Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Charlotte and I got up early and walked around Venice before the sleepyheads Mark and Genevieve got up. We got back to the room and they still weren’t ready so we went to the breakfast room and snagged the nice table for two by the window overlooking the Grand Canal, and had a generous continental breakfast. Mark and Genevieve came as we were finishing up and got to take our spots so they also got a view.
We headed out to the Palazzo Ducale. Our original plan was to get tickets at the Correr Museum to avoid the line but there was no line, so we just got our tickets there and toured the palace. We liked the mailbox where you could leave anonymous complaint letters, and especially the Bridge of Sighs and the jail, which actually was pretty civilized all things considered. By the time St. Mark’s opened it was way too crowded so we didn’t go in, so we took the elevator up to the top of the Campanile di San Marco. It was so cold up there that we pretty much waited in the elevator line to get back down as soon as we got up. I am sure we had lunch at this point but I have no recollection whatsoever of what we had or where we had it, talk about forgettable. Then we went to the Correr Museum, which I really liked because it had a lot of artifacts not just art, but my family was just so over museums we basically walked through.
We went back to the hotel and Genevieve and Mark wanted to hang out but Charlotte agreed to go with me on a walkabout and to look for earrings and shirts. We found a few tourist shops that sold inexpensive jewelry and then got a cool tshirt for Charlotte with a screen print of Venice on it. And I nearly but not quite got us seriously lost but we did make it back to the apartment. We all got freshened up for dinner, and headed out.
We came upon a gondolier in a side canal that spoke good English so we hired him. He then passed us along to his friend who didn’t speak as good English but that was no problem. He knew the answers to the questions we were asking about the Venetian architecture and what it was like to live in Venice and why they don’t restore the buildings (too expensive). Because of the aqua alta we could barely squeeze under some of the bridges. Genevieve had to go in front and then we all had to lean way over and even then that little metal thing in the front A very nice ride, we enjoyed it a lot. It’s funny that this was our third trip to Venice and only now did we ride the gondola. On our honeymoon we had it in our heads it was too expensive, when we came back and the kids were little we were too pressed for time, so now finally we got our chance.
Then we went to dinner at Trattoria La Madonna, which was good and filled with locals. Then we walked around Venice some more enjoying it at night. We stopped at a greek restaurant way off the beaten track and had desert and the thickest hot chocolate you can imagine. Not a lot of tourists there either!