01.06.2015 - 04.06.2015 31 °C
We seemed to have a torturous trip from Syracuse with a delay at Catania airport then again at Venice airport. But we eventually got a water ferry to the island, down the Grand Canal and found our way through lanes and across canals till we reached our hotel. It all just got better from there!
We arrived into the evening, so immediately headed out to explore and eat. The concierge gave us directions to a trattoria - out the door turn left, through the first piazza, over the canal, veer right, over another canal, straight through the next piazza, over the next canal turn left and keep going. It sounded like we'd be walking forever (and probably get lost) but it was actually quite close. We only nearly got lost when, on the way back we found some lost Americans and kindly/foolishly gave then our map, as we knew where we were going!
We spent our first full day on Murano -not intentionally, but as we were walking to St Marks Square, we were talked into taking a free taxi ride to the island to see the glassblowers at work. We were told there was no obligation to buy, and that it was a free promotion by the city. I wanted to go to Murano anyway, so Trev agreed reluctantly. The taxi ride was a bit nail biting, as I think he was in a hurry, and it was certainly more hair rasing than the jet boat Trev took on Gozo! We got there safely and were pleased to sit through a "senior master" glassblower at work, then had a look around the showroom. It was all quite beautiful, and definitely works of art. But mostly way out of our price range, however there were some smaller pieces of jewellery which met my needs! We then continued wandering around Murano and were not disappointed whichever way we went.
The markets around the Rialto bridge filled another half day, with their fresh fruit and veg, including some things we couldn't identify, and the huge range of seafood. We even found a horse butcher, and better still some wonderful frommageries. The Rialto bridge itself was incredibly crowded and going through renovations (it seems most of Venice is constantly being refurbished). We did, however, find a nice bar at the base of the bridge where we enjoyed some G&Ts. We continued away from the crowds and found some places you could get wonderful leather - so, of course, we did!
On our last afternoon, having wandered far and wide earlier past St Marks, the Doges palace, the Bell Tower and the Clock Tower, we headed for Academia bridge and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. That was pretty fantastic! In particular I loved the sculpture garden, including one of three elongated figures by Henry Moore (we saw Moore statues on an earlier trip - in Dublin if I'm not mistaken!), and then was the amazing mix of art inside. I'm still wondering how you define the word "art" - there was much that I liked, and much I didn't understand,and some I really disliked!
We finished the day with a nice cold wine spritzer under the Academia bridge, watching the people and the traffic weaving their was down the Grand Canal. A nice watery finish to our few days in Venice.