Friday, May 15, 2015


Venice was the last port we visited and had the most dramatic entrance (at least that we saw... we were asleep for most of the entrances into other ports!).  We pulled into the Venice harbor, passing by the whole south side of the city and islands.

There were boats and ships everywhere!  The city seemingly was right on top of the water, and there were beautiful buildings everywhere.

Jared found one barge carrying a cement mixer and digger to be particularly amusing!

Stepping off the boat, we figured we had a few extra minutes before our excursion started, so we immediately went as fast as we could to the place that was rated as the #4 restaurant in Venice - a little hole-in-the-wall, almost fast food-style noodle place, Dal Moro's.  They serve it in a Chinese restaurant rice box style container.  Jared got a Gorgonzola pasta with ham, and Dani got a marinara with basil.  The pasta was amazing!!!

We made it back in time, and took a tour of the Doge's Palace.  We would later cross over the canal on the street behind us in this picture as we went from the hall of judgement to the prison through the bridge that crosses the canal.

Jared got into full tourist mode, showing off his SLR camera, GoPro, and tour headset - he also had his phone in his pocket for good measure!

The palace was incredibly ornate!  We learned about Venecian history, how they were able to avoid being conquered for so many centuries, and how the government functioned.

The next stop on the tour was the Basilica de San Marco, right next to the Doge's Palace.  We barely made it into the Basilica before it closed.

Near the front, over the alter, there were 14 statues - one for each of the apostles, one for Saint Marco, and one for the virgin Mary - and a cross in the center.

The Basilica is known as the "Church of Gold."  In the Apse, at the front of the cathedral, was the Pala d'Oro, a golden alter made for Constantinople.  The gold and jewels glittered and shined beyond belief!

After we left the basilica, we spent a few minutes in St. Mark's Square. It would look quite different the next time we were in the square later that night!

We decided to leave the Precoa crowds behind and wander through the city.  The ultimate goal was the Pointe de Rialto, and we eventually made it there, but not before we passed through hosts of stores, roads lined with other tourists, crossed many bridges, and got lost in the ambiance of the beautiful city.

The Ponte di Rialto itself was under construction, but it was still very cool, lined with shops up and down the bridge over the Grand Canale.

The best pizza we had was in Venice.  Jim and Mel showed us a place they had gotten a focaccia style crust pizza.  When we got the piece, it looked so thick, and since we had recently eaten, we thought it would be way too heavy, but it was amazing because the bread was so light weight!  It was delicious!

We met Jim and Mel there, and began walking throughout the city, and started into some less tourist-filled areas.  We got to see more small canals, gondolas, flower-filled bridges, tight corridors, and small cafes and areas where the residents of Venice lived.  We tried to imagine raising our families there!


We eventually made it to the far northwestern part of Venice and the Ponte degli Scalzi.

Even though we had walked miles, none of us was really all that hungry (Jared said he was), but we all got a big dinner again anyways (because how many times do we actually go to Italy!?!).  Jared said his carbonara was one of the best things he ate in Italy.  The pesto was good, but we were so full that Dani could't finish it.  After dinner was over, we discovered the restaurant's credit card machine was out of order.  We didn't have very much cash, but fortunately, between mostly Euros and a few American dollars, we were able to convince the workers that it covered the bill.

After walking all the way to the northern part of the city, we turned around and retraced our steps toward San Marco Square.  We wanted to be there at night because the tide was rising to one of the highest levels it would rise to all year, and we wanted to see.  On the way, we could see signs of the rising water.

It was another mile and a half or more walk back to the square, and by the time we arrived, the water had too.  We wore flip flops as we walked through the water that was between ankle deep and mid-calf deep.

The salespeople who were selling selfie sticks earlier in the day were now selling cheap disposable galoshes to wade through the water.  The square was so much different in the lights of night (and under water).  This was one of the highlights of the entire trip!

We filled up with our last gelato of Italy before embarking on our last 4 mile walk back to the dock. It was a late night and a long walk, but it a was beautiful and memorable last hurrah to an unforgettable trip!


Unknown said...

Wow! Thanks for the tour. Looks like an amazing trip. So glad you were able to experience it all!


Unknown said...

Wow! Thanks for the tour. Looks like an amazing trip. So glad you were able to experience it all!