We got into Venice late and the bus that we needed in Mestre was no longer running. We had to take a taxi and for approximately, the 4 miles, it was 27 Euro!!!! Since we got in late, we decided to sleep in and take it easy the next morning. We stayed in Mestre, the mainland. It was SOO much cheaper than the island and only 20-30 minutes to Venice. Our hotel was definitely a hotel (not like our Rome Apartment) but was clean and nice. The owner, Suzzana, was also extremely friendly and always happy to give out helpful tips, advice and information.
I was surprisingly enchanted by Venice. I was worried that it was going to be a smelly, stagnant tourist trap and that we wouldn’t have a enough to do. It had rained intermitently the entire 3 days that we were there, but that did not hinder us at all. It was not pouring, but raining just enough to want our umbrellas. We spent most of our first day just wandering and sight seeing. We went to St. Marks Square and Doge’s Palace and enjoyed a long lunch where we talked to the worker (I think may have even been the owner) who advised us on italian cocktails such as “Spritz” (aperol + procceco) and Billini. We had dinner and by then most of the tourists had left. Venice was now eerily and intriguingly quiet. Very few people walked the streets unlike the masses of people earlier on the exact same alleys. Almost no boats wafted down the canals. It was peaceful walking back to the bus stop.
The next day we did St. Mark’s Basilica and just wandered around. We tried to “get lost” as our guidebook recommended, but the canals were so winding and sidewalks would abruptly stop, sending you back the way you came from, that we often just went around in circles, not being able to venture too far from the crows. However, every once in awhile, we could get a back alleyway that was quite and enjoy a gondolier singing in his boat. Nowhere in the world is there a town like Venice, with its water streets and it fascinated me. Later that day, we took a 45 minutes boat over to Burano, another Island known for it’s wine and lace. Unfortunately, we got there right as the shops were pulling in their items, but it seemed like a great little town to window shop in, had we had the opportunity. Instead, we walked around the canals and enjoyed the beautifully painted bright houses. Some, blue, yellow, lilac, etc. It was about 5 pm and it had just stopped raining. The way that the sun was hitting the waters and the lack of tourists made it a peaceful and wonderful setting. We enjoyed some local wine that was perfectly sweet and my favorite from Italy! We came back to Venice and had dinner there in a tucked away piazza. I ordered grappe, thinking it was a cocktail but was alarmed at the potent drink, almost vodka like…I made Andy drink the rest while I ordered a cocktail made from ice cream, procceco, some fruit juice and other things…much better!
The third day was supposed to be for the beach. It was not very warm and the clouds were still spitting at us. Also, by the time we were able to pack and get ready for the day, we realistically would not have been able to take the time consuming boat to Lido, enjoy the ocean and be back in time for our noonish train. Instead, we enjoyed coffee at a cafe as we read our books.
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