After putting Loki back in the water last month, and being joined by Alan W, we headed down to Venice to spend some time there before heading across to Croatia. Upon our arrival we did a quick run up to San Marco, dodging a cruise ship, vaporetti and various other craft, because it’s just so good seeing Venice from the water! The marina we stayed at is located on Certosa Island, just 15 minutes by vaporetto (waterbus) from the heart of Venice. It’s a non-residential island hosting only a marina, a boutique hotel and assorted goats, rabbits and chickens. A little oasis away from what the locals refer to as “the Bermuda Triangle” (the area between San Marco, Rialto and Accademia), where all the Bermuda short-wearing tourists congregate in their masses. It’s fun watching the crewed gondolas regularly zipping up and down the Certosa channel on their training runs.
I think the best time to see Venice in it’s full glory is very, very early. From Certosa the first vaporetto of the day gets you into San Marco at around 6:30am. There are no tourists about and you can stand at one end of St Mark’s Square with just a couple of nuns and a few dozen pigeons between you and St Mark’s Basilica as the sun rises behind it. At that time of day you can really appreciate the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings, including the wonderfully gothic Doges Palace.
You also see the city starting to wake up, with shirtless gondoliers hurrying from their moorings, a massive laundry barge collecting soiled linen from a fancy hotel on the Grand Canal (but then everything comes and goes by barge here) and the street vendors haven’t yet set up their stalls so everywhere is uncluttered.
Fitzy & I loved exploring Venice, visiting the Architecural Biennale, assorted galleries, various palazzo on the Grand Canal and just generally wandering around the picturesque streets and canals. The view from the Campanile tower is also terrific.
I played around with some black & white imagery to try and capture the sense of timelessness that Venice projects.
Sadly, during our stay in Venice Fitzy’s 91 year old Mum, Alma, had a fall and broke her hip. Her surgery went very well initially, but during rehab she took a turn for the worse and became ill quite suddenly, so Adrian and I headed back to Melbourne very quickly. We were all devastated when Alma passed away peacefully. Alma had a great life and has left behind a wonderful legacy with two terrific sons, two lovely grandchildren and a delightful great-grand-daughter. R.I.P. Alma, we will all miss you terribly.
After arriving back in Venice Fitzy completed some major repairs to the anchor winch, but before we set off the locals told us we couldn’t miss the Festa del Redentore, the largest celebration on the Venetian calendar. OMG they weren’t wrong! Every man and his dog were either on the water in Saint Mark’s basin, or along the waterfront to watch the huge fireworks display that goes on for 45 minutes and is really spectacular. Those Venetians really know how to party!
We have now left Italy and are in Croatia, making our way south towards Sicily. Hope all is good in your part of the world. We certainly live in troubled times, so keep safe and keep doing the things that you most enjoy. We are here for a good time, not a long time!
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