Venice, Italy; Day 2

We awoke today to a sky which couldn’t seem to make up its mind whether it would offer rain or sun. The radar wasn’t much help. We thought we’d run out for breakfast, but we were slow to get our shoes on and a light shower drove us to cook at home. After making breakfast in the third story walk-up apartment in the Castello neighborhood we decided to head outdoors.

We wanted to see a number of the must-see destinations today and save tomorrow for a trip to Murano.  Our first stop was to visit the famous Rialto Bridge.

The Rialto bridge was built over 400 years ago and is the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal.  The completion of this stone arch created a new marketplace for the goods of the tall ships which could no longer travel further up the Canal.  Today, gondoliers and tourists flock to the area.

Venice has attracted artists and art lovers forever. There are a number of famous galleries here and many famous artists have taken up residencies here. Our Adventurers stumbled upon one of these galleries in a 13th century church.

The work of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone was on display here. His three installations were each interesting but our favorite was titled “humancloud” which showed 7 polyurethane painted figures who appear floating within the gallery. The historic murals and archways of this former cathedral of worship make for an interesting “canvas” for the art.

Shiny golden circle art installation in church courtyard

We stumbled upon this gallery on our way to a piazza. CreeperKitty was tasked with navigation and he kept us moving well through the narrow alleys, past curio shops and across canals. We reached the Piazzale Roma in time for a small bite of lunch. This is the Western end of the city and the terminus of rail/bus lines into Venice. There we got the only rain we had during the day and it was the best kind: light, short and while we happened to be inside.

It was also a great place to catch the start of the Line 1 public water taxi. The path of the taxi took us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and past the crumbling but impressive palaces of former wealthy merchants.

Grand Canal Palaces

Our sightseeing cruise/public taxi ride ended at famous San Marcos plaza where we could see another set of famous sites.

Bridge of ‘sighs’

We took a selfie in front of St. Mark’s Basilica on the Square. The tourists were out in force enjoying the sun while it lasted. We decided to make the most of our time in this famous Square by sitting at an outdoor cafe, listening to live music, people watching and enjoying a set of (tourist priced) sweet treats.

Later in the evening, the sky finally decided to offer precipitation. We made our way back to our Castello neighborhood for dinner and were not inconvenienced by the thunder and light rain.

Hooray. Our greatest fear (wet shoes like from the Nile River) was not realized today!

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