Thursday, March 27, 2014

Canals, Masks, and Gondolas: Venice

Florence to Venice. The final Italian city that I visited with mia mamma. The adventure began when we exited the train station in Venice and we had no clue as to how we going to get our luggage up and over the Grand Canal for free. There were many steps that led up to a landing and many steps that led to the sidewalk on the other side of the water. This was the view when we exited the train station, and to the left unpictured is the very large bridge.

The view right outside of the train station
As I started up the steps, a man immediately came to my side and offered to carry my bag for me. I was very skeptical, thinking he may either take my luggage and run away or ask me for money. He spoke english very well and I allowed him to carry my suitcase. When we reached the landing, I looked behind me and saw my mom struggling to lift her bag. I went back to the bottom of the steps and carried her suitcase to the landing. Then, the man and I double-teamed the two suitcases and carried them successfully to the other side. It turned out the man was from New York and worked for Emirates Airlines. He gave us great recommendations of what to do in Venice and was a very pleasant person. Leave it to the New Yorker to be the friendliest person in Venice thus far!

After getting settled into our hotel room, we walked to the Jewish Ghetto and had "kosher" cappuccinos at a kosher bakery.

A canal in the Jewish Ghetto
Posters outside of a gallery in the Jewish Ghetto
Cappuccinos were followed by a lengthy walk around Venice. In a moment of being utterly lost, a couple approached us to help. It turned out they were from Victoria, Canada. Each year, they rent an apartment in a different city and live there for a month. Last year it was Paris, and Venice this year. If I ever retire, I want to do that! It's such a good way to experience a different culture. The woman also worked in theatre in Victoria, so that was a plus. We picked up a Venetian mask for my brother, Josh, during our long walk as well and enjoyed the setting sun. That night we had dinner, walked around some more, and went to sleep.

The sun setting on a canal
Day two in Venice began with an early morning water bus ride to St. Mark's Square.

Morning traffic in Venice
We went on a short walking tour of Venice, bought a few cups of coffee throughout the day at a particular cafe in St. Mark's Square in order to use to bathroom, crossed the Rialto Bridge and visited the marketplace.

The view of a canal over the Rialto Bridge
Vegetables at the market
Fruit at the market
St. Mark's Square
Later that day, we took a  free boat out to Murano Island and went to a glass factory.

Boat ride to Murano Island
The demonstration at the glass factory
The rest of the day and night were spent walking around, sitting and admiring the passing gondolas, and eating and drinking great food and wine. It was our last night in Italy, and the late evening was spent packing and preparing to leave. I was headed to Zurich, Switzerland while my mom was flying back to Chicago.

Walking along the Grand Canal
Spending spring break with my mom in Italy was a wonderful vacation. I am glad we were able to spend the quality time together enjoying and exploring the beautiful country of Italy. I was impressed on all fronts. From its history, to language, to architecture, to its food and drink, I cannot wait to return soon!


No comments:

Post a Comment