After Barcelona, we got on a plane to Venice, the final stop on our tour of Europe.
We landed while the sun was still up, but the water bus service from the airport into the historic parts of the city takes quite a while; fortunately, the sunset was just as beautiful from on the water as it would’ve been on the shore, if not more so.
Our hotel, as it turned out, was in an awesome location – from the breakfast room, we could look out the window directly at the Basilica on St. Mark’s Square.
That little building in the back left? That’s us.1
We did something a bit different in Venice – instead of trying to cram in a bunch of Big Things, we mostly just wandered around the city.
Yes, the Grand Canal is pretty.
And yes, the big fancy bridge – Ponte di Rialto, in case you’re wondering – is kinda cool to walk across.
But I really do think it was a lot more interesting to wander the less touristy areas.
Because, seriously, all of the streets are so adorable.
And hey, you might find a cool park or two.
Our second day in the city we didn’t actually do much.
In our defense, it was Christmas Day, and you’re not supposed to do much on Christmas Day.
Starting off our third day like the first two, we just did a bit of wandering around, enjoying the beautiful weather.2
Somewhere along by the Doge’s Palace is the obligatory Statue of a Guy on a Horse.
Speaking of the Doge’s Palace, we did do one Destination – the museum portion of the palace.
I rather liked the courtyard – it was definitely less crowded than St. Mark’s Square.
The stairway decorated with statues of mostly-naked men kinda set the tone for the interior decor, to be honest.
Which is to say, “hilariously opulent.”
And, not pictured because I try to pretend I have some decency, a good amount of nudity.3
Still, some of the works were quite beautiful.
And now I can say I’ve walked across the Bridge of Sighs and been disappointed by the view, so that’s nice, at least.
And, thanks to the other thing we did after the Doge’s Palace, I can also say I’ve gone under it. In a gondola, too!
Our gondolier wasn’t wearing the Striped Shirt, but he still did a good job rowing us around.
Now, as I’ve mentioned above, the city is quite lovely from all the little streets.4 But the view from the canals? Totally different.
And, y’know, going under the bridges is kinda fun, compared to going over them.5
Mostly it was shaded and cool, but in one or two places the sun would come through. On occasion, it was blinding, but it also led to some cool reflections as we passed under the bridges.
And it also let me get this nice silhouetted view of the Bridge of Sighs as we finished up the tour.
We spent most of the afternoon just walking around the area near the train station. We followed one canal from where it linked up with the Grand Canal all the way to where it spit out into the sea again.
And that’s basically how I’m going to end this – a view of the sea, from the edge of Venice. It’s a beautiful city, and I’d definitely recommend going – in winter! – to everyone.
- I can see my house from here! ↩
- Winter is the best time to visit Venice; apparently it gets rather… fragrant, shall we say… during the summer, but in winter there’s nary an odor to be found, and the cold weather isn’t all that cold when compared to the standards of Vienna. ↩
- “based on the amount of naked statues in their historical seat of government, governance in Venice couldn’t take place without someone’s dick out” – me, describing the palace earlier ↩
- I’m a big fan of the whole “no cars” thing, as a Perpetual Pedestrian it’s quite nice. ↩
- I also quite enjoyed the gondolier’s method of navigating through them, namely, ‘push off of the walls.’ ↩