Wednesday, June 13th
The island of San Giorgio Maggiore has always fascinated me.
I have taken many pictures of this island from afar but I have never actually visited this island. After a wonderful lunch, I headed back to take a vaporetto to finally go into the church that dominates the island and to go to the top of the clock tower.
The vaporetto was a little tricky to find as there were either two or three docks close together (am having difficulty recalling the exact number now) and I was not sure which one would take me to San Giorgio Maggiore. I went to the wrong dock, but was redirected. I still was not sure if I was at the correct dock (which is why I am thinking there must have been three docks) but then saw the route on the board and knew I was in the correct place. The vaporetto for this route did not run as regularly as the others. Fortunately for me the next vaporetto was set to arrive in about 10 minutes. The boat was not too crowded. This allowed me to take some good close up shots of the island.
As we got closer, I was amazed at the beauty of the plain white church against the deep blue sky. The church was so simple and yet so stunning.
There were only a few people outside of the church when I arrived. I headed into the church and looked for the clock tower lift. As a fan of climbing towers, I was a little disappointed that there was not an option to climb this tower, but it was still exciting to be able to get to the top. I had heard that the views were incredible.
Finding a person sitting in a lift collecting money for tickets no longer surprises me after a few encounters over the years, but I still wonder how they can do this job day after day. The guy in this lift was young, possibly in his early 20's. He barely looked up from his book to collect my money and give me my ticket. He then moved his hand to press the correct button without even glancing at the buttons, all the while continuing to read his book. I guess if reading books in enclosed places that go up and down all day is your thing, this would be the job for you!
The views from the top were indeed incredible. I took a little video but it came out pretty blurry. Here are a few pictures. I have been trying to keep the pictures sizes smaller so that my webpage does not take forever to load for those with a slower connection but I did make a few of the pictures below a little larger in order to see more of the details.
After spending about 30 minutes at the top, I headed back down to catch the next vaporetto. I continued to go around the island for a view of the Zattere and the Guidecca instead of up the Grand Canal. I love being on boats and never tire of riding the vaporetto, especially when I get a good seat in the front. As we came closer to the train station stop, I took this picture of one of the three bridges that cross the Grand Canal.
Instead of heading back to my apartment, I decided to get off at the new Rialto Market stop to go to Peter Pan, the mask shop that I spent time in the previous year. The woman, who actually made many of the masks herself along with her sister, was so kind, taking the time to explain the process and telling me about the history and significance of many of the masks last year. I wanted to buy a mask last year but because I visited the shop on my last day in Venice, I did not have time to get to the post office to mail home my mask and definitely did not have room for a mask in my luggage. I decided right then that the next time I returned to Venice I would buy a mask a this shop. I was so mad at myself for not bringing the card with me, as I could not find this shop. I clearly remembered it being in the Santa Croce district not far from the hotel I stayed in last year. I could have sworn that I remembered just where it was located but could not find it.
I finally gave up, but did come across an internet site during my search that I stopped in to update my blog, check my messsages, etc. By then, it was getting late and I was getting hungry. I took this picture on the vaporetto on the way back to my apartment.
After a quick stop at my apartment, I headed over to La Strega, a pizzeria recommended by Chow Venice, which was located just past the beautiful Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo. I had a delicious pepperoni pizza (again peppers/not the meat). Although the peppers on this pizza were sliced peppers instead of grilled pepper, the sauce and the cheese were so ono!
A great way to end a wonderful and busy day in Venice!