Wow we made it to Venice!!! I have to admit that this was one of those cities that I was beyond excited to visit. It is even more unique and beautiful in person. Oh and not smelly at all.
Graham and I enjoyed a lovely lunch by San Marcos square. Then we took the waterbus to the Rialto bridge. This is a very impressive bridge built in 1591. It is huge and there are shops that line the middle of it. Hard to believe that something built so many years ago can handle so many people.
We then decided to get lost in the streets of Venice - a pretty easy feat with all the narrow alley ways and canals. We found a local shop and bought some beer and wandered. It was just perfect.
We had an amazing dinner on the Grand canal looking at the Rialto bridge. The view of the bridge and the Gondolas going by was tremendous, not to mention the amazing gnocchi and lasagna we shared. I am defiantly an Italian at heart... Or stomach.
We did not go for a Gondola ride as it was 80€ for 40 mins and we felt that was a bit much. None the less, watching them paddle by was something else. Especially when they had to duck to get under low bridges.
The island of Venice seems to shut down in the evening. Graham and I stuck around late in the evening to watch how the street lights (on the water light up). So pretty as they reflect off the water.
The following morning we got up early as we wanted to go to the island of Murano. This is the famous island where all the glass blowing factories are. We got to see some 'Masters' blow glass. The one guy made a horse. If there was anyway we could have got that horse home with out breaking it we would have bought it. Wow those guys have some kind of talent. Then again, after apprenticing for 12-15 years, they had better be.
We finished up our time in Venice by walking through the Golden Palace just off San Marcos square. Originally the "'chapel" of the Venetian rulers. The entire ceiling was covered in minute golden tiles which made up large religious images. It was quite the sampling of Byzantine architecture. We'll be architecture experts by the time we get home!
All in all what an experience and a wonderful 1st city on our trek through Italy.
Now onto Florence!