italy: venice/veneto Archives

June 13, 2007

the good, the bad, & the ugly

Departed Honolulu- Thursday evening, June 7th
Arrived Milan - Saturday morning, June 9th

The good:
Another wonderful check in experience at the Honolulu Airport. No line for the agriculture inspection. A long line for Northwest, BUT no line for Continental!! Because I already printed out my boarding pass, all I had to do was check my bag. There was an open kiosk available when I arrived. I quickly checked my bag (32 pounds) and went to the screening area. The aloha spirit is alive and well at the Honolulu Airport!

The line was not very long and so I was not very concerned about the wait, but a very kind man suggested that anyone leaving from gate 27 go to the next screening area because there was a shorter line there. He was correct. It took a total of 5 minutes to breeze through. This was the first time I flew since the new liquid rules. The person in front of me was a flight attendant and so I just followed her. It was sort of like an assembly line. Off go the shoes, everything goes in little bins, and one by one, we walk through the metal detector. The baggage screeners were very cheerful as I passed through.

After gathering all my belongings, I tried to figure out where my gate was located. My glasses were in a bag so I had to squint to read the signs. I saw a couple of ladies sitting on carts and went to ask one where gate 27 was. She said to hop in and she would give me a ride! WOW, that was probably the highlight of my flight. And it gets even better. Along the way, I asked her where I could buy some water. She said that the stores by my gate were already closed but she would pull over to one of the stores along the way and wait for me while I purchased my water. We picked up an older man along the way and quickly arrived at my gate. Simply amazing!

My flight took off on time and was as pleasant as a flight could be in coach. I ate some dried cherries (a tip I read that helps with jet lag) and slept much of the flight.

Once in Newark, I had about 5 hours to kill. It took 2 hours before my gate was announced so I basically wandered and stopped to watch the latest with Paris going back to jail on CNN. I also searched for the mailbox I had seen in the past to mail some cards that I should have mailed before I left and found out that there no longer are any mailboxes or mail slots inside the airport. The only way I could mail my cards was to go outside and then go through the security line again. Needless to say, the cards are now in Venice with me.

I had a grilled pepper and cheese sub, YUM!! and then headed over to my gate about an hour before it was scheduled to take off. A large group of people all flying together were sitting near me. We chatted a little and then slowly learned that our flight was not taking off on time. First we got the "Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be shortly delayed as we need to clean the plane" and then once we all boarded were told that we were out of order for the runway and it would only be a 15 minute delay. I'm sure you all know how that goes. Well, I really really had to pee by the time we finally took off. I leaped out of my seat as soon as we seemed to be leveling off and bolted for the restroom. Two of the flight attendants started to stop me but I pleaded that I had a medical condition and it was an emergency. They both were extremely kind, and one of them, a very cute flight attendant who was assigned to our section, was very kind to me the entire flight.

I sat next to an interesting guy that works for Diesel and lives in Switzerland. We chatted for a while until we were served dinner and then it was movie time. I forgot to have more cherries, but fell asleep anyways pretty quickly and slept much of the flight.

We arrived about 90 minutes later than scheduled and zoomed through the passport control area.

The bad:
The luggage guys seemed to be taking a break. Nothing moved for over 30 minutes. I chatted with a couple that did not have a very good travel agent as they were booked at the airport hotel for 2 nights! I didn't have the heart to tell them that staying at the airport area was probably the worst choice they could have made. They wanted to go to Venice one day and Lake Como the next. They probably should have stayed at Lake Como for the 2 nights instead.

Finally the bags started to come out. I grabbed my bag and realized (THE BAD) that my handle was broken!! It would not budge. While I lent my phone to the wife of the couple to call the hotel for a shuttle (and sadly she was told to take a taxi), the husband tried to help me pull up the handle. He was able to pull it up about 4 inches and that was as far as it would go. So much for the new tote bag I bought specifically to slip over the handle.

I easily found the bus to the train station outside of the airport and handed my luggage to the driver to put underneath and grabbed a seat. The bus ride was as pleasant as a bus ride into the city could be. I bought my ticket and 30 minutes later I was on the train to Venice. We took off about 5 minutes later than scheduled. I was on a Eurostar train and so it was a very pleasant 3 hour train ride. Once we arrived in Mestre, we were told that there would be a slight delay. Outside, you could see tons of people waiting for trains. Later I found out there was some sort of strike taking place. We ended up being 30 minutes delayed by the time we arrived at the Santa Lucia train station.

I met Ketty, the woman who was to take me to my apartment at the train station. We sent a few SMS' (text messages) back an forth since my arrival at the airport in Milan. I needed to buy my Venice Blu Card ticket, which I reserved ahead of time and gives me 7 days of access on all vaporetti. There was a HUGE line and she did not want to wait. She said it was just a short walk to the apartment and that the maid was waiting there with the key and needed to leave. I knew the route that we were about to take and this was NOT part of my plan.

There were lots of people along the way and Ketty walked at a brisk pace weaving in and out of the crowd. I tried my best to keep up while pulling my suitcase with the broken handle which was not easy to do. We had to cross 5 bridges. Now 5 may not seem a lot to you, but by the 5th bridge, my arms were shaking and I could hardly lift my bag.

We arrived at the door of my apartment and Ketty buzzed the maid. The apartment is on the 3rd floor (2nd floor for Italian lingo). I tried to lift my bag but my arms were not budging. Ketty helped me by grabbing one end and finally just carried it on her own. I was pleasantly surprised by a very nice apartment and after Ketty quickly announced the name of each room, she said goodbye and started to leave. I asked her to wait until I was sure about using each key and then said goodbye.

By this time, 30 hours after taking off from Honolulu, I was completely exhausted. I unpacked my things, stopped at an ATM, went to the grocery store (Billa), and bought a few things for dinner as well as some toilet paper. There was not even a square left for me so that was a priority!

Then, I went over the to Rialto Bridge vaporetto stop and bought my Venice Blu card. At first, the woman was going to make me go back to the train station but after I explained how long I had been traveling and asked her nicely if I could buy the ticket there, she agreed.

I made myself a caprese salad for dinner and went to bed. I woke up at 1 am and was not able to get back to sleep. I finally got up around 5:30. I watched some TV, had some yogurt and cereal for breakfast and then headed out to explore Venice.

Sunday, June 10th
Sunday morning in Venice at 6:30 am is pretty quiet. The street cleaners (men with brooms, not machines) were hard at work. I was amazed at all of the trash. I have to say though that there are not many wastebaskets around, not that I am making an excuse for littering.

The ugly:
OK, are you ready for the ugly?? After wandering my neighborhood for a while, I decided to head towards Piazza di San Marco. Thank goodness I looked down as at one point I just missed stepping on a dead rat!! Yes, you are reading this correctly, a big fat rat. I assume he or she was dead but perhaps it was just asleep. I guess the street cleaners did not get to that street yet.

This is my 4th trip to Venice and in her defense, this is only the first rat I have seen. That's the ugly!

jet lag & rain

Sunday, June 10th
Sunday morning was pretty peaceful in Venice. The skies were blue, the sun was out, and the temperature was perfect. Not too hot, but also not too chilly. It was amazing to stand in such an empty Piazza San Marco. There could not have been more than 30 or 40 people in the entire square. Even the pigeons had not arrived. I guess they wait for the vendors with the pigeon food to arrive.

I had a nice chat with the man standing by the Basilica door about how empty it was. I asked him if it was because it was Sunday. He said that every morning at 7 am most of Venice is still asleep. Although this will not convert me to be a morning person, I was glad to be there in the wee hours of the morning to enjoy the piazza without the crowds. After taking a few pictures, I walked down as far as the Arsenale area and then took the vaporetto back to Ca' Doro, stopped for my first italian coffee (heavenly) and then headed back to my apartment.

I was pretty wiped out and took a long nap. I woke up feeling the beginning of a cold coming on. I thought I escaped that nasty bug that many of the teachers at my school caught the last month of work. I took my cold snap, wellness capsules, and drank some airborne. Unfortunately none of that helped.

Later on in the day, I explored some of the Canneregio area where my apartment is located and then stopped at the grocery store again and bought some pesto and pasta for dinner. I was feeling pretty terrible by this point and decided that I would eat at home and get to bed early again. I had some more cherries hoping that would help with my jetlag. Unfortunately I forgot to have some again the night before and so it will be hard to tell if they work or not since I have not been eating them regularly right before dinner.

I fell asleep pretty quickly. I woke up at 2 am and could not go back to sleep! I found a cable plug in the bedroom and moved the tv to the bedroom and tried my best to go back to sleep. The tv usually will put me back to sleep.

Monday, June 11th
I finally got up at around 6 am and saw that the weather was gray and cloudy. The "METEO" (weather report) was not promising. I headed out after having some breakfast. I stopped for my morning coffee and then decided to walk down to the train station in search of an internet site along the way. I remembered seeing one last year but could not find it. I thought perhaps there might be one in the train station. Just as I arrived, the skies opened up and it started to rain. Umbrellas popped up everywhere. I headed over to San Tomà to go to the agency that arranged for my apartment to pay my bill. After paying, I stopped in a paper store and then decided to try Casa Mia for lunch.

Casa Mia is one of the restaurants recommended in the Chow Venice book I bought. A great choice! I had a delicious pepperoni pizza (peppers not the meat). Delicious! After lunch, I was feeling pretty lousy and was not up for walking around in the rain. I had dinner at my apartment again and tried to stay up as late as possible.

Tuesday, June 12th
Tuesday morning, I woke to another cloudy and overcast day. I slept until about 4 which was an improvement. I was feeling horrible but decided to head out anyways. I walked to the Fondamenta Nove area and then took one of the vaporetti around the island. I got off at the Giardini stop and thought about visiting the Biennale but decided against it. The weather looked like it was going to start raining at any moment and I still was not feeling too good. I took the next vaporetto and stopped at the COOP at the Piazzale Roma stop. I bought some food for lunch and dinner and then headed back to the apartment and hung out for most of the afternoon until finally it cleared up and a little bit of blue sky peeked through.

I headed out searching for a recommended gelateria. I found it after a few wrong turns but I was not thrilled with the flavors and really wanted pistachio, which they did not have, so I continued on to search for another gelateria. I stumbled into 2 amazing piazzas, Campo Santa Maria Formosa and Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo and I found a gelateria with pistachio!

After hanging out for a while, I headed back to my apartment. As I was walking back to my apartment, I saw another recommended restaurant that I wanted to try and made a mental note as to how to get there again for a lunch or dinner later in the week.

I was wiped out and had dinner once again at my apartment and then watched a movie on tv. I can't even remember the name of it at the moment but thankfully that was the last night of my jetlag haze.

July 7, 2007

tour of the Clock Tower in Venice

Now to catch up on what I have not yet posted...

One of the highlights of my visit to Venice was my tour of the Clock Tower or Torre dell'Orologio. In order to take this tour, you must make a reservation in advance. Three English tours are offered each day. The cost is 12 euros. There are a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 people per visit. I had some difficulty with my credit card making my reservation and was fortunate to have Katia to help me with this.

Sunday, June 10th
My tour was not scheduled until Wednesday. I was pretty excited about this tour and headed to see the clock tower early Sunday morning, the day after I arrived in Venice to take a few pictures. I was lucky to get a few shots before the crowds arrived. Here is one of my favorite pictures:


Wednesday, June 13th
Wednesday morning finally arrived, the day of my Clock Tower tour!! I took a traghetto over to the the Rialto Market area to search out a bar that I read about for some coffee. I was not able to fine it but instead found a great little bar on the corner of Ramo de la Donzela. The only sign I could find was "Wine Bar", which was written on one of those little slates along with a list of drinks and things to eat outside the bar. After having a great coffee and a delicious pastry, I spent a little bit of time at the Rialto Market. I love looking at all the interesting fish and the delicious produce.

I then headed over to the Museo Correr. I arrived about 20 minutes before my tour. I gave my email reservation number to the man at the ticket office and was told that my ticket for the tour would also allow me to visit the Museo Correr. He suggested that I visit for a while and return just before 10am. My plan was to visit this museum in more depth later in the day but since I had a little time before my tour was to start, I entered the museum and spent a little time in a few of the rooms. I will talk more about the museum in a later post as I did return and spend quite a bit of time enjoying the many rooms and items on display.

Continue reading "tour of the Clock Tower in Venice" »

July 8, 2007

visit to the Basilica di San Marco

Wednesday, June 13th
After finishing my Clock Tower tour, now that I understood all about the different ways the time was displayed, I wanted to watch the time change and the bell rung by the Mori. I took another little video of the time changing and bell ringing but again, I need to figure out how to do the youtube thing before posting the video.

In addition to the time that is displayed with the numbers on the two wheels (see previous post), there are two more clock faces. The clock face on the front of the tower under the Virgin Mary displays the time of day, the Zodiac sign, and the current phase of the moon:


The clock face on the back of the tower, which you can see when taking the street to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) I believe only displays the time:


It was a little after 11 am. I realized there was only a tiny line to get into the Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark's Basilica). I hadn't planned to go into the Basilica as I had been before, but I couldn't resist with such a short line!

My first stop inside was to go up top where the horses are located to get yet another view of the Clock Tower as well as the rest of Piazza San Marco. It was pretty packed but I managed to find a few spots which were not so crowded. For those that don't know, the horses up on the balcony are replicas. The original horses are located inside and with no photos allowed.

Continue reading "visit to the Basilica di San Marco" »

July 10, 2007

views from my 2nd tower of the day

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.

Continue reading "views from my 2nd tower of the day" »

July 12, 2007

the Sargent exhibit and the Correr Museum

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.

Continue reading "the Sargent exhibit and the Correr Museum" »

July 16, 2007

my last day in Venice

Friday, June 15th
Friday was my last full day in Venice. It was an overcast day which reflected my mood as I was not yet ready to leave Venice. My first stop of the day was to a little pasticceria shop on Strada Nova in Cannaregio for my morning coffee and a pastry. I ordered one of those delightful pastries from Naples called a sfogliatelle. The pastry was delicious but there should be a warning placed on this pastry saying “Do Not Eat in Public”. I made such a mess. I must have gone through at least 10 napkins.

After leaving the pasticceria, I wandered through more of the Cannaregio area. I wandered down the Fondamenta degli Ormesini, through the Ghetto area, and also down the Canale di Cannaregio. I took some photos along the way:


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May 23, 2008

windows in Venice...this is for María

María did a post about her favorite palazzo on the island Murano in the beginning of May. I made a comment on her blog about taking a similar Venice window photo (of course now looking at the two side by side, they really are quite different). María asked me to post my window photo on my blog. Well it took a few weeks, but here finally is that window along with a few more of my favorite Venice window photos.
Do you have a favorite?







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March 9, 2010

il sestiere di Santa Croce

I have stayed in Venice three times (as well as once in Venice Mestre). The first time, I stayed in the Rialto sestiere (neighborhood), the second time in the Santa Croce sestiere, and the third time in the Cannaregio sestiere. Santa Croce was my favorite sestiere.

Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, a very cool place to hang out:


La Zucca ~ my very favorite place to eat in Venice, also located in the Santa Croce sestiere.

Two more photos taken nearby Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio soon after I arrived in Venice in 2006:


March 10, 2010



March 13, 2010

"spriral"~ PhotoHunt


Two of my favorite tower climbs have spiral staircases:

This staircase leads to the top of the Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio) in Venice.

This staircase leads up to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre pendente di Pisa).

May 1, 2010

"black"~ PhotoHunt



June 19, 2010

"six"~ PhotoHunt



June 23, 2011

1st day in Venezia

Monday June 6th:
Monday morning, sweet Katia drove me to Brescia so I would not have to change trains (taking the train from Rovato to Brescia and then changing to the Brescia/Venezia train). I bought a ticket for the FrecciaBianca high speed train to Venice from Brescia before leaving Hawaii on the internet. Very easy to do.

When we arrived at the train station, I was still a bit concerned about the train strike. We went to the little information office to check just to be sure. Just as we were about to ask the very nice man about the strike, in stormed two tourists who did not speak any Italian. They were upset that the train they took did not stop in Peschiera Del Garda. Instead it zoomed past and stopped in Brescia. Supposedly someone told them to buy the ticket they bought for the train they took.

Fortunately for the train information guy, Katia interpreted the problem. The train information guy told them they would have to purchase another ticket costing only 1 euro. They kept saying it was not fair. They train guy told them they could try to get on the train and explain the situation but they would be risking having to pay a big fine. I even told them, just buy the new ticket. They kept saying over and over it was not fair. Well, if they read the train schedule, they would have seen that the train they took did not stop in Peschiera Del Garda. Finally after about 15 minutes (good thing we were early!), they left. The train guy was so grateful for our help that after assuring me that my train would not be affected by the strike, I could contact him if I had any problems. Of course if my train stopped at the next station after crossing into the Veneto region, I don't think he would be much help, but he was very nice just the same.

As usual, when my train arrived, it was hard to say goodbye to Katia. Hopefully I will see her again soon. The FrecciaBianca train was very nice. There was a lot of room between the seats for luggage, even for bags much bigger than mine. I sat quietly across from a dorky Italian business guy. I tried to explain "dorky" to Andrea, my Italian teacher, but did not do a very good job. Anyone know the Italian word for dorky? At one point, the guy sitting across from me started searching for something. Eventually he asked me if I had seen an iPhone anywhere. I offered to call his phone to see if we could hear it. He said he was going to go and find the train guy. I think he might have thought I stole it! He returned about 10 minutes later and the train guy called his phone. Now I could have done that! I was the one that heard it as it was on vibrate and I have super hearing. It fell between the seat.

No strike. No other excitement. That pretty much wraps up my train ride from Brescia to Venice.

When I arrived in Venice, I headed straight for the Venice Connected vaporetto ticket machine to pick up my 7-day pass. It was very easy to retrieve my pass, although it took me a few extra minutes to figure out how to validate it. They have these very cool machines where you just put your ticket in front of the machine, it scans it, beeps, and tells you what type of ticket you have and possibly also when it expires. I scanned it about 5 or 6 times before I was satisfied that it was activated. I am used to stamping my ticket and wanted to make sure it was validated. As I headed for my vaporetto, I noticed that one of my wheels would not move. A thick black plastic tie got caught up in my wheel. I could not get it out so I dragged my bag along.

I was lucky to catch a vaporetto that was not packed, making it easier to maneuver my bags once on board. I easily found my B&B after getting off at the Ca' Rezzonico stop.

Carlo greeted me and then told me that my room would not be ready until 2 pm. The skies were very dark outside. He game me a map and I headed out to grab a bite to eat. I did not want to go far since it looked like it was about to pour any minute. I walked to nearby Campo Santa Margherita since that is the only place I was familiar with nearby. I saw a few places open with outdoor seating. I continued on to the end of the campo where I found a little bar that had piadine (flat bread sandwiches). *I have the name of the bar somewhere and will insert it here when I find it* I ordered a melenzane, zucchini, mozzarella piadina. The girl at the bar asked me if I wanted to take the piadina to go. I told her that I had to wait until 2 for my room to be ready and with the black sky, I didn't want to go anywhere.

I found a seat at a little bar on the side and read the paper while waiting for my piadina to be made. Just as she brought me piadina, the skies opened up and it started pouring. A few minutes later, the tiny street outside the bar looked like a rushing river. At one point when the rain slowed, one of the other workers, or perhaps the owner, took out his broom and started sweeping the rain in the street. That was a first for me.

Once the rain stopped, I headed back outside, wandered a bit and somehow ended up at the San Tomà vaporetto stop. I hopped on the vaporetto and it started to pour again! My stop was one stop away. My B&B was only a two minute walk but still, I was soaked by the time I reached the B&B. Carlo had already had my bags brought up to my room. I unpacked and showered.

The rain finally stopped so I headed back out. First stop - Piazza San Marco



It was getting colder and I had a reservtion at La Zucca for dinner soon so I got back on the vaporetto to return to my B&B to put on some extra clothes for dinner. Here are some photos I took during the vaporetto ride back to my B&B.



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June 27, 2011

another rainy day in Venezia

Tuesday June 7th:
I woke up to gray skies Tuesday morning, put on some warm clothes, and went down for breakfast. I sat down for a moment and thn told Wenyu, the other person running B&B Fujiyama, that I would be right back. I went back up to my room to put on more warm clothes, adding my fleece, my purple pashmina scarf, as well as some long underwear under my pants. Now I was ready for breakfast. Wenyu was very amused.

Every morning for breakfast, I was served a brioche, two warm bread rolls, and either a little cake or pastry of some sort. I was also offered both coffee and tea and usually had a caffè macchiato and then some wonderful Jasmine tea.

I had no plans for the day. I was tempted to just stay inside until the sun came out, but according to the weather I might be waiting a few days. As you all probably know by now, I don't do well in cold weather and am not a big fan of rain. But I was in Venice, so after about an hour when it warmed up a bit, I sucked it up, packed three maps and two raincoats, and headed outside.

I got as far as the Chiesa di San Sebastiano before it started to rain. I had a lovely chat with the woman selling tickets inside the church. I had not thought about whether or not I wanted to purchase the Chorus Pass (10 euros for entrance to 16 churches in a one year period). After listening to her explain the benefits of the pass and thinking about the rainy weather outside, I figured that a day of visiting a few churches would probably be a good choice. The woman also gave me some information about the Chiesa di San Sebastiano and apologized because parts of the church were covered due to the current restoration. Many of the ceiling pieces were also missing. Someday I would like to return to this church once the restoration is completed.

Outside, it was raining and blustery. I did not have much of a plan for the day. I started to think about lunch. I checked my map and then headed out, walking towards what I hoped was the Fondamenta delle Zattere to find a place to eat. It was a short walk but still I was soaked by the time I made it to the few little restaurants I saw by the waterfront. I did not do my homework and had no idea where to eat. I chose Ristorante Terrazza Casin dei Nobili. The woman seating me was very kind as I took off my plastic see through rain jacket that I was wearing over my other rain jacket so that I would be able to keep my camera dry. I wasn't sure if she would be upset that I was getting everything all wet, but instead she helped me hang my plastic jacket on the chair across from me as she seated me.

I ordered bruschetta and spaghetti with clams. The food was ok but the view was fabulous!


After leaving the restaurant, I hopped on the vaporetto and headed over to the Church of the Redentore (a Chorus Pass church) on Guidecca island. I took photos of this church from many angles throughout the day. It is such a beautiful church. The photo below was one of my favorites, showing the weather of the day. It almost looked to me like there was snow on the church.


I took these photos from the steps of the church of the Redentore.




I had never been to the Guidecca island before so I decided to walk a bit. I took these photos along the way.



Continue reading "another rainy day in Venezia" »

July 1, 2011

another rainy day in Venezia (part 2)

Tuesday June 7th:
After stopping at the Billa grocery store to pick up a few things, I got back on the vaporetto at the San Basilo vaporetto stop. I continued on towards Piazzale Roma. Although the rain had finally stopped, it was still gray, cloudy, and cool.





It's hard to see when I reduced the size of this photo but this is a photo of a train leaving Venice and cars traveling to/from Venice.

Here we are getting closer to Piazzle Roma


The Piazzale Roma vaporetto stop...

This is the one place in Venice where you will find buses and cars.

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July 2, 2011

two visits to San Giorgio Maggiore

Tuesday June 7th:
I visited the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and had been in the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore the last time I was in Venice but since it was a rainy day and the vaporetto was making a stop there anyways, I decided to visit the island and the church once again and I am really glad I did because of the surprise I found when going inside the church. Not only did I visit the island on Tuesday, but I returned again on Wednesday!

Below are photos I took while on the island on Tuesday and if you click continue reading you will find photos I took during my return visit on Wednesday.




When I walked inside the church, this is what I found

It is called Ascension and was created by Anish Kapoor. Not something you find every day in a church! Not thinking, I took the video sideways. I don't know how many times I have done this now, but it has been a lot! I went back the following day to take another video the correct way but the Acension was not working properly while I was there. Fortunately, I found out when I got home that iMovie 11 allows you to rotate the video.

There was a girl sitting at a table near the door with information about this exhibit. She also told me that there were two more exhibits on the island. The first was called Real Venice and the second was called Penelope's Labour - Weaving Words and Images.

So out of the church I went to find these two exhibits. They were both located to the left of the church down by where many of the boats are docked.

The Real Venice exhibit was one of my favorite exhibits I visited while in Venice this year. There were some amazing photographs. I spend quite a bit of time enjoying them. Unfortunately, I probably spent a bit too much time in this exhibit because when I continued on, following the little arrows, I arrived at the Penelope's Labour exhibit too late. It just closed for the day. No big deal though. That was the main reason I returned to the island the following day. That also meant I was able to spend a little more time in the Real Venice exhibit again since I was back on the island.

The views from the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore are pretty cool. Here are a few photos I took Tuesday afternoon.



To see photos of my visit the following day, click on "continue reading" below.

Continue reading "two visits to San Giorgio Maggiore" »

July 3, 2011

day 3 in Venezia ~ here comes the sun!

Wednesday June 8th:
Although the temperature was still on the cool side (for me) when I woke up Wednesday morning, the sun was shining. I could not ask for anything more. I was excited to head out to enjoy a day of wandering and taking photos on my first sunny day in Venice.

I started my day by walking to the Fondamenta delle Zattere and took the number 2 vaporetto to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, then I wandered around Piazza San Marco once again (I will do a separate post to share the photos I took while in Piazza San Marco), and finally found my way, with only a few wrong turns as well as stopping in a few shops along the way, to the Ponte dell'Accademia, also known as the Accademia Bridge.

I took tons of photos and once again it was really difficult narrowing them down to a reasonable number to share. I hope you enjoy...

My first photo of the day:

Santa Maria della Visitazione and the Chiesa dei Gesuati (I think I got this right):

Buildings on the Giudecca:


Church of the Redentore:

Chiesa delle Zitelle:

Island and Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore (see my previous post for more photos and info on my visit to this little island & church):

Continue reading "day 3 in Venezia ~ here comes the sun!" »

July 4, 2011

day 3 in Venezia (part 2)

Wednesday June 8th:
As I mentioned in my previous post, after taking photos from the Ponte dell'Accademia, I went back to my B&B, dropped off my larger photo bag and camera and jumped back on the vaporetto heading to the train station, taking my new little point & shoot camera with me. The skies suddenly turned gray and the wind picked up again just as I arrived at the vaporetto stop. This was a more crowded vaporetto ride and the wind was blowing hard at times while taking photos along the way. I didn't end up with many good photos but here are a few I thought I would share.




Train station:

I met Sandra right inside the train station. It was really nice to see Sandra again. We first met in Roma after knowing each other through blogging and Slow Travel and have been friends since then.

I really expected much more luggage than what she was traveling with. We carried her two bags down the stairs and headed to the Venice Connected spot to pick up her vaporetto pass. Then after first almost getting on the wrong vaporetto (my mistake), we waited in the correct area to take the number 1 vaporetto back to our B&B.

After arriving at B&B Fujiyama, Sandra checked in and unpacked. I went up to my room to download some photos and then went back downstairs and chatted with Wenyu and Carlo for a while.

We had reservations for dinner at La Zucca in the evening. We decided to take the vaporetto. It ended up being perfect timing as the end of our ride coincided with a beautiful sunset.




Continue reading "day 3 in Venezia (part 2)" »

July 12, 2011

a church day in Venice

Thursday, June 9th:
Thursday morning, Sandra and I met downstairs for breakfast. The weather was still overcast and cool (for me). After talking about various choices on what to do, we decided to try to make the 11:00 Mass at the Basilica di San Marco to see the mosaics all lit up and to avoid the line.

After breakfast, we walked to the nearby Ca' Rezzonico vaporetto stop and rode the vaporetto to the second of the two San Marco stops.





We headed straight to the side door of the Basilica as it was almost 11:00 and they won't let you in if you are late. There seemed to be some confusion when we arrived. We finally realized after trying to figure out just what was going on that all public masses were canceled for the day. Some important church person, I think a Bishop? happened to be visiting. Just our luck!

So onto Plan B. We also talked about checking out the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni at breakfast, so off we went. Let me tell you, this was one difficult place to find. We must have stopped and asked for directions at least three times before finally finding it. No photos were allowed inside the Scuola. I noticed when looking at my ticket, it says Scuola Dalmata delli Santi Giorgio e Triffon. The little sign on the building says both: Scuola Dalmata S. ti Giorgio e Triffon and San Giorgio degli Schiavoni so I guess you could ask for either when asking for directions or information about this place.

I took these photos while we were on the search for the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, and yes that tower in the second photo is tipping a little bit.


After leaving the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, we started to think about food. Neither of us knew of any good places to eat nearby. We checked out a few places nearby but none really thrilled either of us. As we continued to search, somehow, after taking a turn down one of the little side streets, we ended up right back out onto the waterfront not too far from the vaporetto stop where we arrived earlier in the day.

So we hopped on the vaporetto and went to the Fondamenta delle Zattere where we found a little restaurant called Ristorante "GIANNI" Pizzeria, also known as il ristorante Da Gianni. This restaurant is located right by the Zattere vaporetto stop and turned out to be a great choice. Not only were there nice views but the food was also good. I ordered mussels and a caprese salad. Yum!! I can't remember now what Sandra ordered but I am pretty sure she was also happy with her meal.

Continue reading "a church day in Venice" »

the Oksana Mas exhibit ~ La Biennale di Venezia 2011

If you are fortunate to be in Venice this year during the Biennale, don't miss the fabulous Oksana Mas exhibit, one of my favorites, which can be found at two locations.

The first location, which is pretty difficult to miss if you are taking a vaporetto down the Grand Canal, is at the Campo San Stae in front of the Chiesa di San Stae right by the San Stae vaporetto stop.



Although it is easy to notice this exhibit by the Chiesa di San Stae when taking a vaporetto, it is also pretty easy to miss out on the details of this exhibit unless you get up close to see how it was created. So make sure to get off that vaporetto and take a look.

Never would I have imagined that this exhibit was created from little wooden painted eggs! A total of 3,640,000 little wooden eggs were used to create the various parts of the exhibit. The eggs were created by representatives of 50 nationalities and of many different faiths. For more information...

Continue reading "the Oksana Mas exhibit ~ La Biennale di Venezia 2011" »

November 12, 2011

"two"~ PhotoHunt


Two Moors at the top of the Torre dell' Orologio (Clock Tower) in Piazza San Marco.

I took the photo of the two Moors from the top of the Campanile (Bell Tower).

...and here are my two feet at the top of the Campanile.

Some day when I finally get back into blogging, I will continue on with my trip. I have so much to share. I just need to find the time.

Happy November everyone :)

February 19, 2012

the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute

Now don't faint anyone... finally, I am getting back to my Italy trip report from last summer. I figured I better get to it before baseball season begins and I get distracted again. I'm also avoiding doing my taxes right now...

Friday, June 10th:
My plans for Friday were to wander and take photos until later in the day when Sandra and I would meet up to head to Padova for our Scrovegni Chapel reservation. I will break this day up into a few posts.

The last time I was in Venice, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute was covered in ugly scaffolding so it was on my list of places to visit on this trip. I love this church. It has so many dimensions to it. I am definitely more of a fan of sculpture and architect than paintings and this church has so many dimensions to it. I could stare at it all day and discover something new.









Continue reading "the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute" »

February 20, 2012

vaporetto ride and two more churches

Friday, June 10th (cont.):

Continuing on with my day... I jumped back on the vaporetto and headed up the Grand Canal with not set plan in mind, just taking photos along the way.









Continue reading "vaporetto ride and two more churches" »

February 21, 2012

continuing on with friday in Venice

Friday, June 10th (cont.):
Once again, I got back on the vaporetto (gotta love the vaporetto pass!) and headed back from the San Stae vaporetto stop to my B&B, taking more photos along the way.

I love this little building...

This guy made me laugh. I don't think he knew anyone on the vaporetto. He was just waving wildly as we rode by.

It was a beautiful day with lots of people hanging out enjoying the weather and scenery.


The Rialto area...


More views on the Grand Canal...



Continue reading "continuing on with friday in Venice" »

February 22, 2012

canal in Venice

Before moving on to Padova, here is one more photo I took in Venice on Friday...


February 23, 2012

trip to Padova & the Capella degli Scrovegni

Friday, June 10th:
The train ride from Venice to Padova was short and went by quickly. When we arrived, Sandra went to the infomation area to get a map and I found the train bathroom, always a fun visit. Not only did I get to see a guy flip out at a high school age kid trying to sneak in (it was one of those pay turnstile bathrooms) but I also witnessed a woman dyeing her hair black at the sink of the bathroom. The Bourne Identity immediately came to mind.

We spent about an hour walking around Padova. It took me a few minutes to adjust to all the cars after being in Venice for a few days. I took this photo not far from the train station.

Lock at Porte Contarine, in the old town centre.

Caffé Pedrocchi


We wandered into this building. Not sure if it was a museum of some kind or an office building.


Palazzo della Ragione

Continue reading "trip to Padova & the Capella degli Scrovegni" »

March 14, 2012

views from above

Saturday, June 11th:
Saturday was my last full day in Venice. I got an early start on the day, skipping breakfast at my B&B, although Wenyu insisted on making me a quick espresso and giving me a brioche to take on the go. My goal was to try to get to Piazza San Marco before the hordes of tourists arrived. This is the best time of day to enjoy this amazing piazza.

I took a bunch of photos and then decided to go to the top of the Campanile (bell tower). I have only been to the top of this bell tower once before, back in 1999 during my first visit to Venice. I was one of the first people in line, got right up to the top, and then spent about 90 minutes enjoying the view and taking photos. I probably would have stayed longer but towards the end of my time up in this cool bell tower, the skies turned black and the cold wind started whipping through the windows. Most of us were not dressed for this change in the weather. Everyone jumped in line to take the elevator back down. I had to wait a little bit for my turn. Meanwhile, I took photos of the bells.

As you will notice, the skies were pretty ominous by the time I made it back to the vaporetto. I made it back to my B&B just in time before the skies opened up. Not sure if you can see the rain in the last photo, the view from my room at my B&B.

I took too many photos to share in a blog post so I decided to make a video instead. If you double click on the video, it should open up into a full screen.

I did quite a bit on my last full day in Venice. More blog posts to come...

April 1, 2012

little narrow house

Saturday, June 11th (cont.):
Once the rain calmed down a bit, I ventured back out to check out two nearby exhibits across the Accademia Bridge. The first exhibit, called L'Acqua e La Luce, was located in the yellow building to the left in this cool little campo which I believe is part of of the opening to Campo Santo Stefano.

The exhibit was a fascinating collection of photographs from a century ago along with a few short videos displayed. There were only a couple of other people in this exhibit. I took my time wandering through the two rooms, trying to imagine just what it was like to live in Venice so long ago.

The second exhibit involved purchasing a ticket to the Glasstress exhibit.


It was not really the glass that I was interested in, athough I was curious to see the inside of this beautiful palazzo and many of the modern art glass pieces ended up being fun to see. Instead, it was that little narrow house that was located outside the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti that peaked my interest. After purchasing my ticket, I inquired about visiting the house. The girl at the desk told me that it was closed due to the rain. What? That was not what I wanted to hear. Perhaps she did not realize that it had stopped raining. I used my best Italian to try to charm her into opening up this Narrow House, by Erwin Wurm, and it worked.

And now, I present you with the very cool little narrow house!






Continue reading "little narrow house" »

June 6, 2012

the Arsanale

Been a while, but I am back. I am now just about a year behind with with my Italy trip report, but I am still determined to finish it up. It just may take a few years!!

I last left off talking about my last full day in Venice...

Saturday, June 11th (cont.):
Saturday turned out to be one of those days when the weather changed drastically. It started out as a nice day, then a huge storm blew in while I was at the top of the Campanile (bell tower). I went back to my B&B to change and left my nice DSLR camera there since it looked like rain would continue throughout the day. I went to a couple of exhibits and after leaving the Glasstress exhibit the sun was back out again. At this point, I could not tell if the sun was out to stay. I did not want to waste time going back to my B&B to change again so instead, I caught the next vaporetto to go explore more of Venice.

I headed towards the Arsanale to check out the what I thought was one of the Bianale exhibits - an opportunity to see the shipyards and some of the old ships. When I got there, I found out that this was not possible (or I was misinformed and never found the shipyard) but since it was the first time I have been to the Arsanale area of Venice, I found it very interesting and it quite beautiful. I only wish I had my DSLR camera with me. Here are a some photos I took with my little pocket camera.








Continue reading "the Arsanale" »

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