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We roam Venice on foot and by waterbus, ending with a little Vivaldi

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

The morning started with coffee and croissants in a cafe in the piazza down the street from our AirBNB. Then we headed to the Piazza San Marco, stopping along the way to buy Birkenstocks for significantly less than we can get them in Canada.

I wore the new linen dress I bought yesterday and, I admit, I felt a bit self-conscious. I rarely wear pink. And I felt like I was in my nightgown. But hey.

At the piazza, we turned to my buddy Rick Steves to take us on a free walking tour - Cyn on her phone and me on mine.

We learned about the facade of the church, the Doge’s Palace, and the bell tower, as well as the part of the piazza constructed by Napoleon at the far end, and the history of the restaurants that line the massive pigeon-infested courtyard. In fact, a pigeon let its load go right on top of us. But Rick said, when that happens, let it dry and it will blow off. So we did.

Then we headed to the lagoon where we heard from Rick about gondolas and the bridge of sorrows -the bridge over which the condemned walked from the palace to the prison. We look altogether too happy in this photo to be standing in front of the bridge of sorrows (the white structure in the background) - but there you go.


When the tour ended, Cyn suggest that we have a Bellini at the famous Harry’s Bar which has been visited by celebrities like George Clooney, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway and Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain thought paying 22 EU for a small glass of Proseco with some peach juice in it was a bit expensive. And he was right - but hey … we did it anyway.

The we wandered through Venice, taking turns, at each intersection, in deciding which way to go. This is a fabulous way to explore the city - no real destination, just wandering through the maze of alleyways lined with restaurants and shops like this one.

When we got to the Grand Canal, we found a restaurant and had Chichetti (the small open-faced toasted sandwiches topped with infinite flavours which, in this case, were mostly fish) and buratta (soft white mozzarella type cheese) and wine and Aperol spritz. It was delicious - especially the buratta and sun dried tomatoes.

My boy Rick Steves offers another tour you can take on the water bus as it runs along the Grand Canal from the train station to the plaza San Marco. So we navigated our way to the train station and got seats at the stern of the boat and listened to Rick describe the scenery on shore as we glided down the canal.

The palaces really are magnificent and it is so easy to picture this city as it was four hundred years ago.

We disembarked at San Marco and headed back to the apartment for a quick siesta, laundry and packing before starting the evening’s entertainment.

By 6:30 we had regrouped, put our fancier dresses and makeup, and headed back to the streets.

We had reservations at a place that came highly recommended online called Ristorante Al Corner, which was just a short walk. We both had a mixed salad and then Cyn had ravioli with buratta, which she said was fine, and I had spaghetti with seafood in a tomato sauce - and I could not finish. But the negroni came supersized!

Dinner done, we stopped at a chocolate shop to pick up provisions for the rest of the week.

Then we made our way to La Fenice Opera House for a performance of Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons, which he wrote in this city.

It was wonderful - even if I had to climb two long flights of stairs on a knee that is telling me it has had enough of this foolishness:

Home to bed. We have an early day tomorrow because we must make our way out of Venice and get to a food tour in Bologna by 10 am. Wish us luck!



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