Venice City Focus
Venice comprises of 118 Islands and Venezia (or Venice Island) is actually really big, we only saw a very small section. Once again our bus got charged a ridiculous amount for the road we drove to Venice Island (but this is the only way in and out) and only 1 mile long.
The weather was not very nice today – Venice was in the middle of ‘Acqua Alta’ meaning high water/flood, because of all the rain they have had lately and apparently the sea level was approx 1 metre higher than normal. This also meant San Marco square was under water and you needed either gumboots (which a lot of the stores were selling various versions) or to use the raised walkways to get around and across San Marco square and around the streets.
Upon arrival we attempted the famous gondola serenade in the pouring rain, it is something iconic of Venice so we just had to do it… It was very wet and almost unpleasant but we tried to imagine it on a nice day and I am sure it would have been great. Also because of Acqua Alta we were restricted to the Grand Canal, as the gondolas could not get under the bridges into the smaller canals – they would have had to duck under while steering and probably have tipped us all out. The smaller canals are very nice though and a lot more sheltered - just as you see in photos or the movies.
Soaking wet we headed to the Glass blowing factory where they did a great demonstration of how they blow the glass and what an awesome, massive shop to buy lovely souvenirs. We had a couple of hours left to look around the shops in Venice, before our private Globus boat took us back to the mainland, however most of the group decided to stay dry in a pub somewhere and drink hot chocolate (it was literally hot chocolate, not like what we have here in NZ).
Our Hotel was on the mainland in Mestre, but I think it would have been great to have stayed on Venice Island to have a bit more time to look around, once again as only 1 night stop. Once again we had dinner at the Hotel (well actually sister Hotel next door) because of the limited amount of time we were here for and the fact that we were staying on the mainland. This was a 2 course meal with one again the first course being pasta and second course was a simply chicken, broccoli and carrots with gravy – so quite similar to a typical meal at home.
What a unique place Venice is – I would have liked another day or so here to explore Venice Island more and in better weather.