We took the train from Florence to Venice. As soon as we arrived in Venice we got a ticket for the vaporetti (the yellow and white boats above) and hoped on. I’d read that this is the best way to get around Venice. It’s the Venetian version of a bus, inexpensive and used by the locals. This is where I learned that sometimes listening to other people & “living like the locals” wasn’t necessarily the best choice. I absolutely hated being on that thing. It is exactly like being on a city bus, overcrowded & slow. It was so frustrating to be in such a beautiful place and be missing everything because we were crammed in like sardines. I also realized that at the pace we were going that it was going to take an hour to get where we needed to go. We jumped off at the next possible exit and took our chances wandering through the streets.
Getting off the water bus and wandering around on our own felt amazing! Each alleyway twisted and turned, occasionally spilling out onto the Grand Canal. Gondolas rested along the paths, just like we parallel park our cars on our streets.
After a surprisingly short walk we stumbled out onto St. Mark’s Square! Pigeons lazed around in the sun & the sounds of music floated up from the famous Caffe Florian. I looked around, half expecting James Bond to come running through.
We arrived just in time to hear the church bells of Basilica San Marco ringing!
I may have paced around in front of this spot for a minute, just like they did in the Italian Job. 😉
My main focus in Venice was to get to go on a gondola ride with my love. We watched with big eyes as our gondolier prepared the boat & got us us all snuggled into our seats. We bobbed along as our gondolier whistled past historic monuments.
Our gondola took us under the Bridge of Sighs. It was the path of convicts from their prison cell to their hanging. It is said to be where they were able to pause & give a sigh for a moment as they watched their final sunrise.
Venetian garage doors, so much cooler than our rollups!
Our gondola floated by the entrance to a preschool. I had visions of tucking a little tyke with his lunchbox and mini backpack into a boat every morning and stopping off here before heading to work. I just can’t imagine what it would be like!
Even the canals have traffic jams! We paused in front of Cassanova’s famed balcony.
The home of Marco Polo before he headed out on his adventures. Too soon our gondola ride came to an end and we headed back into St. Mark’s Square to enjoy a lunch at the famous Cafe Florian and soak up the views.