We ended our cruise in Venice, and what a finale it was! The ship sailed into the city with amazing views.
Unlike some of the other cities we visited, where the port was miles from anything notable, in Venice the port was right in the heart of the city.
After docking we switched from one ship to another (although technically this would probably be called a boat) to head down the main thoroughfare of Venice, the Grand Canal. There’s no hop on-hop off bus in this city; instead we rode the vaporetto – essentially a bus on the water. The price was a bit high for a bus ride (€6.50 per person), but darn cheap considering this short ride brought us past some of the most famous sights in Venice. We were lucky enough to score seats right in the front!
Here is the Church of the Scalzi, with a Vaporetto station in front of it. Apparently when the whole city is filled with beautiful, historic buildings, placing something as mundane as a public transit stop in front if it is probably unavoidable. Where else is it going to go? In front of a different beautiful, historic building?
This is the Venice I imagined, with those striped posts for docking boats. We learned that they have to be replaced so frequently (they are made of wood and rot at the waterline, but are fine above and below) that the area around Venice is nearly devoid of trees.
Two notable things here: The roof-line is pretty typical of Venetian architecture, and the lion in the center is the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice.
The Ca’ d’Oro (House of Gold) was once a palace; now it is an art gallery.
Here’s the other symbol of Venice – the Gondola! Some of these gondolas were pretty gucchied out – check out the seat with the pillows!
Thomas immediately recognized this bridge because he saw it built out of Legos. It is the famous Rialto Bridge, built in 1588.
While this may be prime real estate, I wouldn’t want to own a building here. It seems like they are perpetually fighting against the effects of water, lest the front of the building crumble into the canal. A wise man once told me, “Water is the enemy.”
A beautiful view in the distance – St. Mark’s Basilica. Because the Grand Canal is an “S” shape we could see it before we actually arrived there.
This is a Venetian traffic jam. It could get a little crazy.
After a relaxing trip down the Canal we arrived at our destination – San Marco. We disembarked and then continued exploring Venice – this time on foot.