|From Forli the roads quickly settled over flat terrain and we made good time on the Autostrada. Having checked a few websites the night before, we had determined that we would park at the large carpark on Isola del Tronchetto and catch a water-bus to Piazza San Marco. This actually worked remarkably smoothly, and by 4.30pm we were standing adjacent to Piazza San Marco with most of our bags in tow (we had reduced the load by leaving a bag of unnecessary clothes in the car). Despite a grey overcast it was hot and the short walk to the Piazza had us working fairly hard, particularly over bridges with numerous steps and the never ending stream of tourists (bloody tourists). Having made the Piazza we then faced the challenge of finding our hotel, which we knew was “within 50m of San Marco Square” – a useful head start but not much else! After a bit of asking around we found it easily enough down a tiny side street and were immediately impressed. After a couple of very ‘cosy’ hotel rooms in Rome and Firenze, we have a large, two-bedroom suite with a good sized bathroom. The view from our window is looking down a canal and is almost worth the room rate on its own.
After a quick unload we headed down to the Piazza for a late and afternoon tea. A table in the Piazza offered us coffee, strawberries, and live music (at considerable cost – but hey, it’s Venezia!). We then strolled around the periphery of the Piazza and enjoyed the spectacles on show at the various shops, most specialising in either Murano glassware, jewellery, Venetian masks, or gelato. Aside from a couple of small gifts, shopping will wait until tomorrow. Back to our room for some rest and recuperation, and then to a small ristorante not far from the hotel for dinner. Pasta all round and another nice latte macchiato. The waiter had a great sense of humour by presenting Zoë with the bill (nice). We strolled back to the hotel via some back streets and, in the process, completed a reconnaissance for tomorrow’s shopping.
All in all it has been a tiring and busy day, but a thoroughly delightful one. A special thought today for Diana, who would have loved Venezia, and for whom we’ll try to enjoy it even more.
Notes: Venice looking decidedly shabby in the Square. Really starting to miss having take-away coffees. Well done Ron for the driving.
Because of the time difference – HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAYDE!!!!!!!!