Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Ah, Venezia!  Venice has got to be one of THE most fascinating cities in the world. There is just nothing quite like it.

Now as much as I like Venice, the better part of this trip was meeting up with Laurie's sister Gayle and her husband David Hicks for an unexpected 24 hours on the lagoon.  We have for months  planned to host them for about four days in Sicily starting next Saturday but this adventure just materialized at the last second.

Your arrival in Venezia should always be punctuated by gondolas. 

A Vaporeto hard at work

When you arrive in Venice buy a long term pass, NOT a trip by trip ticket, on the vaporeto (water bus) system.  It will allow you unlimited travel on these very convenient boats.

The first thing we did after buying our vaporeto tickets was to hop on board the Vaporeto #1 Line at it's start at Piazzale Roma and take it all the way up the Grand Canal to it's terminus, the Lido di Venezia, where our hotel was located.  It is about a 75 minute trip but what a GREAT way to get re-introduced to Venice.

Grab a front row seat on your vaporeto if possible.

On the Grand Canal you will see incredible houses. . .

. . . more gondolas. . .

. . . even more opulent buildings. . . 

. . . the Accademia Bridge. . .

. . . still more buildings. . .

. . . and more opulence. . .

. . . before arriving at the Piazza San Marco at the end of the Grand Canal.

Lido di Venezia is across the lagoon about 15 easy minutes on the vaporeto past the stop for Piazza San Marco.

This small strip of land reminds me a lot of the Newport Beach Peninsula in southern California where our good friends, Loren and Sandy Brucker live.

Now obviously there are no cars in Venezia proper since there are no streets, only canals.  There are also no scooters or bicycles allowed in Venice.

On Lido di Venezia there ARE cars, scooters and. . .


The Lido also has its share of opulent homes.

Basilica di San Marco

After checking into our hotel, it was back to Piazza San Marco to start our on foot exploration of Venezia.  The Basilica was built in the 11th Century and it's golden mosaics both inside and out are priceless.  

Reflections near the Grand Canal

Armani has just come out with a Cuban flag collection of tennis shoes for only 189 Euros ($253) a pair.

Venice is famous for it's Carnival Masks

These Masks can be fancy or fanciful.

The Rialto Bridge

The Gardner girls re-united

We capped off our first night together with one of the many free concerts on Piazza San Marco.

These concerts are anything but free if you sit down to eat or drink at any of these cafes.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

We saw these two boats on Monday morning racing across the lagoon on our way back to Piazza San Marco as it started to sprinkle.

Are those dead bodies under that tarp?

Did I mention that they sell Carnival masks in Venice?

Who is that Mystery Woman?

Even these wild and crazy nuns want to buy Carnivale masks.

Gayle gave Laurie some belated Easter Peeps near the Clock Tower built in 1496.

Gayle and Laurie bonding before eating gelato.

Caught on camera, the EXACT moment that David took his first taste of a real Italian gelato and realized he was forevermore an addict!

It's nice to know that there are now two of us in the family.

Laurie trying to make me jealous.

Talk to me

Look close, even some Gondoliers love Elvis

The Hicks on the Rialto Bridge.

Of course the Rialto Bridge area has MANY shopping opportunities. . .

. . . including colorful spices.

One of over 400 bridges and 2,000 alleys in Venice.

It's green and I liked it, after that I do not know.

The Winged Lion is the symbol of Venice.

Overlooking the Grand Canal from Gayle and David's hotel.

The view across the Grand Canal from their hotel.

Cat Woman

Sharing a glass of vino on our last night together in Venice.

A Family Dinner in Italy

I like Venice by night much more than by day.

What do you think?

Enjoy some music from Piazza San Marco.


John A. said...

Can't wait to see the shoe! Retired teachers disposable income.

Dick Bellman said...

"These concerts are anything but free if you sit down to eat or drink at any of these cafes." How true. The most expensive beer I have ever purchased was at a cafe in the Piazza San Marco listening to wonderful, "free" music."