Thursday, June 14th
I awoke Thursday morning to a cloudy day. It was tough to figure out if the clouds meant rain. I brought my raincoat with me just in case.
After having my morning coffee, I went in search once again for Peter Pan, the mask store I had been searching for. I took the vaporetto over the San Stae stop and tried to retrace my steps from last year when I stayed near that stop.
Just after getting off the vaporetto, the skies opened up and the rain came pouring down. I was glad I decided to carry my raincoat with me. Even with my raincoat on, I was drenched. I saw a few older ladies stopped under archways waiting for the rain to stop. To me, it looked like it would be raining all day. I walked as close as I could to the edge of the road to try to escape some of the rain. After about 20 minutes, the rain stopped.
During my search, I stopped to ask a shopkeeper if he knew where I could find Peter Pan. He had no idea what I was talking about. I told him it was a mask shop. He then told me that there are mask shops everywhere. At that moment, a guy, who must have been a friend of his, walked through the little piazza. He yelled out to him, asking him if he knew where Peter Pan was. No luck. I thanked him and decided that would be it for Peter Pan this year. I will just have to return to Venice again to find that mysterious mask shop that no longer seems to be where I remembered it was located.
I walked over the Rialto Bridge, enjoying the view of the Grand Canal from the top. I realized at that point that I had not yet bought my train ticket to Brescia for Saturday. I headed back through Cannaregio toward the train station. Along the way, closer to the train station, I noticed a second ATM machine that had one of those slots where you put your card in to enter a more secure ATM machine inside a little booth. I stopped to give my ATM card that had not been working another try. I thought perhaps it was just the other ATM machine that did not seem to like my card (later when arriving home realizing that it liked my card enough to charge me the money I never received). This machine did not work either. I used my back up ATM card, withdrew some more money, and then continued on to the train station.
At the train station, I located the automatic ticket booths. I stood in line behind a woman who seemed to be finishing up her purchase. She put her money in to buy her ticket, but her money got stuck and her ticket did not come out. She started banging on the machine, and I believe there was some swearing in Italian, and then walked away in frustration. I felt bad for her and wished I could have helped. That incident helped me make my choice of using a credit card to purchase my train ticket. I also figured that I better try another machine just in case she was able to find someone to get the money out of that machine.
I found another machine that was free and proceeded to buy my ticket. I just read about the new Amica fare and gave it a try. Wonderful option as it saved me about 7 or 8 euros. I also needed to get my ticket for Bologna since the little Rovato station where I would be departing from did not have an automatic ticket booth.
When I punched in my train time and ticket choice; Rovato to Milano, Milano to Bologna, a warning message appeared (in Italian) stating that there was some sort of train track work and there may not be enough time to make my connection. It was then that I made that fatal decision to instead choose the other connection, which went through Verona.
That led to my, let’s just say “colorful” train experience when my first train was canceled, there were no seats on my second train, and I missed my eurostar connection, resulting in taking a later train and then having to explain why I was on that train with a eurostar ticket to the conductor. I later found out that when I was at the Rovato train station, the train I was originally going to take to Milan left on time and the train I instead took to Verona with a 40 minute window between train changes ended up being 50 minutes late and then canceled all together.
After buying my tickets, I sat by the edge of the water at the train station for a while, enjoying the view and doing a little “people watching”.
Here is a picture of the train station I took the day before while on a vaporetto:
My stomach started grumbling. I headed back to my apartment for lunch, having another delicious caprese salad and some pasta with pesto.
After lunch, the weather was still pretty overcast. I headed back towards Piazza San Marco to visit the Museo Correr. Somehow, I took a wrong turn and ended up in front of La Fenice, the opera house that burned down. After reading the book, City of Falling Angels, which was about the fire of La Fenice, the restoration, and the arson trial, I was thrilled to find La Fenice! I went inside to check out the possibility of touring the inside of this opera house. There happened to be a performance that night and so the tours were already closed for the day. I jotted down the time for the tours for the following day, looked on my map to make a note of just where this opera house was located, and then continued on to the Museo Corrrer.
One of the main reasons I wanted to visit the Museo Correr was to see the Sargent exhibit. I had read about Sargent and his work and was excited that I would be in Venice while the exhibit was still there.
When I picked up my Clock Tower ticket, I was told that my ticket would also get me into the Museo Correr. That was true, but a separate ticket costing 7 euros was needed to see the Sargent exhibit. The cost of the ticket was definitely worth it! The Sargent exhibit was increditble!! There were so many beautiful paintings. I am not very good at describing art but here is a link that describes the exhibit and includes copies of a few of his paintings. The exhibit was recently extended until the end of September so if you are in Venice, don't miss it!
After spending quite a bit of time enjoying the paintings in the Sargent exhibit, I entered the Museo Correr. This museum is huge! I had visited a few of the rooms before taking the Clock Tower tour the day before, and so I zipped through the first few rooms and started where I left off.
My mission was to find the Bird's Eye View of Venice print by Jacopo de Barbari that the tour guide from the Clock Tower tour told us about. The print was indeed incredible. The Bird’s Eye View was a detailed map of Venice done in the 1500’s made by six hand-carved blocks. After admiring the print for a while, I continued on through the museum.
My feet were getting pretty tired as this museum was huge! I came to a stairway, which led to more collections. I debated whether or not to go up that stairway or to just call it a day. I am so glad I chose the stairway. The original hand-carved blocks that made the famous Bird’s Eye View print as well as I believe the original print was in one of the rooms on this next level. I highly recommend a visit to this museum to see this amazingly detailed print of Venice. Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the museum
At the entrance to the museum where you purchase your tickets, you will find a cool replica of the Clock Tower (can you tell I am a little obsessed with the Clock Tower?).
After leaving the museum, I couldn't resist a few more shots of the beautiful Piazza San Marco.
My next thought was gelato! I had yet to visit the Dorsoduro area and one of my favorite campos, Campo Santa Margherita, where you can find a few highly recommended places to get a good gelato. I hopped on a vaporetto and headed over to the campo. The vaporetto pass in my opinion was well worth the cost. I loved the idea of being able to hop on and off without having to buy a ticket.
When I arrived in the campo my big decision was, which gelateria to go to? What a nice dilemma to have! I decided on Igloo Gelato. I chose pistachio and coconut. YUMMY!!
Well, I now have just one more day to go and my trip report part of this blog will be complete! I will continue to add a few more pictures that correspond to some of my previous posts.