Saturday, October 19, 2013

VENICE, ITALY......It is MY PARIS.....I see an apartment in my future!!!!!

This was the first sight I saw as we were sailing into the Port in Venice.  Not a bad beginning to what turned out to be a perfect day and a half in the City I love most in the world.  It's romantic, beautiful, unique and it is MY PARIS!!!

What can I say about Venice?  How much time do you have?  I will start at the beginning...arriving.  The ship passed through a narrow passage way and I began to see just a hint of what was to come.  As you can see above you begin with a hint of the architecture and the history.  And these views just continued for over a half hour until the ship was secured. 
Although we were lucky to secure a prime berth location, it was still a little journey to get out of the port and away from the cars and traffic.  It was not difficult, but it did involve a lot of walking. First you walk from the ship to the People Mover (about 15 minutes).  For one Euro you purchase a ticket from one of the ticket machines.....then scan it in the turnstile....gate opens....go through....but move quickly!  The People Mover had one stop....Piazialie Roma......a VERY short ride, but you avoid what could be a 30 minute walk.  Once you get to Roma......walk out of the terminal.....head for the first bridge on your right.....walk over....and the cars, busses etc.  are gone for the rest of your visit!  And here is where I began to walk, and walk and soak up Venice.
This is the Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square ....Piazza San Marco.....OH what a difference from the 70's.....but we went there because Jeff had never been to Venice and he needed to see it at least once.  30+ years ago was pre-cruise ships and this square although with a lot of people....many were locals and it was no where as crowded as on this visit.....we hustled through the mobs and did a photo op.
If you look carefully.....you can see me there amidst "some" people....I should have taken a picture of the mobs to the left & front of me.  It is such a beautiful Square.....but, perhaps in the off travel months it still has the charm I remember.  We went a short distance from here and there was the open air fruit & vegetable market that I love.....I may have a picture of that.....it was near the Rialto Bridge.

This is the REAL CHARM of Venice.......this view repeats itself over and over again around just about every corner you walk through!  And the gondola is probably the only way to see all these narrow canals where the residents live....but they are pricey.  I guess when I go back I need to meet someone with a small boat or rent an apartment that comes with a boat!
After an eternity of walking....we found ourselves a restaurant in Campo San Stefano.....and proceeded to relax and eat and drink.  As you can see we opted for Pasta......TIP....order a whole or half carafe of house wine and save some money.....that little pitcher is a half carafe.....much less than a bottle and not bad house wine!  We sat there for at least an hour and recouped. The Restaurant was Ristorante San Stefano!

As I said.....this view just repeats itself over and over again......Now tell me, how can you NOT Love Venice??????
This little scene was in a residential area.....I believe residents actually park there small boats at the foot of the stairs here.  I wonder if an apartment with a Boat Slip is Mega expensive?
The only real way to see the tiny canals is in a gondola!
This picture is back at the Ship....I went to the Masquerade Party on Board in honor of Venice's traditions.....I bought my mask in town.  Well, not a lot of folks participated, but I was a hit.  This is my nightcap and my Retired Mask!!!!!


The next morning I achieved my goals.....Find a quaint restaurant that had WIFI and have Pizza and a glass of wine......here's my pizza & wine. Pommodore, Mozarella, & Funghi!  I made room at the table, got the password and was able to eat & work.  If you are ever in Venice, look for DaSilvio's, somewhere on a side alley, small opening with stairs going up....you can see the greenery from the Alleyway, that's what caught my eye!
And Here's the little garden restaurant that I found on the second floor off an alleyway.....It had my charm, my food and my free WIFI to keep all of you guys informed without breaking the bank.  DaSilvios!

Just some shots on the Grand Canal......here's Jeff!







And nothing like Tomatoes, Garlic Zuccinni Pineapple and a Gondelier passing by! 

NOW Do you understand why I love Venice so so so very much?

After spending time in this wonderful City I could easily imagine myself in an apartment either in the heart of the City....or in a suburb within walking distance of the City.  Jeff & I rented a Villa in Tuscany for a week and one in San Remo for a week a few years ago.  And it was one of the best times ever!  So I am thinking of perhaps renting a place in Venice for a couple of weeks....Jeff can visit the last week, then perhaps go to Cinque Terra....on the coast....rent a place there....Jeff can stay one week and I can add another.  Poor Jeff, he is still working, so two weeks off is his limit.  NO LIMITS ON ME! 

Next Blog will be Crete, Greece....not on our original Itinerary, but we were unable to Dock in Katakolon or Santorini, Greece due to high winds.  So we had an extra day at sea and a stop in Crete.....not a bad substitute!