Hot, humid, crowded, chaotic, confusing. Those were my first impressions of Venice. Hot because it was the middle of August, humid since we are essentially standing on water, chaotic and confusing since we were confronted with too many tourists and the path to the hotel was through a warren of randomly labeled lanes.
Walking around in a newly visited city is often traumatic. Venice was especially so. Once you leave the main avenues
We arrived late in the afternoon and after getting settled in our hotel it was early evening. So we thought this would be a good time to visit the main square – St. Mark’s Square. The square is impressive being sided by the Doge’s Palace (the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice), administrative offices and St. Mark’s Basilica. But if we were hoping to avoid the crowds we failed. The water lapping over the edge of the square shows just how tenuous the relationship of the town to the sea is. And yet it has existed for hundreds of years!
More and more as we travel we tend to bypass the ‘hot spots’ so our first day in Venice was devoted to walking through various parts of the town. The island with its numerous canals and decaying buildings and transportation only by boats is unique. As we strolled through the outer residential areas the crowds were left behind.
The next morning we took a boat across the canal to the San Giorgia Maggiore church which contains Tintoretto’s ‘Last Supper’ and a bell tower open to the public. From the bell tower, we had excellent views in all directions. We could clearly see the island status of Venice and the other surrounding islands.
In the afternoon we visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. This museum of early 20th-century art is actually the retirement palazzo of Peggy Guggenheim. An additional attraction was the opportunity to actually walk through one of the palazzo’s that line the canals.
I found the canals to be photogenic so there are several included in the slide show
We purchased two fanciful metal sculptures from a local artist.