Two years ago it was my 30th birthday and Mr and mine’s 1st wedding anniversary so we went off to Venice for a long weekend and we had an amazing four days there.
Two days ago we went back to Venice, and had another amazing day there. As it is only 2 and a half hours drive away from where we are staying here at Lake Garda it would have been criminal not to do so. Now if you have never had the pleasure of visiting this extraordinary place then put it on your ‘to do’ list. There really is no-where else like it in the world. It really is just incredible. Unless you have been kept in a darkened room all of your life to date you would have no doubt seen countless images of this sinking city but nothing prepares you for the reality of seeing it with your own two eyes. The rainbow hues and grandeur of the waterside palaces, the cloudy turquoise lagoon water, the bustling boats on the canals delivering all sorts of things you never thought possible, the gondola’s bobbing at the quayside, the mini orchestra’s playing outside of the graceful, historical café’s of St-Marks Square, the waiters in tuxedo’s serving drinks on silver trays, sigh……
It is much smaller than you think it will be and the whole area really can be covered on foot but you really have to get on the water to appreciate the Grand Canal for what it is. So upon arrival we hopped on the no.2 ferry, which takes you the whole length of the Grand Canal, alongside the graceful sinking palazzo’s, under the famous Rialto Bridge and up to the splendor of St-Marks Square, (much better to do this, you don’t have to suffer the expense and embarrassment of getting on a gondola) and it was every bit as breath-taking as the first time I did this.
From there we wandered the maze of streets and alleyways intersected by little canals topped with elegant little bridges, happened upon hidden squares for espresso stops and just let the city guide us through this amazing place. From St-Marks Square to the Theatre Fenice to the dark alleys of the Rialto to the Jewish Quarter, the best thing really is seeing all the little places seemingly hidden away, never knowing what is around the next corner and just being part of somewhere so very unique.
Having been before we thought that we had covered the majority of this place, in fact we most certainly had not and found ourselves in places we had missed before. We had done all the queueing for the major tourist sights the last time we went and to be honest although the inside of the Palazzo’s are incredible and the churches are beautiful, and if it is your first time then you really must, but I really think that as a lot of them are museum’s or galleries, once you have been to these places not a lot would’ve changed and it really is a place that you can just see so much from the outside because that is where it is all happening. And from experience, especially the places along the canals, all you do is head to the windows to have a look outside! But we did still see all of the obligatory tourist spots, still took a ton of photos (that we probably already have!), had a lovely lunch in a pretty square, gazed along the Grand Canal from the bridges watching the streams of boats and people and just enjoyed every minute of it.
So, grudgingly, after a lovely day we left the sinking city in the lagoon and headed off home knowing that we will certainly be back again one day before it is all hidden beneath those cloudy turquoise waters.