Proud of our Mum
Trip Start Sep 02, 2011
26Trip End Oct 12, 2011
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Where I stayed
Freesia Apartments, Venice
What I did
Visited St Mark's Church and Doges Palace
Visited St Mark's Church and Doge's Palace
We are supposed to be in a quiet location. Unfortunately we discovered that the street our bedrooms face onto (literally - our bedroom walls form part of the passageway of the street) is a very busy thoroughfare and Italians do not speak softly
As I was unable to sleep I imagined the people passing by as they would have been hundreds of years ago - bustling by, talking and laughing and conducting their lives. It brought the history of the place alive for me.
This morning we had breakfast on the terrace then caught the Vaporetta to St Mark's Square to visit St Mark's Church and if possible the Doge's Palace. We decided to have a coffee before embarking on our day's activities and sat down at a table and chairs in the Square only to find that the cost of a cappuccino is around 10 Euros. I was not inclined to pay that for what I expected would be a mediocre coffee so we found an Eatery that offered much better value. Unfortunately it's a take away so we had to sit Mum on the fold up seat we have brought with us for just such occasions. It has proved to be a boon for her. She hasn't used it much, to date, but we expect that it will be utilised more, especially in Rome where we anticipate we'll have to queue for some of the venues.
We first of all visited St Mark's. At the time we entered, the only way in was up a steep flight of stairs (40 in all) but Mum decided she would take up the challenge. She made it to the top and was rewarded with fantastic views, both inside and out, of the Church and the surrounding Square
Mum was then ready to visit the Doge's Palace and again she was pleased she had made the effort. One of the staff members, upon seeing Mum, advised that there are many steps and asked if we would like to use the lift. Of course we said yes, so another staff member showed us the way - we felt like we were being taken through secret passageways. For some reason, they do not advertise the fact that they have this facility. We found the same issue with the Pitti Palace; we had to ask if there was a lift - it was not promoted. Anyway, Mum used the lift to get to the 4th floor, but she used the stairs to return - another valiant effort. After that, we enjoyed a break in the Cafe there and I have to say it is the best coffee I have had in Italy, so far.
The Doge's Palace was a first for Sis and I too, as we didn't make it on the last visit to Venice. It is amazing. The history of the Doge's tradition is interesting and you can see the evolution of sub committees over time to create and enforce the laws and maintain the justice system. These areas also had beautiful paintings adorning the ceilings and walls and the floors were often made up of beautiful marble. Well worth the visit.
As it was late afternoon and still very pleasant outside, we decided to relax with a drink and listen to an Italian Quartet who were playing in the Square - at least Mum and Sis had a drink; this time I abstained
However, we are fast becoming aware that Venice is happily capitalising on their tourist potential - there is a charge for everything! Out of all the places we have travelled, I would have to say that Venetians have their hands out for your tourist dollar more than any other place we have visited so far. When we checked in we were advised that as of 20 days ago a new tax has been imposed – 2 Euros per person per night! Not much for us but could add up for a family intending to stay for a week or two!
Well, as my daughter says – "it is, what it is". We just have to accept that everything here comes at a higher cost. We may take the Vaporetta to one of the islands tomorrow - we shall see what transpires. Till then, ciao for now.