We arrived in Venice around six in the evening, after having secured our hotel in Mestre, a twenty minute bus or train ride outside of Venice. It was one of the best moves we made; we not only enjoyed the walk into Venice from the train station, but thoroughly enjoyed not having to lug our luggage through the crowds.
Arriving in Venice as the evening was beginning was absolutely magical. We strolled for an hour or so and decided to take the water bus down the canal to San Marco Square. Oops- what we thought would be a ten minute "express" ride turned out to be a thirty minute "tour" around the islands surrounding Venice (note to self-
read the signs (don't know Italian) inquiringly motion to a local ;]). Actually, the ride was fascinating with the boat full of locals returning to their homes.
Here we are now...
With each glance, you caught a gorgeous picture.
Amazing architecture, canals everywhere...
Perfect for a postcard, eh?
We returned the next day, refreshed and ready to go. One can't help but be amazed at how much the water and canals influence the lives of the Venetians. Water is everywhere, seeping into doors and buildings.
We headed over the the Palazzo Fortuny to visit the museum. The Fortuny collection was so exciting to see, but I had to exert much self control not to touch the fabrics. Seeing Mariano Fortuny's beautiful paintings was a delight. Not being able to take photos was a bummer, but I did pick up a wonderful book about Fortuny that I had not seen in the states.
We did sneak a few photos as we stepped outside on a third floor back veranda. If you look closely, you can see the canal in the next "block".
Here is a good example of the eroding condition of the buildings of Venice.
The Palazzo Fortuny's inner courtyard. The lower windows' roundels were lovely both indoors and out.
The Palazzo's exterior:
More neighborhood shots:
The stucco colors are so vivid!
Picture perfect, again!
Lots of spires and quatrefoils... and did I say water?
Toward the evening, the sun disappeared behind the clouds and it became windy and cold. Here, folks are beginning to scurry about to leave and take shelter.
Venice was just what you would expect... and more. I will return!
Next Sunday I'll show you around the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside.