Monday, October 19, 2009

Day Two in Venezia

On our second day in Venice Les had some work to do so I headed into town on my own.  I decided to check out San Giorgio in Isola, one of the islands in the lagoon.  It is home to the San Giorgio Maggiore church which was designed by Andrea Palladio which houses famous paintings by Tintoretto, and has magnificent views of the rest of Venice from the bell tower.

San Giorgio Maggiore

Tintoretto's (1518-1594) Manna from Heaven

Choir area behind the main alter

Tintoretto's Last Supper

Main Alter of San Giorgio Maggiore, topped with a bronze globe of the world

Statue of an angel that once stood atop the bell tower
Made of wood in the 18th century, destroyed by lightening in 1993 & pieced back together.  The angel that now stands on top of the bell tower is a replica.

After exploring the interior of the church I ascended the bell tower to take in the fantastic view of Venice.

Campanile, Doge's Palace, & Piazza San Marco

La Salute Church

A massive panorama, click on it to view the detail

Les called me soon after I'd finished my tour of San Giorgio Maggiore and said he was on his way.  I caught the next vaporetto to Piazza San Marco and did a bit of shopping and window shopping while I waited.

The window of a glass shop with a reflection of Basilica San Marco

Once Les joined me we grabbed panini to-go from a nearby cafe (a much cheaper way to eat in Venice) and then plopped ourselves down on the steps in the piazza to people watch and eat.  Once we finished we decided to visit the inside of the Basilica San Marco.  No pictures were allowed inside, but it was fantastic.  I wish I could have taken photos.  So beautiful!  The only photos I took were once we were out on the balcony overlooking the piazza.

La Quadriga (The Bronze Horses)
The orignals are actually inside the church now, these replicas stand atop the church's facade.

Torre dell'Orologio (The Clock Tower)

Piazza San Marco

Overlooking the Piazetta and out to the lagoon, the Doge's Palace is on the left

Detail of the Doge's Palace

A side door to the Basilica San Marco

Once we were finished at the Basilica we decided to follow another Rick Steves walking tour, this one from Piazza San Marco to San Zaccaria.

Church of San Zaccaria

The top of San Zaccaria's facade

Once we finished the Rick Steves walk we just meandered for a few hours.  Venice is perfect for getting lost.  Its hard to keep track of its tiny streets that snake around with no apparent organization, and you can't get too lost, it is only an island!

Eventually we found ourselves in the part of town where the Venetians live.  It definitely had a more comfortable, lived in feel.  People were carrying grocery bags instead of cameras; stores sold fruits and vegies as opposed to scarves, purses, and glass; and there was an abundant amount of laundry drying balcony wash racks.

Our last day in Venice wound to a close.  We grabbed dinner at a place that turned out to be fantastic and reasonably priced (for Venice). I had a plate of tagliatelle with shrimp and zucchini and it was delicious.  We also got to chatting with a lady sitting at a table near us.  She was Venezuelan, worked in Rome for an American company, and was taking a few days holiday on her own.  I really enjoyed talking with her.

After dinner we contemplated taking a gondola ride, but after asking the price (100 euros) we decided not to.  They did come down to 70 euros after walked away, but I couldn't stomach paying more than 50, and already that is a lot of money.  We decided to get back on the Vaporetto, find an outdoor seat, and cruise the grand canal that way.  That was our gondola ride :) Much cheaper!  It was cold and windy but we enjoyed the ride.  Once we were chilled through we got off of the Vaporetto at the train station and headed back to our hotel.

The next morning it was time to pack up and head home.  We had a wonderful time in Venice.  I hope to go back again one day, but I figure I'm lucky to have been there twice now. 

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