Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 2 in Venice, Sightseeing on a Wet & Rainy Day

I woke up around 8:30 am, did not get out of bed until after 9:00 am, I did not want to miss the free breakfast, I could hear people talking, clanging dishes in the dining room.  The breakfast was decent, lots of bread, and cheese spread, jams, butter.  After breakfast, I realized it was raining outside, I took my time getting ready to go out, I was not excited about sightseeing in Venice while it was raining.  Finally, around 11 am, housekeeping knocked on my door, it was time for me to leave so they could clean my room.  

I asked the man at the reception desk how to get to San Marco Square, I had an idea, I knew I walked in the opposite direction, away from it yesterday, but I wanted to confirm my path.  San Marcos is Venice's main square, most of the big tourist attractions are located there. The man at reception said it would take about 15 minutes to walk to San Marco, I asked him about the weather, he said it was expected to rain all day.

I stopped for lunch on my way to San Marco Square, breakfast was not filling, I was hungry again by 11:30 am.  I got a mushroom and ham calzone, when I cut into it, I realized there was no sauce, I have never had a calzone with no sauce in Italy or anywhere else.  I asked for a side of sauce for the calzone, after going back and forth a couple of times, the man understood I wanted tomato sauce.  He gave me a tiny portion in a small paper cup.  I asked at the restaurant how to get to San Marco, the staff confirmed I was on the right path and told me there would be signs along the way to direct me.

I set out in the rain again, my shoes were beginning to get soaked, the bottom parts of my jeans were wet, I still had a long way to walk. The umbrella was good for keeping my upper body dry, but the streets of Venice were wet, it was also windy, making it hard to keep my lower limbs dry.

As I walked, every time I approached what appeared to be a square, I wondered if I had arrived at San Marco.  The walk to San Marco seemed long, because it was rainy, wet and chilly.  I paused at the different squares, took pictures of Cathedrals, etc. with my free hand, tried to balance my umbrella so it would keep me dry and not get into my pictures.

Venice on my way to Piazza San Marcos
I followed the Per S. Marco signs and finally reached Venice's main square, it was flooded.  There was very little space to walk in, almost impossible to avoid stepping in an ankle height puddle of water.  I looked around and saw people in the middle of the square, some barefoot, many with shoe coverings, reusable, bright yellow galoshes that fit over their shoes.  I debated what I should do, return to my hotel and try to go out when it is dry tomorrow, I thought it was going to rain all day.  Or try to get some pictures in, who cares if I get a little wet, I am in Venice.  I considered going into the Basilica, and hoping things would be dried up by the time I exited.  I decided to take a few pictures while I decided what to do.

Lynnae in front of St. Mark's Basilica
I decided to buy some of the bright yellow shoe coverings so I could walk through the water and not get any wetter than I already was.  I asked the couple who took the picture me above, where they bought their galoshes, they told me they were sold in all the stores along the route to the Piazza. I went back, found a store selling the boots, and bought a large pair for 12 Euros.  After I put on my galoshes, I went back to St. Mark's Square and began walking around in the water, taking pictures, looking at all the sights.

Standing in the water with my disposable Galoshes 

Lynnae near the bay in St. Mark's Square 
After walking around St. Mark's square, with my feet protected from the water by my new disposable galoshes, I started debating what paid sights I wanted to visit in the square.  I decided on two, I would go into the Basilica, entrance was free, I paid a total of 5 Euros to access the paid areas.  I also went to the top of the Bell Tower for a spectacular view across Venice, I could see many of the islands, the red roof tops, and all the water.

Inside St. Mark's Cathedral 

View from St. Mark's Bell Tower

View from St. Mark's Bell Tower
After going to the top of St. Mark's Bell Tower and seeing the inside of the Cathedral  I set out to find the Rialto Bridge. There were signs, Per Rialto, pointing the path to the Rialto Bridge, just like with St. Mark's Square.  According to the guidebooks, the Rialto Bridge provides the best views of the Grand Canal, it is also line with shops and crowded with tourists trying to take photos of the view. I thought the view from the bridge was overrated, but I took my pictures, walked across the bridge, looked at some of the shops.

Lynnae at Rialto Bridge 
After Rialto Bridge, I headed back to my hotel, my feet were soaked, despite buying the galoshes.  I took the galoshes off when I got to the bridge, hoping to give my jeans and shoes a chance to dry off, since the rain had stopped and the flood waters receded.  My shoes and clothing were too waterlogged, the sun did not help dry them out.  When I got back to my hotel, I changed out of my wet clothes, my feet were cold and damp, it took them awhile to warm up, they may still be a little cold.

I considered going out in the evening, Venice is supposed to be nice after dark, classical music concerts in Piazzo San Marco, etc.  I did not go out, St. Mark's Square flooded again tonight, the woman at reception told me, if you go out tonight, be sure you have a boat.  I was not going to pay for a boat, so I stayed in.  I went out and got Spaghetti for dinner, I think my first pasta dinner of my trip to Italy.  The spaghetti was good, nothing special.  I stayed inside the rest of the evening. Tomorrow, I go to Florence, I have not bought a train ticket yet, I will probably leave in the late morning or early afternoon.  I think I have seen all of Venice for this trip, probably will not do any sightseeing here tomorrow. 

Day 2 in Venice Photo Album 

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