Venice is a strange city. It seemed like a ghost town to me. There were lots and lots of tourists but where were the locals? May be they live away from the center or go away during the tourist season. Also, in Rome, tourists are spread out all over the city at all kinds of sights, but in Venice, it looked like there are only a couple of places a majority of tourists were interested in. There was a large crowd at Rialto bridge and St Mark’s Square was of course packed, but otherwise one could lose oneself in the alleys of Venice without encountering too many people.
Venice is also where I realized how useful bringing my GPSr loaded with maps (covered by a Wired article now. The narrow streets and alleys didn’t seem to have a pattern and there were lots of dead ends and branch canals blocking your way.
We started the day by going to the Rialto bridge. At the market, Michelle bought a face mask which you can see in the photographs below.
After wandering about there for a while, we decided to go for a gondola, a traditional Venetian row boat, ride. Of course, all tourists want a ride and these are expensive costing 100 euros for about 35-40 minutes. The gondolier took us on the Grand Canal and then some side canals, pointing out different landmarks.
Then we wandered about in the San Marco district carefully avoiding Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Sqaure). Since we are museum geeks, we went to Gallerie dell’Accademia which has some really nice Venetian art. Unfortunately they have a “no photography” rule.
Later we walked about looking at different squares and buildings and eating gelato.
To see the Grand Canal we decided to ride the ferry (vaporetto). First we rode it to San Zaccari and then back towards the train station but we got off at Ca’ d’Oro, a Venetian Gothic palace. We took the traghetto, a gandola ferry, across the Grand Canal from Cannaregio district to San Polo and Santa Croce.
We had gelato at Gelateria San Stae and then went to see the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Around the corner from there was Scuola Grande di San Rocco. There was a very nice chocolate shop there, but unfortunately it was closed on the weekend.
Crossing the bridge into Dorsoduro district, we visited Ca’ Rezzonico, a palace that now houses a museum. I have a couple of photos from their courtyard.
It was time for dinner for us, but Italians eat late. So we wandered aimlessly, enjoying the narrow streets and narrower canals. Finally we got to Vecio Fritolin where we had a nice dinner outside and also a good conversation with a French couple.
Photographs are below (click “Continue Reading” if you are on the main page) on the map.
LOL about italians eating late. I think is the Mediterranean way, here we do as well! How did you find the hotel quality in Italy? I noticed Hotell Acca is only 1 star, and for what I know, the 1 star hotels in Italy are not that good, although the pics from the hotel website look quite decent:-) When working at the travel agency we had so many complaints from the Venice hotels all the time…
Elena: I looked at the hotel websites, checked travel guide books and also read reviews online (for example, TripAdvisor).
Hotel Acca is a small hotel with basic amenities but it was clean and reasonable. The rooms were in good condition. The breakfast was nothing to write home about, but it was free. I did not see any staff other than the front desk manager who also served breakfast. Even he was gone at night, but we had a key.
We wanted a clean, decent room to stay the night in and for that, it was very reasonable and cheap.
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