We left early morning from Madonna di Campaglio on a smaller bus from Venice making many of us crowded and wanting more leg room. Not everyone on the ski trip journeyed on to Venice accounting for the size reduction of the bus. The 3 hour trip was extended by a rest stop as there was no bathroom on board, plus time for the driver to stop at his depot to ask direction, and we finally arrived at our hotel where we were acquired to check in individually. As you might image, when with a group, one does not stay at one of the more expensive hotels. However, the Bologna Best Western is a fine hotel it just is a long way from the center of Venice or access to the canal buses.
I roomed again with Vladimir, who turned out to be an excellent roommate and companion as we managed to see most of the main tourist sites in Venice. Our room as not ready when we arrived to the hotel gave us complementary coffee and snack while we waited a short time.
Finally we were ready to leave for San Marco Piazza at 4:30 and having secured bus and water bus tickets for 48 hours from the hotel, we were off. The bus stop was right around the corner and after a 15-20 minute bus ride we arrive at the Grand Canals, found the correct water bus.
Keep in mind that it is winter and Venice is in Northern Italy, so it is cold out and most people huddle inside. My priority however, it to take photos, so I am at the bow of the boat with my camera out ready to take a photo of anything interesting as long as I can compose the delete it right then. So here goes.
The last photo is of the Rialto Bridge and all were taken from the Grand Canal.
As the light fades, some good shots are still available.And here is San Marco Piazza and one of the adjacent shopping streets.
We get an early start the next morning and find out there is an express water bus to San Marco. We hit the Doge’s Palace first. Venice was once a city state and the head man was the Doge.
There is a prison in the building and the bridge across to the prison is called the bridge of sighs. Here is Vladimir with the bridge in the background. By the way Vladimir is a happy guy most of the time but I think they teach them in Russia to pose with a sober face.
We go St. Mark’s Basilica and go inside.
We take the elevator up the campanile bell tower and capture some great vistas.
We travel to another island to see the Murano Glass Works home of Venetian glass where we witness one of the glass masters at work, from start to finish.
I mention that I had been through Corning Glass Works so one of the owners took us upstairs to see many great glass art and I was indeed tempted to buy something but I declined. I did buy a small crystal vase at another shop as it was easy to pack into my suitcase.
These were all made out of glass.
Some other photos
And I shot this model doing a pose for her camera.
The last day we took a walking tour and learned much about how the city was founded, how it was built, how the sanitary system works, how the city is sinking unevenly, and that the city is so crowded in the summer that you can barely walk through some of the narrow walkways.
Pisa is not the only place where there is a leaning tower.
We made it back to our hotel just as our bus tickets were running out. We left very early next morning and the hotel supplied us with a breakfast bag. I had a great time in Italy.