Italy Vacation 2003
Day 11, Wednesday, Oct. 15th

Today's journey takes us from Assisi to Venice. Except for some breaks and lunch there were no stops during the journey to Venice. We left around 8:30 and arrived in Venice around 2:30 in the afternoon. Here's the map for todays travel.

This probably would be a good spot to provide some basic details about Venice. See the map of the Venice area below:

Venice is located 4 km (2.5 miles) from the Italian mainland and 2 km (1.25 miles) from the Adriatic Sea. It's classed as an archipelago of 118 islands. Our hotel is located on the Lido island. We also visited the island of Burano.

When you go to Venice, you need permits and the first thing you do on arrival is pick them up. After doing so, we then drove across the causeway (called the Ponte della Liberta) that connects Venice to the mainland and were dropped off at the only location busses are allowed to go in to Venice. We walked a short distance to our first included tour which is the one thing that you must do in Venice and that's a Gondola ride. Here are some pictures (mainly still video frames) of the slightly less than one hour long gondola ride.

The gondola docks.
Tour director Alison on the dock awaiting our return.
Lots of traffic today!
Not much clearance under these bridges.
A typical canal scene.
Most buildings have docks. After all, how else can you get around except maybe walk?
More canals.
Another traffic jam.
These Gondliers cut it pretty close to the wall. Same wall as previous picture. Note high water mark on the wall.
The buildings are all sorts of colours.
Another low bridge. I was sitting down and still had to duck to get under this one.
We're now out in the Grand Canal. Here we're looking up it into Venice. Another shot up Venice's main street. It shows the centre part of the previous image.
Almost back to the dock. It's just on the left. Some of the buildings as we head towards the Lido island and our hotel.

After completing our ride, we boarded a private boat for the trip to our hotel on the Lido island. This is one of the largest of the islands that encloses the Venician Lagoon. We were met by our bus which had taken a vehicle ferry to the island while we were gondoling. After settling into the Hotel Des Bains, we headed out for the first of two optional tours that were offered in Venice. This one was called 'Venice by Night'. This tour consisted of a private boat ride to St. Marks Square in Venice. Now that we're in the northern part of Italy and it's October, the weather, although sunny and clear, was quite cool. Tour director Alison described this as "magic" and I think she was right. There is something about being there in the evening and darkness with the music playing....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH yes, a very fond memory. Here are the pictures of the evening part of this day.

This picture was taken just after sunset from the docks on the Lido Island.
St. Mark's Basilica. The body of St. Mark (patron Saint of Venice) is buried here.
St. Mark's Square at night.
The Basilica and bell tower. In 1902 the origional bell tower collapsed into the square.
St. Mark's Square is lined with cafes. The canopies cover small stages where small musical groups play for patrons.
Here is the group at the cafe we were at. It consists of two violinists, bass, accordian and piano. They were playing Don't Cry for me Argentina in this still video frame
Tour director Alison looking after her group on the "Magical" night in St. Mark's Square. The Bridge of Sighs connecting the Doges Palace with the prison.
The small Isola Di San Giorgio Maggiore with this church by Palladio in the tip. The Dorsoduro area of Venice. It's on the point of land that divides the start of the Grand Canal from the Canal di San Marco.
Here's a couple of couples from our group enjoying the evening in St. Mark's Square. I believe that's Les and Jolan, from North Vancover, on the left and I know for sure that that's Paula and Lloyd, from California, on the right.

Between 9:30 and 10:00 P.M., our night ended with our return to the Lido. This time we took public transportation called the vaporetti (or water bus). It took about 20 minutes and just as we left, a cell phone call to bus driver Mario, and he was there to meet us on our arrival. A short, 5 minute ride to the Hotel Des Bains and a cool night for me as they said they hadn't turned the heat on in most of the building yet. Others said they were hot so..... Tomorrow Venice in daylight and Burano.

On to Day 12 and Venice in the daytime!

Origionally Created January 30th, 2004.
Final Edit: February 18, 2004 1:33 PM