We had real ‘Indian summer’ weather on our tour of Italy last October. Our last day in Venice was very busy, what with all the exploring and shopping we had to do. There were Pinocchios aplenty to choose from, although I didn’t succumb to the temptation. I’ve bought enough souvenirs in my time, and have asked myself when I got home, “What were you thinking?”
We wandered through the narrow lanes, between the towering, historic apartment buildings.
and up and down hundreds of steps. Such good exercise. 🙂
We were serenaded whilst indulging in a delicious pasta and a glass of Chianti at a pavement cafe; “Besame Mucho” and all that, by three brothers on the squeeze box, guitar and violin. How wonderful! I was loving Italy so much. Mucho magnifico!!
Venice is such a great city to visit. It has everything; magnificent architecture, water everywhere you look, divine food and wine, music around every corner, and a decent amount of shopping. What a romantic adventure! There were plenty of tourists, but we never felt crowded by them. All the while we were enjoying ourselves, the everyday business was going on around us. I got the impression that those Italians work very hard indeed to keep the city well maintained and tourist-worthy.
We went back to our hotel to change for the evening’s activities, and in the late afternoon, again took the ‘taxi’ ride across the lagoon.
The sun was setting behind the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, as we sailed across. The Salute is a vast, octagonal building built on a platform made of 100,000 wooden piles, and is constructed of Istrian stone and Marmorino (brick covered with stucco containing marble dust).
Here you can see the bell tower of the Basilica di San Marco on the left, with the Doge’s Palace in the middle, and The Bridge of Sighs on the right.
At the dock, our Gondolier was waiting for us, and I gingerly stepped in first. I fully expected it to capsize, but fortunately, although it rocked like crazy, I made it to the ‘love seat’ at the front, and then hubby and four other friends got in too.
We pulled away from the pier,
and set off under the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, so-called because it was the bridge over which prisoners were led before being incarcerated in the prison usually until they died, as the conditions were appalling, the cells being barely big enough for a person to lie down. There were serious renovations going on, hence all the scaffolding.
We asked our boatman to sing to us, assuming that all gondoliers were the singing types, but he just said that would cost extra. The guy in the gondola in front of ours started to sing “Buona serra senorita,” and ours joined in, albeit somewhat half heartedly. A local man walking along the path, called out in Italian, “He can’t even sing. Why don’t you tell him to shut up?” Served him right for being so miserable. 🙂
We passed between really tall, ancient buildings, some with their stone steps half hidden under the water. Apparently in winter, all the ground floors are flooded. The plaster has fallen off the outside walls long ago, and they looked extremely ‘distressed’.
We could see through the brightly lit windows into people’s houses, and they looked so beautiful and cheery.
It was now getting dark, and a church bell was tolling in the distance. I couldn’t help imagining those prisoners of long ago, cooped up in their tiny cells under the Doge’s Palace, hearing that same bell day after day until they eventually died. It really was very spooky, and in some parts, the smell was very unpleasant. When there was a sudden gushing of water from an outlet at the base of one buildings, I had to wonder if someone up there had just flushed the ‘loo’. 😉
Here is a restaurateur waiting to welcome diners, who would be arriving by gondola.
Our ride was for about half an hour, and then we suddenly emerged out of the gloom, into the bright lights again, where more tourists were waiting to take our places on the gondola.
Our guide led us through the streets to our restaurant, the “Trattoria Do Forni,” where we were treated to the most delicious four-course meal. I had Prawn cocktail in Aurora sauce, Linguine with seafood, Fillet of sole with zucchini, and last but by no means least, the best Tiramisu I’ve ever eaten. The decor was very elegant, and don’t you just adore these Venetian glass, wall lights?
It was a fabulous farewell dinner, and a wonderful end to the trip.
So finally I’ve finished my Italian travel tale. Just doing this post has made me long to be back there again. Maybe some day.
It sure is a beautiful city and you captured it nicely!
Love all the colors that you brought in these pictures!
Thanks so much, Pablo. 🙂
Fabulous post and have a wonderful weekend too! I hope this matter gets cleared up soon. Do reach out to Support again… I promise we did nothing to our blogs… Or at least I know I did nothing to mine to create problems for you. 😦
Thanks so much. I just can’t understand why there is this “typekit” common denominator to all the blogs that I can’t get into. I’ll keep on trying. 🙂
I like these pictures. The shop with the puppets is wonderful.
Thanks so much, Connie. 🙂
Your wonderful tale is making me long for Venice as well 🙂 Beautiful photos AD
Thanks, Madhu. Glad you enjoyed my memories. 🙂
These photos are wonderful, AD. The Venetian glass is gorgeous. Pasta and Chianti? YES! “insert fist pump!” :-).
Thanks, Gemma. I can see you doing that” fist pump.” 😀
The musician is wonderful as is pinnochio, chianti and the gondolier! Too many beautiful things 😀
Thanks, Dianne. What great memories there are in these photos. 🙂
With what they charge for a gondola ride, the singing should be free!
I agree with you, Tandy. What a rip-off. 🙂
Wow! I love this, both the pictures and the story! It sounds wonderfully romantic! I especially love the pictures of the Basilica at sunset and the boats in the canal under the bridge!
Thanks so much. I think the one boat was delivering beer and the other was collecting garbage. 🙂
Yes, dear AD, just to watch your beautiful Venice photographs made me long to be back there, too… I was there a few years ago during autumn. Thank you, you did wonderful photographs… Have a nice weekend, love, nia
Thanks so much, dear nia. Please read my latest post, as you are one of those bloggers I can’t visit any more. I hope I can get this problem sorted out. Happy weekend to you too.
Just can’t get tired of seeing pics of Venice. I love the quiet alleys away from the crowds … did you stumble across Scala del Bovolo? I hidden gem. Thanks for the sites!
My pleasure, Frank. No we didn’t see this palace, but I just looked it up on Google images. A very good reason to go back again. 🙂
Found it via Rick Steves’ way to walk from St Marks to Rialto.
It’s only a couple of hours drive from here 🙂 I should go more often….
Wow, you definitely should, Paula. Have you been there very often?
Only once, shame on me 😀 You know what happens, it is not only my case… people get to think .. “ah this is so close, I’d better go to some far away places, more expensive trips, while I am still young, and the close ones are left to do for later” 😀
I understand that, Paula. We do the same. 🙂
You paint such a lovely picture, now I have it on my travel wish list too. No cycling opportunities though!! 🙂
Well that’s true. It would be a bit difficult cycling up and down all those steps, and across the canals. 🙂
I wouldn’t be able to live next to one of the waterways. I’d have nightmares about the water slowly rising and swallowing me up!
You have a vivid imagination, bibi. That sort of thing only happens in movies. 🙂
It looks beautiful! Definitely on my list of places to go before I die 🙂
I would hope so, TA. I think you have a while yet. 🙂
Fantastic post and such a great trip. Love the pictures.
Thanks so much, Gunta. Glad you enjoyed our trip. 🙂
Wonderful photos Ad, TFS. Have a great weekend.
Regards Florence x
Thanks so much, Florence. You too. 🙂
A very memorable visit indeed AD 😉
Indeed it was, and I could do it all again. 🙂
Next time, put me in your suitcase – I’m not much trouble 😉
I think hubby would complain about carrying you around. 🙂
I’ll jump for wheels on the suitcase 😉
There´s always something new to see in Venice – no matter how many times you´ve visited 🙂
Thanks for the memories!
Glad you enjoyed the memories, Marianne. 🙂
Thanks, Marco. Happy weekend to you and your cats. 🙂
Hehe thank you, same to you and your family 🙂
The photo of you and your husband sitting in gondolier is lovely, romantic…
Thanks, Amy. We did have so much fun together. 🙂
A magical city that you have captured so well.
It is a dream of mine to someday go to Venice….Sigh…or Portofino…..Sigh…of Sienna….(Did I spell that correctly?)….Sighhhhh..
Hope you make it over there, Suzanne, and since you asked, it’s Siena. 😀 Have a great weekend.
I’ve never been to Venice but it fascinates me. How do the buildings stay standing if they keep getting flooded? and I bet you’re right about the loo flushing – imagine the state of the water!
It is a place like no other, Gilly. I believe that the city is sinking at the rate of 2mm per year.
I’m so sorry, I still can’t access your blog. I’ve tried everything I can think of. 😦
Venice…one of my dream places to travel one day. For now, I have these images to remind that there are magical places that breathes romance, wonder and adventure. Beautiful smiles by the way. Best wishes to you and your family.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m sure that one day, you and your family will also find yourselves in Venice. 🙂
Venice, beautiful city, the famous mask, the romantic Gondola 😛
Absolutely beautiful. Loved it all. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip and photos. Venice truly is a beautiful place as your photos perfectly capture.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Thanks so much, Francine. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. 🙂
Pinnochio, chianti and a gondolier, what more could a girl ask for?
Not a lot really. 🙂 I’m afraid that I still can’t get into your posts.
A blogger told me that when she had problems with wordpress, she tried google chrome and that seemed to clear it up!
Hubby says he doesn’t like it at all because it has so many adverts. I’m sure it will come right soon. Keep fingers crossed for me. 🙂
First of all, I really assumed you have more follower than what’s shown. Shame on them, shame on them for not following you. 😀
You know how I feel about Venice. I knew about the sad history, but I don’t like bringing up. It’s just so dark and gloomy past. Roll on the floor laugh out loud about the gondolier though. Got his! Or, he probably, truly doesn’t have a voice. Still, extra for singing, screw that! Hehe.
those construction never goes away.
Oh…. Tiramisu! Ahhh, only in Italy, I tried looking, I tried pretending but I really can’t find the right one here in the states.
Hahaha. Rommel you are tooo funny. 🙂 I would love more followers, but I can’t go out and drag them in, can I? 😆
gorgeous photos ad, you are a wonderful travel writer, taking us along for all the fun!
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Christine. 🙂
You illustrate this well…beautiful architecture and a fun place to explore but what a magical evening. Love the Venetian glass.
Thanks, Lynne. Yes, that wall light was really beautiful. 😉
Excellent photos. I like the musicians.
Thank you. The musicians were very cute. 🙂
Hi AD, that’s one place I could visit time and time again 🙂
I’m so glad you feel that way. 🙂
Venice is truly some place, a uniqueness in a very special right.
I so agree, newsy. 🙂
What a wonderful trip! And excellent pictures too!
Thanks so much, Sue. We so enjoyed every minute. 🙂