Friday, October 09, 2015

2015 Italy Trip, Day Five – Venice, Italy

On day five as dawn arrived we were boarding on an open ticket a train in Parma bound for Bologna where we transferred to an express train to Venice.

 We love visiting Venice and taking in its character, but Evie and I would not want to live there or stay more than a few days. It is an expensive city, partly due to the nature of the city’s infrastructure and partly because of this water locked city being one of the top destinations in Europe for tourists. With a high volume of tourists, housing costs, hotels and restaurants are costly. As with our prior visit, we selected a hotel central to the primary sites high on our list to visit. Previously we stayed just off Piazza San Maro. For this trip we found a family hotel that is adjacent to Accademia and near Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (Church of Good Health) which along with Basilica San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore were the focal points of this visit. The many centuries old beams of wood were evident not only at the check-in desk but evident elsewhere too.

Shortly after arriving at our hotel we boarded vaporetto #2 bound for San Giorgio Maggiore for a light lunch overlooking the San Giorgio Maggiore marina and across the water, Piazza San Marco. If you visit Venice for more than two days, we suggest that San Giorgio Maggiore and its tower with a fantastic view be on your list. The wait for elevator is short since few people cross the lagoon to visit the church.

By mid afternoon Evie and I were walking around the opulent Basilica San Marco. The marble and gold leaf throughout the church is impressive to say the least but it gave me pause. I understand that the church not only reflects the wealth, and power of medieval Venice, but was also build to impress upon visitors the depth of their wealth and power. That said, it seems contrary to the primary messages of the gospel (posted picture of the interior of the Basilica is a stock picture...taking pictures inside the Basilica is prohibited). 

Later in the afternoon Evie and I relaxed on a vaporreto as we traveled the outer sides of the main islands. Most people picture Venice as a city of canals lined with buildings that are 350 to 700 years old. While the area primarily visited by tourists is full of such buildings, the outer areas of the city has apartment buildings that reflect the modern age. Sitting on the back exterior deck of the vaporreto exposed us other aspects of the islands as well as allowing us to stop off for an hour or so at Lido, an island where many who work in the heart of Venice reside. Most of Lido is filled with buildings and homes of a recent vintage, and has streets with vehicles and buses.

The next morning, after an early breakfast we visited Accademia and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Then we were off to the train station to catch a late morning train to Venice. Accademia is well worth visiting if you enjoy looking at grand art.

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