Italy Vacation 2003
Day 13, Friday, Oct. 17th

Today we start out with our last views of Venice as we take a vehicle ferry from the Lido back to Venice. After leaving the Venice area, we head for the city Romeo and Juliet made famous, Verona. After having lunch there we headed on to the lake district and the town of Baveno where we stayed for the night. There was another optional tour from here to Borromean Islands. Here's the map for our travels of this day.

Here are the last views of Venice as we left it.

This is our Coach with Mario driving. Yes, he does make it fit in that space directly below me
Shortly after leaving the Lido. The St. Mark's Campanile is just right of centre.
St. Mark's Square as we approach it. The start of the Grand Canal is to the left. Left to right, the Mint, the Campanile, St. Mark's Square, Piazzetta San Marco, and the Ducal Palace
Isola Di San Giorgio Maggiore.
Palice Dogana di Mare. The Canal Grande is just on the other side.
An ocean going ferry awaiting its load.
Offloading our ferry on the Venice side.

Once off the ferry we headed out across the causeway (the Ponte della Liberta). As we got to the ferry dock we saw a fire boat following us. It passed us and rushed off to the west. As we crossed the Ponte delle Liberta, we saw black smoke in the distance. You will see in the following pictures what we saw as we passed the source of the black smoke.

The Ponte della Liberta. See the smoke?
The smoke is coming from this burning cruise ship that was in dry dock here for some work.
Another view as we drove along the Autostrada heading towards Padova.
The final view. We never heard anything about this so I don't know any more details.

Once this excitement was passed by, we headed on to Verona. It isn't known if there really was a Romeo or a Juliet but it sure has made this city popular anyway. Here are some pictures.

As in most Italian cities, archaeology is always being done to learn and find more history. A marble statue of Dante Alighieri with the Loggia de Consiglio behind. Cangrande I sheltered Dante, who was fleeing from Florence, in this building.
Supposedly, this is the famous balcony on Juliet's house. There is no evidence that any family named Capulet ever lived here. These are the love notes to Juliet left by people from all over the world.
Good luck will supposedly come to you if you do this. Chuck from Victoria, B.C. said he needed some. Always needing as much luck as I can get I figured I should do it to. Many thanks to Paula & Lloyd Johnson from La Canada, California for the picture.
The balcony and the statue. Can't you just picture Romeo standing here saying "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" and so on, and so on....... The Arche Scaligere. These are outdoor tombs of some of the most important rulers, the Scaligeri princes. The previously mentioned Cangrande is buried here.
One of the main streets of Verona.
One of the bridges over the Adige River.
All over Italy we had been seeing these really small cars called Smart Cars. Boy are they small. It may remind many people of a Mini Minor. They are apparently extremely fuel efficient. You certainly couldn't take the family (unless there were only two of you) very far in this. The side of this car is almost all door and where is the trunk? There's just a bit of space behind the seats to carry something.

We had lunch in Verona and then headed on to Lake Maggiore. This is located approximately 80 Kilometres north of Milan. The tour itinery said that we would do Milan this day but due to it being a Friday afternoon, the traffic would be so bad that we would spend more time in traffic jams than doing anything else. We will do it tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Once we arrived in Baveno, which is a short distance south of Stressa on the western shore of the lake, we dropped off a few people who weren't going to the Borromean Islands and then headed there.

The Borromean Islands are owned by the Borromeo family, strangely enough. They are one of the richest families in Italy. There are three islands. The one we visited is called Isola Bella or Beautiful Island. The Borromeo family lives here for approximately three months every summer. On this island is a 17th Century palace with many rooms. Napoleon slept in this palace. There are many tapestries and paintings mostly of a rather gory nature but still quite impressive. The most interesting part inside the palace are a series of rooms called grotto rooms. These were built out of small stones collected locally and assembled piece by piece over very many years. I cannot remember the numbers but 30 or 40 seems to click in my mind. No pictures were allowed inside the palace but what's outside kind of makes up for that. Here are some pictures of what was outside.

On our way from Bavano to the Borromean Island of Isola Bella These next couple are views of the island as we approach it.
The main living quarters of the palace.
A section of the gardens around the palace.
This had a name but I cannot remember what it was.
More of the gardens.
One of the attractions of this garden are the rare white peacocks. The small ones are this years newborns. Not as pretty as a normal peacock but this one was really putting on a show. He (I think it's a he) kept this up for quite a while.
More of the gardens with some of the local scenery thrown in as well.
The gardens just never end.
How would you like to get up each morning and see this....!
Or this......
Isola Bella as we depart.
A view from the boat looking north up the lake towards Switzerland, not far away.

We headed back around 6:00 P.M. and went to our hotel and I was surprised that for the first time on the trip I got a room with a view. When you travel as a guaranteed single you usually end up having a view of a wall, or the road in front or the parking lot. This was the first (and last I might add, there are only two more hotels anyway,) that had a view. So here's the view. This assembly of four images doesn't quite fit together correctly but it was just to good to lose.

Needless to say the walls of the Hotel Simplon don't curve like it looks here but there wasn't any way that I know of, to correct this. It was still a pretty nice view.

This completes day 13. Tomorrow we make a brief stop in Milan, a rather wet stop in Pisa, and finish up in Florence.

On to day 14!

Originally Created: February 2nd, 2004
Final Edit: February 18, 2004 2:47 PM