11/4 – we slept in this morning, until we heard a knock on the door. Our breakfast, served on a silver tray – cappuccino, orange juice, croissants, crackers, and an assortment of butter and jams. A feast, and breakfast in bed!
When we left our B and B, the pavement was all wet, although the sun was shining. Had it rained during the night? No! The high tide had flooded the streets, as often happens here in winter. The shopkeepers were busy squeegeeing off their display windows to prepare for the day. Lucky the waters had receded by the time we came out. There are high end shops of every variety, liberally sprinkled with the local specialties Murano glass, and beautiful masks, reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera.
Today we took the vaporetto (water bus) from the Rialto Bridge around the city. The weather is turning, and we think we should get our outdoor activities completed today. We got seats on the back of the boat, so we had an unobstructed view. Here is some of what we saw:
The bus let us off at St. Mark’s Square, home of many pigeons and hawkers trying to shame men into purchasing roses for their ladies. The square is too large to capture in one picture, so here are parts of it:
Here is the famous Cafe Florian on the square, proudly serving espresso to tourists at $8.50 a swig since 1720.
The tourists get a kick out of having pigeons land on them to peck for food. I was raised in NY, where we refer to pigeons as ‘rats with wings’, so I have no desire to let pigeons land on me.
Here is the famous white limestone Bridge of Sighs, which once connected the interrogation room with the prison. Lord Byron conjectured that the guilty would take one last look at beautiful Venice and sigh before they were locked away. It is also said that if you pass under the Bridge of Sighs in a gondola, with your loved one, at sunset, and kiss while the church bells are ringing, your love will last forever. I imagine the gondolas must queue up here at sunset…
What a unique city, with a surprise around every corner. Tomorrow – St Mark’s!