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There is probably no more renowned place in the world than Venice. Even Paris doesn't hold the wonder, magic and even romance as this tiny unique ancient Italian city. All that being said, Venice is a tourist attraction descended upon by hundreds of thousands of visitors the year round. Much of the city is too trite to get excited about -- the gondolas, the glamorous hotels and of course St. Marks Square. People are even willing to sit in the water there finding it special to sit pretty much in a toilet. But there is more to this glamorous city than the tourist highlights.

We arrived in Venice by ferry from also historically glamorous Corfu, the green Greek island that cultures have fought over for centuries. We left in the early evening fog rolling in and stayed on deck until we were well on our way and darkness filled our view. Along the way I took this photograph of sailing from Corfu which even today looks much like Italy as over the centuries Italians built much of it. It seemed and still seems very romantic.


Sailing from Corfu to Venice


In fact leaving Corfu in the early evening and arriving in Venice in the early morning were more experiences of time of day than of architecture and charm. Each of these small cities is extraordinary.










Leaving the ferry, we toted our bags the short distance from the ferry dock to the city. We headed across a major canal by the train station and headed out to look for a hotel. As we have found useful, I get left on a corner with the luggage and Stassi goes in search of something wonderful. Having arrived in Venice with no reservations, I'm sure we are in a very small group of very optimistic intrepid travelers. And it worked out just fine as it always seems to. Here are two views from our hotel room, both from our private outdoor terrace if you can believe that.

View from our Hotel Terrace in Venice


View from our Hotel Terrace in Venice

As we were checking in, one of the hotel staff asked if we would like to see Murano glass. After stowing our luggage away we went. He had a beautiful boat waiting to take us to the factory showroom. These free "tours" are said to be high pressure sales experiences, but we didn't find our tour to be like that. We enjoyed seeing the glass and the process of making it. We took some brochures and were happily returned to our hotel. I wish I had a home in need of a chandelier!

Murano Glass Chandelier

Murano Glass Chandelier


Murano Island, Venice


On returning we had a glass of wine on the terrace and headed out for lunch. The market in Venice is extraordinary with fish and shellfish coming from all over the world and all of it is identified. Vegetables and fruits are fresh and gorgeous and should I go on about the breads and cheeses. Our appetites satisfied, we headed back for a nap with adventures to continue later.

Squid and Octopus in the Venice Rialto Market


Fruits and Vegetables in the Venice Rialto Market


Fish and Shellfish in the Venice Rialto Market

My husband Stassi calls places like Venice "eye candy" and it certainly is. Everything about it delighted the senses. Even the gondolas began to seem appealing. Look at the heart cushions. They haven't missed anything.


Gondola Station in Venice



The hotel Stassi found for us while I stood with the luggage was perfectly located. We were lucky to be both near a bridge across the canal and near a transportation station so getting around was especially easy. Getting out of town was easy too as we were only a block from the train station.

In the afternoon we wandered the streets and then crossed the bridge heading for a small restaurant. Amazingly we found it, flowed on through a lovely dinner and headed back to our hotel. I am usually the guide in these circumstances. We left the restaurant with all confidence heading left and then right and then we were totally lost. Our footsteps echoed on the stone walkway between the buildings and I imagined how many people had been lost here over the centuries. I hoped they were all like us and not running or hiding from anyone. We ended up in a few cul de sacs which didn't give us much hope.

As luck would have it we came upon three young women who truly seemed to know where they were going and engaging in some conversation we attached ourselves to them. Not long after we were at the canal and in sight of our hotel.

Residence on Rio de Malconton, Venice

Imagine Living Here Behind the Walls Behind the Trees in Venice

Venice Residential Side Street


Venice Residential Side Street



Venice Side Street
With Surprisingly Adequate Parking


The next day of course a visit to St Mark's Square was on the list. I think it is sad that the thing I most remember is the number of porta potties there. It's was astounding. Well the square is amazing too, but after visiting this famous place we vowed pretty much to avoid visiting anything we'd heard of in our future travels. The rule has been broken a few times, but never very successfully.

St Mark's Square, Venice


St Mark's Square, Venice


St Mark's Square, Venice


Lunch came next, then a nap and an afternoon ride out and away from Venice to Venice Lido. Getting around by boat is decidedly more appealing than busses, subways and trams. It was delightful in all ways. We arrived in a new place and walked and walked and rode back as the sun was setting. We were to leave in the morning and nothing could have been more perfect on our last afternoon.

In Front of the Hotel Belevedere, Venice Lido

Vaporetto Station on the Way Back to Venice Proper



The Grand Canal in Venice at Sunset




The Grand Canal in Venice at Sunset


We'll be off to Pesaro by train in the morning.