A travel journal
to Venice by Barb B
Quote: From the Piazza San Marco to the Bridge of Sighs, the glass blowers of Murano to the vast array of restaurants, Venice will win your love! There are definite challenges for travelers in this city without streets, but you will forever be glad you visited!
Yes, we went to Murano, and yes we bought some fabulous glass! Terribly expensive, but a one-of-a-kind piece and something we will always treasure!
The Piazza San Marco was extremely crowded and jam-packed with pigeons (I didn't know there were that many pigeons in the whole world!). For all the crowds and all of its faults, you will ALWAYS remember your visit to Venice, Don't miss it.
Restaurant | "WILD about HARRY'S BAR!"
Opened in 1931 by Giuseppe Cipriani, it has been a classic ever since. This is a truly fine (and VERY expensive!) restaurant so unless you are extremely wealthy, plan to dine elsewhere. If you should decide to eat here anyway, reservations are a requirement, and are frequently very hard to come by.
Stop here and sip a Bellini, or just a glass of wine if you prefer. The yellow tablecloths and comfortable nautical ambiance will make you feel you have been invited to a private club. Kick back and conjure up memories of , "THE SNOWS OF KILLAMANJARO", "THE SUN ALSO RISES", "THE SNOW LEOPARD", and "FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS"! AH, the inspiration still remains -- what a place!
P.S. If you’d like to read about a quieter, simpler HARRY’S BAR, in Trieste, Italy--Go check out my journals on Trieste, only a 50 minute drive from Venice.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 17, 2000
Calle Vallaresso, 1323
Venice, Italy 30124
Attraction | "A Ride on the Grand Canal"
Board the vaporetto outside the train station at the Piazzale Roma. Take either route 1 or route 82 and be sure to check the direction in which your boat is going! (We went off in the wrong direction on our first trip.) You will want to take one headed toward San Marco.
Once aboard, the best location for picture takers is either at the very front or very back of the vaporetto. Locals prefer to stand inside, near the middle. (Perhaps they‘ve seen it all, and have decided to let us have a look.)
If possible, make the trip in the early morning and watch the city awaken. Small boats of every ilk and variety deliver fruits, vegetables, groceries and all manner of goods to local shops and merchants. Businessmen and shopkeepers hurry to begin their business day. An endless pageant of activity passes as the canal snakes 2.5 miles through the heart of Venice.
Stops are made at San Marcuola, the Rialto, San Toma, San Samuele and the Academia. If this is your first trip to Venice, I recommend that you stay aboard all the way to Piazza San Marco. But if you are inclined for a stop, the Academia and the Rialto offer convenient breaks and marvelous views along the way. Perhaps you will want to see some of the palaces on the opposite side of the canal on your return trip.
Vaporettos run at most hours of the day and night, and another wonderful, albeit altogether different experience awaits on a nighttime ride as the twinkling lights illuminate the canal and this magical city.
You can find information about vaporetto fares, routes and schedules at their web site http://www.actv.it/
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 15, 2000
The Grand Canal
Through the Central Districts
My sister and I had come to shop at the Rialto Market, just around the corner from the Rialto Bridge. A cold and crisp Autumn morning, it was not yet 8 am. The vendor had obviously obtained some of the precious mushrooms and was hopeful of fetching a good price for his treasure.
Rows and rows of stands displaying the abundant harvest of the rich Veneto region. Some stalls specialize in produce from the island gardens on the Venetian Lagoon. Sant’Erasmo and Malamocco are two areas of which legend claims their bounty is slightly salty from the sea-flooded alluvial soil of the lagoon.
In the fall you find lovely red-laced rose radicchio lettuce from nearby Treviso, plump warty-skinned zucca barucca (winter squash), and the gorgeous strong flavored porcini mushrooms. Spring visitors should search for artichokes and wild greens; peas called bisi and the famous white asparagus of the Bassano region.
Each stand pours forth the very best of each vendor’s wares; carefully washed, polished and beautifully stacked and arranged for us the customers. How wonderful to shop here, where not only do we want the best, but the shopkeepers want to give us their best. A visit to this lovely open-air market will make you hate the supermarket back home!
The Rialto Market
Campo San Giacomo, Campo della Pescheria
Attraction | "Visit with the Glassblowers of Murano -"
We were escorted to a private motorboat and given an engaging ride through narrow canals that we could not have enjoyed on one of the larger "public" boats. On arrival at Murano, our personal guide met and escorted us into the glass blowing shop.
In the year 1291, because of the threat of fires in Venice, all glass factories were moved to this nearby island and now the name Murano has become synonymous with glass blowing. Today, artisans and craftsmen display their imagination and creativity in blown, etched, ornamented and filigreed glass creations produced with centuries-old basic tools.
We were given a personal demonstration of how the glass is colored, melted, heated, blown and shaped and we were welcome to take pictures of the glass making processes. The craftsmen proudly showed us a current project they were working on -- a fabulous set of glasses on order to the Vatican. (You don‘t EVEN want to hear the price!)
Then we were escorted to the gallery told that we would not be allowed to take photos inside the gallery. Seems they have problems with people taking photos and "cheap imitations" being reproduced by unscrupulous vendors around the world.
Glass ladies in pink dresses, ruby red bowls, crystal and gold vases, chandeliers with magnificent blue globes -- SO BEAUTIFULLY -- displayed everywhere! We were allowed to wander through the galleries and then met our guide in a sales room where we were offered coffees, tea, cappuccino or whatever else we might choose.
Since we live in Napa Valley and enjoy our wine, my husband and I selected a classic wine decanter etched with grapes. My sister and her husband chose 2 delicate pink ballerina figurines. We told our guide that we would be in Italy for 3 more weeks and would like our purchases to arrive after our return home.
Sure enough!! The day after we returned home, a package arrived. Securely wrapped to ensure safe arrival, it was our lovely hand blown decanter, signed and dated by the artist. A hand engraved certificate of authenticity was also included.
Just for information: We saw items displayed in many price ranges. Our decanter was about $375 US dollars and my sisters’ figurines were about $350. The price included shipping, US customs costs, taxes and insurance. Truly lovely remembrances and items we will forever enjoy and treasure.
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona