This was our “power Venice” day. We had a lovely breakfast at the hotel (included). We changed the order of our plan at the last moment when the desk clerk said that they were offering a complimentary trip to Murano. Of course, I should have learned by now that nothing is “complementary.” I suspect that the glass factory, B. F. Signoretti, was footing the bill. Still, it was a lovely outing and Murano was on our short list. We rode by water taxi to the island. Our tour was presented by lovely and very knowledgable Donatella. And we didn’t buy a thing!
We were returned by water taxi to San Marco, where we stopped for a few moments to take pictures of the Bridge of Sighs, then bypassed a line into the Doge Palace, and instead queued for the Basilica. The line was long and the sun hot, but it did move along. We got to the entry and I was detoured to another building out the side and down an alley to check my backpack. I kept my passport wallet and my Rick Steves and rejoined Jerry at the entry to begin our tour.
The interior of the Basilica is amazing – he golden mosaics, the stone walls, the mosaic floors that now undulate with centuries of shifting as Venice settles … and settles. We used Rick Steves’ self-guided tour as we walked through, and snapped a few illicit photos, along with every other tourist there!
Our next destination was the Rialto bridge, but we both were ready for a sit down and a drink, and we found ourselves right in front of a restaurant that our friend, Karin, had recommended from their visit to Venice. We took seats outside and ordered beverages, and then decided to share a very good pizza with a wonderful thin crust and topped with prosciutto and mushrooms. Very tasty! We lingered a bit and then headed for Rialto again, with a short detour for gelato en route.
We reached the bridge in about 15 minutes. It was crowded and colorful. We took pictures of the bridge and then walked to the center and took pictures from the bridge. It was lined on both sides with shops, but by now all of the merchandise was familiar.
We headed back to our hotel for siesta and Wi-Fi. The traffic on the canal below our balcony was noticeably lighter. I took a photo of a single kayak with two men in it paddling by. We decided the cruise ship departures might have had something to do with the dearth of gondolas – presuming that one or more had departed.
After our siesta, we had happy hour in the hotel bar and later decided to dine at a restaurant one canal (and bridge) away that Jerry had learned was somehow affiliated with our hotel. I had a great pasta with ham, peas and cream. We split a bottle of Cabernet and a tiramisu for dessert. The latter had an orange liqueur flavor that was different and very good. We struck up quite a conversation with a couple from Toronto who sat at the next table (after confirming that we didn’t smoke!). They were experienced cruisers and it was an interesting discussion. It was a fortuitous meeting, because they had good advice regarding our remaining thorny concern re how to get from one hotel to the next. They counseled against the Alilaguna boat that we would have caught at San Marco Square and that would have taken about an hour by water (after dragging our bags several blocks and over 2 bridges). We returned to our room full and sleepy … as usual. 🙂