Denise and David in Europe 2016
November 9-11
Italy - Venice part 2

last updated 11 November 2016
Back to Italy - Venice part 1 Forward to Switzerland - Zurich part 1

Wednesday 9 November - Venice day 3 - The Gondola

Today we were looking forward to our gondola ride in the afternoon.  But we set out on foot toward the Rialto Bridge and the Railway Station to see the other half of Venice.

The route took us through many quieter areas, past churches, concert halls, lodgings, bridges and ...washing!

A big church in the distance (Basilica dei Frari)  shows its presence. 

We made it over the most famous and old Rialto Bridge (500 years old) and continued toward our original entry point into Venice.   The different colours and architectures of the 17th century buildings continue to amaze.

A quiet canal stroll.

Pictured below is the Ponte degli Scalzi the final bridge to the railway station - our target for the morning.

The following is a typical public transport station which the launches come and go.

The view from the top of the bridge is pretty this morning.  It's a busy day on the Canal Grande today.

We then headed toward to "old Jewish ghetto" and the "novo Jewish ghetto".  These dated back also to the 1600's.  This is the square "Campo del Ghetto Novo".

Denise sketched this view while we rested for a little while.

After lunch it was time for the gondola ride.  Don't ask how much it costs.... you don't want to know (#$%@$^%%@$^@$!).  We settled for a one hour trip.  Off we go!

Pictured below we are now in the Grand Canal and heading towards the Rialto Bridge (500 years old).

Ahhhh watch out.  We have to get across to the right.... it just got busier on the Canal.

Phew... into this side canal.  Ahhh peaceful surrounds.

Passed the front of the Di Giovani Paolo Church.  Very impressive.

What is this ....... into the open sea to the north of Venice!   Oh my god!  The waves just got bigger.  Our gondolier points out a man waving and blowing Den kisses from another boat is Julia Roberts private taxi driver when she comes to Venice.

Wait... here goes an ambulance.  Now that was something different!  The island in the distance is Giorgio.

Breath in...... sometimes it is a bit of a squeeze.

Did I say a bit of a squeeze......Oops, David has to duck.  Low bridge.  No idea how the gondolier got through.

Onwards to next canal.

And exactly an hour later our romantic ride is over.  Meet our singing gondolier.

And his boat "Lisa".  A MUST do for everyone.  On one condition, you have to be romantic. LOL  (Ed.  We were romantic.  I only moved to the other side of the gondola when our gondolier indicated we would not fit under the bridge.)

Another great day in Venice.

Thursday 10 November - Venice day 4

The gondola ride yesterday was a hard act to follow Hard and we gave it our best shot by visiting San Marco for a good look inside Basilica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale the former residence and government centre of the Doges. The building also is linked to the former prison entered by the sighing bridge.  Those who crossed it never returned.

The photo below is where our journey commenced today.  At the Museum of Music.  This is a picture of the workshop.

Pictured below some of the extremely old musical instruments on display.  There were all sorts of instruments that dated back centuries.

and there were ancient music books.....(this one is for Robyn.... fancy playing this for us when we get back)?  BTW can anyone from 'Chime' decipher this?  This book was a great deal smaller compared to the ones in the Basilica di San Marco.  Those books were nearly one meter square.  Why so big?

The Palazzo Ducale is a MUST DO for any one going to Venice.  The works of art are huge and amazing. Every one telling a different story of its time.  In fact everything in there was huge.  Every room was accessible and you are allowed to take photos. (no flash) unlike the Basilica next door where you were not allowed to do much at all.  I have never seen so much gold leaf  - it covered everything.

The square below as seen from the balcony of the Bascilica.

A bit of a close up for you of the lagoon.   The symbol of the winged lion and St George and the Dragon buy the look of it.


The entry to Basilica St Marco.  The platforms in the foreground are walking platforms. If Venice has a high tide some places fill with water and you either slosh through the water or walk on these platforms.  The place was a bit pongy today and walking through the square water was bubbling up through the drains. 

The lovely lion and some angels at the very peak of the Basilica.

Works of art adorn the Basilica

Now to the palace.  The picture below is called The Golden Staircase.  It is the first point of lavishness when you enter the  Palazzo Ducale.

This room is typical of all the rooms we went though - floor to ceiling paintings.   Absolutely astounding.

Another one and they just kept on coming....works and ornamental detail dating from the 9th Century.

The inner sanctum where the 10 most senior councilors worked together.

Behind this corner cabinet is the door to the inner most sanctum of the justice administration.

One of the biggest rooms in Europe ...... before.....

and .... after.... 

Pictured below the link between the Palazzo and the prison (The sighing bridge) Those who crossed it did not return.

The last pic for the Palazzo... an original gondola.   Look at that wood carving.

It was after 2pm by now and it was time for lunch.... last walk around Venice and some shopping then back to pack for Zurich.

Friday 11 November - Venice to Zurich

An early breakfast scheduled and a 7:20am start back to the station via launch!  We left on time... dragging the bags over the bridges to S. Angelo station before boarding the 7:33 to the railway station.  It was smooth sailing but what is this..... high tide? 

Notice how deep the water is - lapping into the front of shops.  This is a result of high tide and global warming.

Continuing on along the grand canal. This is the quietest we have seen it.   Launches coming the other way were packed with those getting to work and school kids.

and around the bend we arrived at the station just on an hour before the train was to leave.  Comfortable timing.

Our carriage - platform number 6.  Not bad huh!

A castle glimpse on the way between Venice and Milan.

2.5 hours later, we arrived in Milan and waited another 40 minutes for a platform update. 

We finally were allocated the platform.  The train had been sitting there the whole time.   It wasn't too long before we hit the  Swiss/Italy border.  It wasn't long after a tunnel that took 20 minutes to get through. Switzerland. 

Back to Italy - Venice part 1 Forward to Switzerland - Zurich part 1