"" Writer's Wanderings: 18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Venice, Italy

Monday, November 01, 2010

18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Venice, Italy

[Summer, 2004]

On our second day in Venice, we arrived by vaporetto again, this time taking the one that went down the Grand Canal. We managed to get seats in front and enjoy the spectacular view of the old buildings sitting right in the water. Small docks or steps with platforms lead right to the front doors of some of the hotels along the canal. It would have been fun to spend a night in one of them. Gardens and window boxes and balconies full of flowers caught our attention as we slowly made our way to St. Mark's Square.

It was 9 a.m. when we reached the square and there were few tourists around. The bell tower was first on our list and just opened for the day. We paid our 6 Euros each and took the elevator to the top. The view of the square was wonderful. Looking beyond that, all you could see were rooftops. The canals are obscured by all the buildings. Cruise ships in the harbor dwarfed the buildings and looked out of place from that vantage point.

We walked directly out of the bell tower and got in the line for the basilica. It was already stretching across the square. I had carried our backpack that day and as we approached the entrance, I knew I was in trouble. Security was sending people with backpacks to an area around the corner to check them. If he knew English, he didn't use it. I headed in the direction of where he pointed while the others went on ahead. There was no place I could see that looked like a bag check. I went back to the entrance and found another American who was following an Italian girl to find the place. I followed them hoping this would work as well as following our Italian to Switzerland. The baggage check was not only around the corner but also down a side street and not marked well at all. (Italy goes to extremes--either too many confusing signs or not enough.) I checked the backpack and received a large tag that got me to the front of the line and into the basilica in time to see the Bob, Dick, and Polly on their way out. They waited while I walked with the crowd up one aisle, across the front and down the other aisle.

It was an impressive church but I didn't think it was as beautiful as some of the others we had seen in Germany and Austria. There are numerous scenes depicted with mosaics shimmering in golden highlights. Large domes loom overhead. The floor is a geometric pattern of tiles. There are no photographs allowed and while you are inside, you must remain silent. Also, throughout Italy, there is a dress code for visitors to churches. You cannot wear shorts, sleeveless blouses, or short skirts above the knee. They will, and did, turn people away.

After retrieving our backpack, we returned to the square to see all the pigeons. It rivals Trafalgar Square in London. For a Euro you could buy a small bag of corn and instantly make friends with hundreds of pigeons. Actually they are very gentle and there was only one "accident" recorded which was quickly cleaned up.
We lingered a while and then headed off to find a vaporetto to Murano.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...