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On land and on water

Walking tour and Grand Canal tours of Venice

sunny 24 °C

Another huge day.

This morning we walked ourselves ragged - got lost many times - this is the first place Deb has become disoriented and not been able to tell which way is north (and according to our guide this afternoon, that is good in Venice - its the way to really explore the city). We soon realised that the paper maps were pretty useless and the mobile phone maps were the way to go - probably due to the fact there are many streets with the same name (way of the priest, way of the nuns, etc). We checked out the Laundromat and the supermarket (ready for tomorrow morning's chores) then picked up some lunch before our afternoon's tours.

First up, we had a walking tour with another local resident - full of information and helped us understand the city a lot more. Being based on trade and lots of people coming together from different lands, gives the city its richness and diversity in architecture and general feel/spirit. Again, David and Brendon enjoyed the narrative as well as the sights - the gold mosaic fa├žade and ceilings in St Marco's Basilica were absolutely magnificent (real wow factor!!).

By the time we arrived for our Grand Canal tour, we were relieved to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds - 30 million tourists visit here each year!
Piazza St Marco

Piazza St Marco

The tour of the waterways was a real eye opener - Christina, our guide really brought it to life, describing life as it was and why it was - we would suggest doing this on the first afternoon to help you orient yourself and get a feel for the city, so you can plan what you want to see more of. We were amazed with the money - the palazzos (private mansions) were simply extravagant - each one trying to outdo the one next door or over the road. The one pictured below is one of the biggest, but the little one next door (on the left of this photo) sold last week for 9 million Euros.
Palazzo Ca' Pesaro

Palazzo Ca' Pesaro

The bridge (the Ponte di Rialto) was originally built in wood, but collapsed twice due to the amount of foot traffic - so it was rebuilt in wood, then again in stone - the second time costing more, so they got the merchants to buy shops on it, to pay for its construction.
Ponte di Rialto

Ponte di Rialto

Now we have some ideas of what to do tomorrow - on our free day, and last day in Italy.
Dinner, again did not disappoint - we are practicing more and more Italian each day, but tonight we also helped the waitress learn a little English - artichoke :)

Posted by DJBnomadz 12:12 Archived in Italy Tagged bridges churches buildings venice walking grand basilica crowds canal marco st david venezia piazza palazzo

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We are so pleased that you are all having a ball.
Actually we absolutely love Venice. It's great that you have to walk everywhere or go on the water.
It's great that there's an interaction in Italian - we hope that satisfies the school for Brendon's work.
Throughout Europe and Britain those that had money had big money - including the churches - - obscene!
Look after yourselves and each other --- Mum & Dad

by John-G-T

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