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Alan K | profile | all galleries >> Italia >> Il Veneto E Venezia (The Veneto and Venice) >> One And A Bit Days In Venezia (Venice) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

One And A Bit Days In Venezia (Venice)

Venice

I have mixed feelings about allowing Google Maps to track my movements. On the one hand it's a little more Orwellian than I would like, on the other hand it is massively useful for tracing your movements after the event, especially when life gets in the way and you only get the chance to sort through the photos over a year later, as is happening here.

On package tours in particular you are often herded from one spot to another and you remember particular sights and sounds and incidents, but you can't always reconstruct that into a whole narrative. With Google Maps I can take a look at my timeline and think "Ah, we started here, then went here, etc, etc." It's not perfect, and sometimes the path has to be extrapolated from the cell towers than being exact, but now I really miss having that ability for the couple of days before we got our SIM cards. It's the only way I was able to tell for certain which canals we passed through on our gondola ride, for instance.

We arrived in Venice on the evening of Friday 26 August and by "Venice" I mean "The Hotel Poppi in the farmlands of Mira, about 20 minutes' drive from the main island". Don't take that as a put-down; the hotel rooms were tiny, but the hotel itself wasn't bad. That evening two of us took a hike over to a supermarket which took us through the fields at the back of the hotel, across the side road, and down the highway a little. I actually wish I'd shot that now, because it was a fond memory of a place I probably won't see again. It was a small moment of "living like a local".

Once we were checked in and settled that evening, the bus took us in to Venice. Not actually to the main island of Venice but rather across the bridge that spans the lagoon (the via della Libertà) to Tronchetto, an artificial island to the west of Venice's main island. It serves as a parking space for people who can't (obviously) bring cars into the main part of the island.

There is a transport system (a cross between a bus, a tram and train) called the Venice People Mover which will take you from Tronchetto to the western part of the island, specifically the Piazalle Roma. However that is a long way from the central attractions, and so instead we caught a boat from the island, along the Giudecca Canal (which separates the main island to the north from the Giudecca island to the south), finally landing just near the Piazza San Marco.

From there we were taken to a small, back alley restaurant (which backed onto a canal as so many buildings do) where we had a very pleasant though not unforgettable dinner. This was followed by time on our own to explore the area around the Piazza San Marco. At the end of the evening we were loaded up into the boat with another tour group who I would cheerfully have strangled en masse if I had to endure another moment of their off key, loud group singing. It made me appreciate how lucky we were with our group.

The next day after breakfast we repeated the return trip and were left to our own devices for some of the day, though there were arranged events such as a tour of a glassblowing factory and a gondola ride. Again, I would not have been able to tell exactly where the gondola ride went without the assistance of Google maps. We started just to the west of the Piazza San Marco on the Giudecca Canal, just as the Grand Canal opens into it. We went a little bit further to the west before turning north into the Rio de Santa Maria Zobenigo (named after a church, which was in turn named by a notable family of the time; note: you won't easily find this canal on Google Maps), following that to its end and then turning east(ish) into the Rio de la Vesta, following that to its end, then out into the Rio De San Moise (Moses) which flows back out into the Grand Canal.

In the afternoon we made a trip north-west across the lagoon to the island of Burano.

Note that some of the places have multiple names and not all follow the rules of strict Italian. ("De", for example, is French, not Italian.) I suspect that this is a slop-over from the Napoleonic occupation of Venice. If in doubt, I've used the name that you're most likely to find on Google Maps.
The Bit - Evening Of Fri 26 Aug 2016
:: The Bit - Evening Of Fri 26 Aug 2016 ::
The Day In Venice - Saturday 27 August 2016
:: The Day In Venice - Saturday 27 August 2016 ::