Posted by: cyradisnyc | April 20, 2009

Venice the Serenissima

I understand this title now. There is something incredibly relaxing about Venice. My stress levels have dropped to almost nothing. It’s amazing. There is a limited wireless network in the hotel, but it is probably enormously expensive. This is going to be posted whenever I have a chance; for the record, the actual time and date is 4/18/2009, time is 11:35 pm.

The flight was nice. Final comment from the flight, doing the descent over the alps: Holy shit, no wonder the Romans thought Hannibal couldn’t get elephants over.

Today Kate and I just roamed around Venice. We arrived around 10 am, picked up our passes, hopped on the bus, and then were in the autobus drop off point in about half an hour! We picked up the Vaporetto no. 1. Vaporetto are by far the coolest form of public transportation I’ve ever seen. It lazily wound through the Grand Canal, which is an amazing way to get a first look at the city itself. The weather was also absolutely goregous. After getting part of the grand tour, it left us within one block of our hotel. The room wasn’t ready yet, so we left our luggage with the front desk and went back outside.

We wandered around for several hours, going over the Rialto Bridge and eventually winding up in Piazza San Marco. The cathedral there is one of the craziest buildings I’ve ever seen, but it WORKS in the most extraordinary way. Unfortunately there was a lot of construction going on, which impaired our ability to perceive the full piazza.

Eventually we went back to the hotel, and officially checked in. The hotel owner gave us some tips for dinner, and then we rested for a bit. We wound up eating at a Venetian restaurant that specialized–like most Venetian restaurants–in seafood. I had a prawn salad and cuttlefish with polenta in black sauce for dinner. Kate had a fried seafood platter. We split a liter of house wine between us, and made friends with the owner, Lucky Luciano and Gino, his friend.

After dinner we had this idea from one of the guidebooks to ride the Vaporetto to San Marco’s and back, but we couldn’t figure out which one to go on. We’ll try again tomorrow night, but we did have some tasty gelato along the way.

My impression of Venice so far is that it is the only place I have ever been where fantasy and reality co-exist at the same time. The architecture and setup of the city are fantastical, but the people here are so real. (At least the people from here. I have never seen so many tourists in one place at once! I can’t even imagine what this is like at the height of tourist season.) Tomorrow we are starting off at the Ducal Palace and San Marco, trying to do the Secret Itinerary tour. We can then go through San Marco, which I’m quite looking forward to.

Anyway. I hope you’ll read this soon. Hope you’re well!

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