|Denise and David in Europe
Italy - Venice part 2
updated 11 November 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
One of the biggest rooms in Europe
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
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
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