Wading in Venice

Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
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72
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Trip End Dec 25, 2009


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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Sunday, October 4, 2009

Arrived late last night. We took a water bus to our stop at Rialto and called our host to come meet us as we are staying in an apartment.  It's a very nice place but rather noisy at night as Rialto is a very popular part of the city and many bars and restaurants are open until late. 

            This morning we wandered over to the main plaza, San Marco, and found – Water!  I knew that Venice has many problems with flooding but I thought it was just during heavy rains.  Apparently during high tides, the plaza will also flood partially.  We could walk down the middle but the only way to get to the Basilica was to wade through the water.  So shoes and socks off, pants legs up and across the water we went.  The Venetians take the flooding in stride and put up "duck boards" through the flooded parts and everyone goes about their business.  There were many tourists like us who chose not to get on the crowded and slow moving duck boards though and just waded to where they wanted to be.  Please, nobody tell me what germs might be in that water.

            As it is Sunday, going into the Basilica is limited to worshipers.  We went in the side entrance and found a seat among the locals and listened to the service for awhile while we gazed in awe at the wonderful golden mosaics all over the church.  It is incredible the amount of work that has been put into these mosaics and how one could even do them on the ceilings and arches.

            After leaving the service, we got on one of the duck boards to go into the Basilica museum which is one floor up.  You can then also go out onto the balcony and overlook the San Marco plaza.  Looked like the water might be retreating.  There are horse statues on the balcony and a good view of the bell tower next door and the campanile tower.

            Walking back down and out through the side door, we walked around to the front of the Basilica and indeed, the water is retreating as the tide goes out but we still needed to wade across a smaller section of water to get over to the Doge’s Palace. 

            We had purchased Venice Connected tickets before arriving, on the advice of our landlady.  It allowed us access to the water buses and museums so we were able to get into the Doge’s Palace quite easily.  It is also quite an impressive place.  Rebuilt in the 1300’s (from the original building in the 900’s), it has quite an array of paintings and frescoes though not much in the way of furniture because each Doge brought their own furniture when elected.

            There are several cruise boats in port today so we ran into several cruise boat tours but the Doge’s Palace is so large that it was almost as if we were in some of the parts by ourselves.  There are a good many stairs to get into the Doge’s apartments and then a good many more to move across the Bridge of Sighs and down into the prisons then back across the Bridge of Sighs and into the armory.  We must have been wandering around the Doge’s Palace a good 2 hours and we didn’t even stop and listen totally to each explanation.  That’s something of a record for me since I don’t do well in museums. 

            When we left, we wandered down the waterfront for awhile and then caught a water bus and just stayed on it in a circular route until we got back to where we started.  A wonderful day.  Not over yet either.  Our landlord told us where to go for some lovely dining.  We are heading out in just a few minutes.
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