31 March to 3 April 2016
I had 4 days and 3 nights to explore Venice. I visited with the intention of arising very early and being in situ for the rising sun each morning. I did actually manage this on two mornings, but have to report that sunrise was disappointing, as it remained overcast, but dry, all the time I was there. However, I am pleased to report that an early start does mean that you see Venice minus the usual crowds, if only for a few short hours. Standing on Accademia Bridge at 6 in the morning was still a magical start to the day even without the longed for spectacular sunrise.
My hotel was located just north of St Mark's Square and a short walk from the Rialto Bridge. These are the two most popular attractions in Venice and so it seemed to make sense to have easy access to both. However (I seem to use that word a lot in this report), I discovered that the bridge was covered in scaffolding for restoration purposes and so I never even took my camera out in its vicinity. St. Mark's Square early in the morning did not disappoint. The lack of crowds and easy access to views such as:
- The moored gondolas with San Giorgio Maggiore beyond them
- The Bridge of Sighs
- The Doge's Palace
certainly made up for the early exit from my comfortable bed.
After returning to my hotel for breakfast , the crowds would be starting to gather in the popular tourist spots and so now was the time to do what all the guide books suggest and just wander the streets, crossing the canals, and be entertained by the differing vistas available around every corner. My wife and I did this and it certainly did not disappoint.
Venice is an expensive destination even if you avoid the tourist trap cafes and restaurants bordering St. Mark’s Square. A meal for two with wine in a reasonable restaurant was invariably 100+ euros. An obligatory 25 minute trip on a gondola was 80 euros. However (that word again), I must not concentrate on cost as this was my first, and maybe last, trip to Venice and it was worth every euro.
Please see the “Foreign Lands” gallery for some further Venice images.