Venice, Italy

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Day 7 (by Francy)

Logan is up early. “We’re going to Venice!” My excitement is rather limited at 7am and no sun to see through the thick fog. “Sure, we want to go to Venice today?” I ask. It’s the Easter Weekend and I don’t know if that’s the best time to enjoy a small romantic city with lanes and tiny bridges that cross small canals.” Logan is convinced though that we should go today as the weather looks quite good. Quickly we are having brekky and make our way back to the Tronchetto car park in Venice.

For 1Euro we catch “the people mover”, a monorail train, to the city. There is also the option of catching the Vaporetti, the boat that goes up and down the 3.5km long Canale Grande, transporting all the tourists, each ride costing 6,50 Euros. At the Piazzale Roma we buy Vaporetti tickets for 16 Euros each, which give us unlimited access to the Vaporetti boats. Having only caught the overcrowded boat twice, we later found out that it would have been cheaper to pay per ride.

Venice is built on 117 small islands and has some 150 canals and 410 bridges. Only three bridges cross the Grand Canal: the Ponte di Rialto, the Ponte dell’Accademia and the Ponte dei Scalzi.
A city for meanderers, Venice rewards every minute devoted to penetrating its cat’s cradle of intertwined lanes. Barely a building here isn’t a unique monument of some sort.

To describe Venice is impossible. Many have tried from Goethe to Brodsky, but it has to be seen felt and wandered through to be believed. No theme-park creator could ever have come up with this result of 1400 years of extraordinary history. The many intertwined lanes, small romantic bridges and beautiful inventive architecture combined with the smell and sight of aging and neglected buildings give Venice that special charm. If only the local council could make sure that less rubbish is lying around, especially at the outskirts of Venice. We saw a shocking amount of rubbish scattered around and floating in the water.

From Piazzale Roma, we walk over the bridge ponte della Costituzione past the Santa Lucia train station and then over the Ponte de Scalzi. After that, I can honestly say we got totally lost in the labyrinth of Venice. At some point we get to the very famous fish markets of Rialto. Everywhere people are eating pizza, ice cream and sea fruit and I have to remind Logan a few times that we packed lunch so we wouldn’t spend a fortune in Venice. At Rialto we sit down near the Canale Grande, amongst dozens of other people, and have our lunch. We keep watching the over-crowded Vaporetti and aren’t looking forward to taking it. We then cross the ponte di Rialto, fighting our way through the tourist crowds and stop at the Vaporetti jetty. Jammed into the boat, we ride down the beautiful Canale Grande to the famous Piazza San Marco and Basilica di San Marco. It is unnecessary to say that Venice consists of old and pretty buildings but the moment I walk around the corner and catch a glimpse of the Basilica di San Marco, I abruptly stop and all that comes out of me is a “wow”. Then I turn to Logan and he has that same look in his face. The Basilica embodies a magnificent blend of architectural and decorative styles, dominated by Byzantine ideas and ranging through Romanesque to Renaissance. Unfortunately we discover a huge line up to enter the Basilica and decide to just gaze at it from the outside. The Piazza San Marco plays host to competing flocks of pigeons and tourists. Actually we see photographers offering to give birdseeds to tourists, to then take photos of them with pigeons on their hands in front of the Basilica. I leave it up to the reader and anthropoligists/psychologists to make sense of such human behaviour but I’m sure the bird’s interest is in the food, not to present peace, while the photographer just wants money.
Standing at the Piazza I feel a few raindrops on my skin, when all of a sudden people start packing up and running towards the Canale Grande. I’m feeling slightly exhausted and annoyed at all these people bumping into me. Logan and I slowly make our way back to the ferry and don’t leave it until we get to the Tronchetto car park jetty. A few more steps and we are back at our comfortable Campervan.

By accident we get on to the highway, half panicking that we have to pay toll fees now but when taking the next exit and enter the toll ticket, we get free pass. Then we get lost quite a bit and simply can’t seem to cross this canal with our big Campervan as the only bridge we found was only for cars. I somehow manage to direct us out of there anyway and we get back onto the main road south along the Adriatic Sea.
I chose another camping site out of the Board Atlas. This one being for free when you dine in the restaurant but it’s said to have WC, shower and electricity.
Arriving in Marozzo we can’t seem to find the restaurant at all and I actually have to buy internet credit for my phone to read their description on the website. It doesn’t help any more. What helps though is a photo in which there is a big tower with a big green building and all of a sudden I can see the tower to our right. We made it! In the restaurant we get a free Italian lesson, as the waitress doesn’t speak one word of English. Qickly we learn: Aqua, vino, blanco, rousso, and gracie. We order Gnocchi al Formaggio and Tagliatelle al Funghi, real tasty Italian food which we devour in mere minutes.

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