It was an early day, but that barely mattered with all the traveling and random waking times we’d had. The train ride to Venice was almost routine by now, but this time we had to buy the tickets ourselves at the train station, so we allowed extra time for that. Even then, we were once again early for the train, but that was fine.
I was able to see Venice from the bridge, as we approached, and I could tell from the arrival that it was surrounded by water. Once we got off the train, we split up into our smaller groups and simply wandered. We all had maps of the city, and it proved to be smaller than the map implied. I took pictures of every bridge and canal for the first half hour so that I knew I had gotten some nice pictures of the historic city. Our only real destination for the day was the church of San Marco, but we figured we’d pass close to it eventually.
At the largest bridge in the city, there was a large marketplace both on the bridge and on both sides. We ate sandwiches there and searched the shops to find and infinite supply of Murano glassware. The prices really ranged, and you could tell which the fancier stores were and which were cheap simply by the smallest piece they had. I saw a pair of dolphins, not
extremely large, for 15,000 euro, whereas a similar figure of a smaller size could have been 15 euro. We once asked one of the store managers why the prices were like this, and he explained that it was based on the artist. Apparently some of the glass artists were famous here while others, students, perhaps, might have only made small figurines that sold for a regular price.
At the coast of Venice, there was another island with a large white, columned structure about a mile or two out. It looked like there were ferries that took tourists there, but also it might have been for church services. I never found out much about it. It was hot by midday, so we went back into the city where the buildings provided shade.
The Basilica di San Marco was of a different style than I had seen before now in Italy. It possessed both a dome and multiple arches, but the columns themselves were strange in that they were composed – at least on the exterior – of smaller columns. It was a beautiful structure, especially on the inside, which had thousands of square feet of mosaics.
The rest of the day was shopping and getting lost, finding the Ghetto, where some Jewish residents in the 1930’s and during that time were sent to camps, only eight returning. The area today is small, but lively, mostly comprising a single area surrounded by residential buildings. We didn’t give ourselves enough time for a gondola ride, but I managed to get some good pictures of the gondoliers.
I was rather tired by the time we got back toMilan. The train ride seemed longer, but they’re always comfortable. I wasn’t up for much longer before going to bed and waiting for tomorrow’s free day.