Well, despite the very late night I still manage to get out of the hotel by 10am for my last day of exploring Italy. I hop on the train back into Venice, and find the vaporetto that will take me to Burano. Not a cheap ride; I have to pay $30 for a day pass. I stand at the dock waiting for the boat..it’s a little confusing as to which one I need to take. And people are pushing and shoving so they can be the first to get on the next boat. Sooo annoying. After a few boats fill up, I finally get on one and head down to the lower part. Lucky for me, the water is a bit rough today. I have to get off at Murano, which is an island known for its glass making. I only have a half hour to explore, so I just wander around. Or shall I say stumble around, as that boat ride made me very dizzy. Gotta love motion sickness! By the time I feel normal again, I get back on a boat (a much larger one this time) and it is so packed…I manage to find a tiny space near the rails so I can look out and get fresh air.
This morning I am exploring Burano, an island in the Venetian lagoon known for its brightly colored houses. It’s very picturesque….so many photo opportunities.
Fun Fact: The colors of the houses follow a specific system, so if someone wants to paint their house, they must submit a request to the government who will say which colors are permitted.
There isn’t much to do here in Burano; I wander around and look in a few shops and decide if I want to have lunch here or head back to Venice.
After being here for around an hour, I hop back on the ferry for a 45 min direct ride back to St. Mark’s Square. And again, the city is NUTS with tourists.
A short walk from the harbor is the Bridge of Sighs, a famous bridge that shows up in many photos of Venice. And the viewpoint to the bridge is packed with tourists, surprise.
It is a covered bridge made of limestone with 2 windows, built in 1600. The history of the bridge says that this was the final lookout point for convicts before they were sent to jail. I then head around the corner from the bridge to the Piazzetta of St Mark’s Square, an adjoining part of the square that opens up to the waterway of the lagoon and Grand Canal.
Here stands the magnificent Doges Palace, a gothic palace built in 1600. Today it functions as a museum, but I opt not to take the tour inside. I can see 2 pink pillars among many white ones on the side of the palace. My research tells me they were painted that color because the Doge would sit on his chair between these two pillars when he announced who was to be executed(and some unlucky souls were executed right there) The other doomed ones would be placed between the two columns(Saint Theodore and the Lion of Venice) , which frame the entrance to the city from the water.
They faced inward to the city, their last view being the clock tower so they could see their time of death.
It is considered bad luck to walk in between these columns because of the history of executions! I continue on to St Mark’s Basilica, and make my way inside.
It is one of the most famous churches in all of Italy, and it is very opulent. With many mosaics that are brightly colored and placed on top of gold glass tesserae, it makes the ceiling shimmers gold. I really want to take pictures but it’s not allowed.
I make my way back to the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge. There is a temporary art display I’m looking for called Support. It is two giant hands coming out of the water, like they are holding up the building(it has been removed as of spring 2018).
It’s a neat sight to see. I don’t want to go to a restaurant for dinner so I grab a calzone and a Bellini in a bottle(Bellinis were created in Venice!) and find a spot to sit on a small bridge overlooking a quiet canal.
I grab a gelato for dessert as I try to find my way back to the train station, following the “Alla Forrovia” signs with arrows on the buildings.
Still not as easy as it may seem. But what’s cool is along the way I come across some really interesting churches. The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is a large brick Gothic Italian church – I pop inside to have a look. It’s very beautiful.
The next church I find is Scuola Grande di San Rocco…it’s a pity I did not go inside…it has a collection of Tintoretto’s finest paintings and from the pics I’ve seen after the fact – it is stunning!
At this point, I think that I am for sure headed in the wrong direction. But somehow I end up back at the San Simeon Piccolo church, and my time in Venice is over as I hop back on the train. What should be an easy stress free ride turns into a nightmare as I miscalculate the stops before I need to get off, therefore missing mine. I try asking a few fellow passengers where this train is headed but no one speaks English. I go into slight panic mode, as I have no idea when the train will stop or where the heck I’m going. After 10 minutes that seemed like 90, the train stops and I ask the attendant what I should do. He says, no problem, just get off the train and go back the other way! Well yeah that makes sense. This fiasco only sets me back about half an hour Grazie Dio. I return to Hotel Mondial, to finish packing and reminisce about this fantastic vacation. Addio per ora, see you soon!