Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sunshine in Venice

We were blessed with the most beautiful weather in Venice today. The sun was shining and it was a mild 15 degrees Celsius. After a meagre hotel breakfast, we strolled down to the famous and centuries old  Rialto markets. Here, fresh seafood - much still alive!- was stacked on trestle tables, waiting on ice and in buckets for the astute buyer. Fruit, vegetables and meats also filled the stalls. With the busy activity on the canal nearby, it was an exciting atmosphere.

Our next stop was St Mark's Basilica. We were fortunate that the waters had mostly receded and that queues were minimal to enter St Mark's. Inside, beautiful Byzantine mosaics decorated the walls and the tiled floor dipped where centuries of tidal waters had left their mark. It cost us only five euros each to climb upwards to St Mark's outdoor terrace and to view its fascinating museum. Silence was requested and no photography was allowed inside.

A quick photo of the Bridge of Sighs next door, and we couldn't resist the opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather by cruising the canal for a fifty minute ride in our own water taxi! It was the same price as our gondola ride, but heaps more fun and much longer. Departing from Piazza San Marco,we saw museums and yachts, ducked under little bridges, weaved through smaller canals and even witnessed a funeral.

Once back on "dryish" land, we stopped by for lunch at one of our favourite haunts, "Hard Rock Cafe". A mixture of rest and some final shopping in the afternoon, we then went for dinner near the Rialto Bridge for our last taste of true Italian fare.

Venetian doggie couture!

Brett with an impressive sword fish at the Rialto Markets

Eloise, Brett Snr, Sean and Eloise at Venice's Rialto Markets

Tricia loves the smell of fresh seafood!

Eel anyone?

So fresh, they're still alive!...Rialto Markets

Famous horse statues of St Mark's Basilica

Statue adorning St Mark's Basilica

Beautiful Byzantine mosaic of St Mark's Basilica, Venice

Brett, Eloise and Sean in Venice's Piazza San Marco

The famous Bridge of Sighs

Views along Venice's Grand Canal

Eloise, Brett and Sean enjoy the water taxi on Venice's Grand Canal

Perfect reflections

Not all bridges in Venice are old

Even funerals rely on Venice's canals

Heading back towards Doges Palace and Piazza San Marco

Brett, Sean, Eloise and Brett Snr outside "Hard Rock Cafe", Venice

Venetian glass chandelier of Venice's "Hard Rock Cafe"

Madonna's 1993 Australian Tour outfit, "Hard Rock Cafe"

Gondolas line up outside Venice's "Hard Rock Cafe"

"Dolce and Gabbana", Venice

The familiar sight of Venetian gondoliers
It will definitely be sad to say good-bye to Italy tomorrow....and we were just starting to pick up the language!                   Tricia

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