with the wait staff, it was as if the restaurant won't be open at all for whatever times we asked.

We thought it was just miscommunication so we tried our luck on our last day for lunch. Again, we were turned away for a reason we couldn't understand. Too bad. Maybe we should try in Singapore if there's one.

Anyway, on our last day, it rained and rained as we went about buying more souvenirs and tried to buy my Longchamp bag (that's a separate story altogether) and attempted to visit St Mark again. Unfortunately, St Mark's Square was like this:


So we didn't manage to go into the cathedral at our third attempt. Sadly, floods are now increasingly common in Venice.

Plastered on the walls around Venice was this:
This would have been an interesting concert to attend...
Venice is definitely the most expensive place in terms of food. For our dinners, we paid an average of €30-€40 in Rome, €40-€50 in Florence while Venice can come up to over €70. We also encountered rather rude servers (bus ticket station, waiter, retail outlet) but it didn't mar my Venice experience.

So, this draws my Italy trip to its end. Definitely worth it to allocate one trip just for Italy.

1 comment:

Ron said...

I wonder if you were turned away from that Jewish restaurant because of being Asian - they probably thought you were looking for pork and seafood meals:)
Terakraft is a highly interesting band from the Sahara I believe - the only reason I know it is because Guy wanted a CD of theirs and I bought it for him for his bday!