I hope you enjoy my personal discovery of Venice and maybe add this beautiful city to your list of places to visit.
Here it goes...
Pizza, pasta, mandolina... Apparently these are the three things one needs to be happy (according to a Venetian Wine and Confectionery merchant)! Well, when we sailed our yacht into Laguna Veneta we were deliriously happy – happy that we’ve made it with a huge sense of accomplishment, happy that the summer weather finally arrived in Europe, happy with anticipation of the three days we were planning to spend in this City of Bridges and Canals.
It takes close to an hour depending on the traffic to get from the entrance of the harbour to St Mark’s Square (about 6 nautical miles). We only realised it on the way back, such was our excitement that we did not notice the time lapsed from the moment we sailed passed the conspicuous black and white chequerboard structure marking the starboard side of the harbour entrance till the moment we berthed at the Marina on St Giorgio Maggiore Island.
|Entrance into Laguna Veneta|
On the way we unsuccessfully tried to reach the Marina on the radio and the phone. The radio call was not answered at all and the person on the other end of the phone did not speak English and we did not have enough Italian between the two of us to explain that we wanted a berth at the Marina. So, we just drifted amidst heavy traffic in front of the entrance to the Grand Canal trying to figure out what to do next. Luckily the Marina’s captain (we labelled him Captain because we didn’t see anyone else around the Marina for the next three days) noticed us and came out from his Tower – office and directed us to Berth 87 which was in the inside row of about 40 vessels, which is the Marina’s capacity.
|Pave berthed at St Giorgio Marina|
I honestly think it was the best spot to be in – right across from St Mark’s and 3 minutes on a vaporetto from St Giorgio Island to St Zaccaria station (Piazza St Marco). And the best imaginable view from the boat!
As we only had limited time but the amount of tourists and hence the queues were enormous, we decided to give the crowds a miss. For the next two and a half days we just wandered through the narrow streets, crossed several dozens of bridges of all sizes and designs, rode a vaporetto along the canals in all directions, got lost several times and just enjoyed being in Venice!
It’s hard to pin-point the highlights of our stay as everything was very special. But a couple of things stand out – eating home-made pasta in the little back street Trattoria near the Rialto Bridge is one of them. The chef, covered in flour, walks past you to the kitchen with a tray of just made gnocchi.
|"What news on the Rialto?"|
|Russian musicians found their home in Piazza St Marco|
|“… and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone."|
We also visited a glass blowing demonstration on Murano Island and bought ourselves a figurine of Bassotto (dachshund).
And we spoke with the local Venetians – gondoliers, merchants, chefs, waiters, bus drivers.
Venice is enchanting! I spent quite some time crying because it was so overwhelming at times that I could not contain emotions and had to let go. And then we had bursts of laughter when you can’t stop and end up in tears. It was really bizarre – I forgot when was the last time I’ve been so emotional!
|A pink heart - a sign that a baby-girl is born|
|Arrivederci, Venice, until we meet again...|