We were headed to Venice on a train so we got ourselves started early the next morning and headed to the train station. The ride to Venice was very comfortable and so it was quite a shock to be hit with the wave of Venetian humidity as soon as we got off the train. We proceeded to the water bus terminal, as per our hostel’s directions, and waited for the water bus after purchasing our tickets. I must have perspired at least 10 pounds from my body weight by the time the water bus picked us up but we were able to take it to the correct stop and found our hostel without any complications.
The hostel employee checking us in was a bit of a jerk but once we got checked in, the housekeeper who showed us to our room was very nice. Unfortunately the room did not have an air conditioner as was advertised which was disappointing but at least it had a large and strong ceiling fan. There was also the issue that the private room we had booked was in a different building from the main hostel and their WiFi signal did not reach which was a bit of an annoyance, but we managed. After all, we were there to explore Venice and not play around on the internet!!
We dropped off our bags, checked our map to get our bearing, and headed off to explore the city. On our way to our first stop, we ran across a literal hole in the wall pizza place that had a line-up around the corner. We were feeling hungry and felt like pizza (go figure!) and so I stood in line and got us a couple slices. We continued on to our first stop was the Peggy Guggenheim museum which was fantastic. We were able to see some Pollock, Kandinsky, and Picasso paintings and I actually enjoyed it more than the Solomon Guggenheim museum in New York City which we went to on our first big trip together in 2003. The terrace looked onto the Grand Canal and so it was a great photo opportunity that I took advantage of as always.
Next on our plan was to visit Piazza San Marco which I was quite disappointed in because most of it was under construction and that just the effect for me. I remember seeing the piazza in various movies and was excited to see it but it was nothing as I had imagined. Onward we walked and decided to just “get lost” in the city. If we came to a dead end, we would turn around and try another way and so we continued like this until we started to get hungry. We pulled out the map and got our bearings, found ourselves a pub, and enjoyed a light dinner. After a tasty meal, we wandered to the Realto bridge and made our way back to the hostel for a good night’s rest.
The next morning we took our time getting up, having breakfast at the hostel, and making our way to Piazza San Marco. This time we wanted to go inside St. Mark’s Basilica and although it was nice, my favorite so far was still the duomo in Siena. We wandered around the area for a while, going from canal to canal, enjoying the ambiance of the ancient city, looking through the open air market near the Realto bridge. We decided to take a reprieve from the scorching mid-day heat and so we went back to the hostel for a nap after which we had dinner plans at a fancy restaurant on the Grand Canal at the Rialto bridge.
With our bellies full of pasta and wine, we went looking for a gelateria called Alaska that Jackie had found in the guide book. With a gelato in one hand, a bottle of water in the other, we found a secluded section on the grand canal and sat down to enjoy our dessert while dangling our feet over the canal. We had done quite a bit of walking so we decided to take the water bus back. When we bought our tickets, we also bought the ones we would need early in the morning when we were scheduled to take the train to Ancona for the pre-wedding festivities!
The full set of photos can be found in this set on my Flickr page.