Continued to Venice, parking the car at the
Tronchetta parking facility. Used the vaporettas (kind of like city buses except
on water) to get close to our hotel. We got the 3-day passes (22e each).
Hotel Al Vagon
Ph. +39 041.5285626 Fax +39.041.5286861
Nice sized room (for Venice), not too expensive, with a window and small balcony over the Apostoli canal. Located near the Rialto bridge, just to north of the San Marco district, great location.
Here's a couple of pics of the view from our balcony (our room is the one pictured on their home page), Laura's on the balcony in one:
And one from inside the room:
We walked that evening to check out the neighborhood, mainly the nearby Rialto Bridge:
April 27, 2003 Sunday - We walked to San Marco plaza. Got a sales pitch for a free water taxi ride over to the island of Murano, famous for their glass. We took it, got a little glass blowing demonstration, a longer tour of the store, with the salesman hovering. The stuff was beatiful, but very expensice. We passed. Walked around Murano for awhile (they also have canals), then returned home on the public motoscafo boat.
Returned to San Marco and toured the Doge's Palace, a huge combination seat of government and personal residence.
April 28, 2003 Monday - Toured one of the private palaces, the Ca D'Oro, now an art museum. Returned to San Marco (by boat). Went up inside the campanile and were there at 12:00 (do you know what happens at noon in a bell tower?). Toured the Basilica.
Visited several churches, all huge and highly decorated.
Met a British farmer and his wife (an IT professional) at dinner. He was eating steak and French fries in Venice. I was telling him how much I enjoyed British beer. His favorite beer was Budweiser! Later we went to a Vivaldi concert in a church. We were sorrounded by an annoying French family (the only small children in the place). All of sudden we were enveloped in a foul odor, and wasn't Laura or me. I learned from old PBS episodes of "'Allo 'Allo" that the French love onions, and this confirmed it.
A few more pictures of this amazing city. An opera singer in one of the squares. This old guy was really good:
The Grand Canal and Santa Maria. Note the passing cruise ship in the background.
Fine Art can be found in the souvenir shop.
The working boats came out on the weekdays: