“Gondolier Capital of the World awaits you”
Thanks for joining us again. Let’s transport ourselves back to Venice, as we continue where we left off two weeks ago. If you missed what happened in part 1 of our family adventure in Venice (don’t worry, there is no test at the end), that was about water. This part is our family adventure in Venice on land.
As with all good things, our ride came to end and it was time to start walking. We managed to get lost navigating the narrow streets within ten minutes; which was fine with us. As we tried to trace our steps back, we ended up discovering unique features of the city that were missed the first time; whether it was architecture, a cool sign or a local vendor.
All that walking was making us hungry. I’m sure the fresh baked aroma of pizza caused our brain to repeat “I am hungry…feed me!” The aroma led us to a little restaurant in a small square. We each devoured a Venetian pizza (I’m just calling it a Venetian; it had another name, that I could not pronounce, so I’m sticking with Venetian). Just as we were finishing off the last slice of pizza, a large group of tourists (from our ship perhaps?) stampeded though the square in a rush toward Piazza San Marco.
That’s where we headed after lunch, so now we knew the direction to go. It was enjoyable to escape the crowds and venture this historical city our way!
Piazza San Marco
Wandering across cobblestone paths, over several bridges, walkways and narrow alleys, we finally arrived at the entrance to this famous square! In English, this square is often known as St. Mark’s Square. I remember walking out from under the final archway into the open square. I took several steps into the square and promptly stopped in my tracks: my eyes had walked into another world: The architecture, the history, the cobblestones, and at the other end, St. Mark’s Basilica; a magical sight!
As I was trying to absorb what was in front of me, the afternoon Mediterranean sun was pouring hot air and humidity down on the square. I realized that I should test my theory that only water and lots of ice cream could cool you down enough to continue the adventure 🙂 I’m sure you want to learn more about Piazza San Marco (after you finish reading this wonderful post of course 😉
The crowds were quite light as we strolled around the square admiring the sheer beauty of this place. A small band was playing Italian classical music at one of the open air restaurants situated on one side of the square. Piazza San Marco is considerable in size. Every direction you glance is another perfect photographic opportunity:
The main attraction, if you can narrow that down to only one, would be the famous St Mark’s Basilica. Remember I mentioned the large crowd of tourists that passed by us during at lunch – guess where they were? At the Basilica, of course. The option to stand in line for hours to walk inside was not one I was ready to choose from. This line-up would have been avoided if we were with our cruise ship group, as they have pre-set entrance times. So, upon a return visit to Venice, we will include walking inside the Basilica. However, we saw so much more than the cruise groups. With most of our items checked off, the last thing was to travel back to the hotel by vaporetto (water bus). Let me tell you – this was a very cool experience: the boat arrived just like a bus, people get off, people get on, and then the boat moves to the next stop. Our vaporetto was navigating on the Grand Canal, which provided ample opportunity to view Venice with a new perspective. One location I was looking forward to seeing was where they shot the final climatic scene in James Bond’s … I think I saw it; though everyone I asked was not sure of its exact location. Oh well, always next time 🙂 Here’s a glance of what I saw on the Grand Canal.
Our stop finally arrived and off we went, heading toward the hotel. Dinner and more ice cream capped an exciting day and adventure for us.
Our hotel room faced the canal, allowing me one final look at Venice at night, before resting my head on a pillow, in our much appreciated air conditioned room (which is not available in all hotels).
The next morning, we were up early for breakfast and headed out to find ourselves a taxi (one with 4 wheels) to take us to the airport. You have to clear the inner city and head back over the large bridge towards the cruise port. Twenty four hours of Venice went by quickly. It was very memorable and quite enjoyable too. The question though: was it worth the additional expense and planning to extend our stay from six to over twenty four hours? YES IT WAS! And I would do it again in a heartbeat in a similar situation.
Venice is a special place that deserves another visit – albeit much longer visit next time 🙂 Venice is a very family friendly location to visit. Book your trip, take the family and you will return with countless memories to share with others.
Have you been to Venice? Please share your most memorable experience with us 🙂