My Italy in 10 Days, Day 4 Venice Part 3 and Day 5 Venice Part 1

After leaving Museum Correr, there was still time to walk around Venice, so we headed to the Piazetta San Marco. On our way there we noticed that a particular place under the Procuratie Nuove was specially crowded and we could hear the sound of beautiful Classical music. It was the famous Caffé Florian, opened since the 29th of December 1720 and considered the oldest Café in Europe. It was opened as “Alla Venezia Trionfante” but soon its name was changed by the users to Caffè Florian in honour of its owner.

The caffé is expensive and we could not sped time sitting there (there was a long cue waiting) as we wanted to see as much as possible, but it transpires history and tradition. During its existence it was a witness  of the magnificence and fall of the Republic of Venice, the secret conspiracies against France and the Austrian era of ruling; According to their website, its elegant rooms were used to treat the wounded during the 1848 uprising.

Also according to them, “Besides being the most famous coffeehouse, Caffè Florian was the only meeting place of the time that admitted women, which explains why Casanova chose it as his “hunting ground” in his continuing quest for female company.”

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Caffé Florian
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Musicians outside playing beautiful classical music
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And again the fashionable boots
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The luxury stores surrounding Piazza San Marco
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Fabergé, what else

When getting to Piazetta San Marco we did turn left to Riva degli Schiavoni (named after the Slavic merchants involved in the delivery of meat and fish at the local marinas), and got to Ponte della Paglia, that dates from 1847, but the original structure is from 1360. It crosses the Rio de la Canonica or de Palazzo, and from there you have a beautiful view of Ponte Dei Sospiri. The bridge divides two districts: San Marco and Castello (Venice is divided into six districts called Sistieri: Cannaregio (where the Santa Lucia train station is), San Polo, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Marco, and Castello.

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Ponte della Paglia
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Gondola Parking
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Gondola Parking and at the back, San Giorgio Maggiore
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Panoramic view
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Venice being…. Venice
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Ponte dei Sospiri
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Enchanting details – Calle dele Rasse
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Rio del Vin
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Colours, textures, people, vibe
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The statue of Victor Emmanuel II

So there we go, all happy strolling around and deciding that, contrary to huge majority of the people that goes to Venice,  we would not get lost. Right? Nope, wrong. We turned left on one of the canals, and then walked, and turned right, and left, and so on, and soon we had no clue where we were, and then, YES WE WERE LOST. It was quite a blow in my pride of being a person with an excellent sense of direction. Yes it was. I was pissed of. BUT soon it all went away. Not only because we did see beautiful details of Venice that otherwise we would not, but also because we found a very kind Venetian that took the time to detour from his way and help us get to Piazza San Marco, while I chatted with him about how it is to live in Venice, to which he said: its crowded, its beautiful, its Venice, I would not leave here and live anywhere else. I could only but agree. Venice is fascinating, even if you get lost. Still, it is.

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Ponte dela Pietá – Chiesa di San Giorgio de Gresi
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Church San Giovanni in Bragora in a lovely square
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On the way to getting lost

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Campiello Gorne
Beautiful right? we were lost by now
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Chiesa di San Giorgio de Gresi
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Rio del Greci
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Fondamenta de l’Osmarin
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Fondamenta de l’Osmarin
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Fondamenta de l’Osmarin
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San Zaccaria
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Getting back

After getting to Piazza San Marco we were now starving and decided to treat ourselves with a beautiful dinner at Principessa restaurant, at the Savoia & Jolanda Hotel.

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Amazing dinner – Gamberi saltati e burrata DOP su guazzetto di cozze e zafferano
Sauteed shrimps and DOP burrata cheese above mussels and saffron stew

From there, already dark we headed to our hotel, tired but extremely happy as Venice was so much more than I expected.

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Piazza San Marco
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Raining….cats and dogs
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A beautiful art studio we found when returning to the hotel
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Night vibe in Venice

Next day we woke up early, had a good breakfast and checked out from the Hotel. Luckily the staff at the Opera was amazingly friendly, and not only they took care of our luggage until our departure but they also gave us some tips to move around.

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Breakfast

We had decided that we would start with the campanille and then go to Rialto. We left the hotel and, OH LORD, a glorious, sunshine, day revealed. Everything around us looked so much different from the heavy rain inundated calles from the day before.

The campanile was built in 1173 and went through many renovations and upgrades. The total height is close to 100m, and contrary to other towers and campaniles, this one has a lift. The price is high – we paid 8 euros per person, but the view is breathtaking and worth it. The campanile has 5 bells in total, each with its own role, being Marangona the only original bell.

At the base of the Campanile there is Loggia di San Marco Campanile built in the 16th century by Sansovino. It is a beautiful marble structure with statues and portraits.

Curiosities:

July, 14, 1902 – the tower collapsed on the square and it was destroyed along with the loggia. It was rebuilt on the 25th of April 1912.

Galileo Galilei used the campanile as an observatory and in 1609 he demonstrated his telescope to the Lords right there on the campanile.

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Getting to the campanile, a start of a glorious day
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Classical sight – brige and groom wedding photo shoot at Piazza San Marco
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How different from the day before. Early morning, few people and sunshine
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The Loggia by Sansovino

As it was still early, the cue had only a few people and we soon got to the Tower, and what a view it has. a 360º view over Venice that surely takes your breath away, and if I was not yet in love with Venice, there was now no turning back, from falling totally in love.

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Clock Tower
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Piazetta San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore Basilica
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The Domes of San Marco Basilica
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Panomaric view of San Marco Basilica and Venice
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Panoramic view including Santa Maria della Salute
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Panorama photo of San Marco
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Another beautiful panorama
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Piazza San Marco

From the campanile we still walked around before heading to Rialto. The day was beautiful and the Piazza was soon getting crowded.

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Riva del Schiavoni

We walked a bit along Riva degli Schiavoni turning right at the end of Piazzeta San Marco. Riva degli Schiavoni is the main waterfront, with many kiosks and restaurants, and magnificent views  of the lagoon, Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore, and the constant movement of gondolas, vaporettos, boats, in a charming chaos.

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Santa Maria della Salute
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Santa Maria della Salute

The beautiful Santa Maria della Salute Basilica was built in the 17th century by a very young and almost unknown artist named Baldassare Longhena.

In the 17th century, almost 50 000 people died in Venice due to the plague. In 1630, the senate made an plea to God, to stop the plague, promising to build a church in the honor of Virgin Mary “. The plague did stop and they honored their promise constructing the basilica in Dorsoduro district, right where the Grand canal merges with the basin of St Mark.

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Beautiful details everywhere
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Exiting Piazza San Marco through Merceria. It connects St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge
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Beautiful store façades
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A colourful mini market on our way there
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Approaching Rialto
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Approaching Rialto
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The beautiful Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge connects two districts in Venice, San Marco and San Polo. The present bridge was constructed between 1588 and 1591, and replaced the old wooden structure Until 1854, it was the only crossing point of the Grand canal. The bridge has three passages, being two outside balustrades, and a central and wider one lined with (very expensive) small shops.

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Rialto Bridge, close up
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The Rialto bridge
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Climbing the bridge
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Rialto Market at the back
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Rialto Market
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The view from the bridge is just breathtaking
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The colors and textures around the Rialto Bridge
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Breathtaking
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Chaotic yet beautiful
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Strolling around the promenade
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One of the many restaurants close by
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One of the many restaurants close by
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Gondola parking spot
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Below the Rialto Bridge
 With a heavy heart, and no will at all to go back, it was now time to return to the hotel to get the luggage and head back to Florence (me) and Portugal (Ruth). Next post will be our departure from Venice and my last day in Florence, so stay tuned

 

One comment

  1. motoguzzimomma

    A visual feast of beautiful Venice. I had coffee in Caffé Florian also and just sat and soaked in the music 🙂

    Reply

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