Sunday, February 17, 2013

Venice, on the 3rd Day (morning)

On our second day in Venice, last October, we leisurely walked around the city (see my post of January 26, 2013 here.)  For the third day we decided to see some of the famous sights.  We walked to the canal in front of Piazzale Roma, near the main train station, to board a "vaporetto" - the vaporetto is a water bus.  Several line of vaporetti travel on the canals and to nearby islands.  Each ticket costs 6 euros 50 ($8.70,) which is not cheap but cheaper than riding in a gondola or water taxi.  Tickets have to be bought and stamped before boarding.  It is more economical to buy a 12 hour card with unlimited trips for 18 euros ($24) or a 24, a 36 or a 72 hour card or even a 7 day card.
At the Paris airport before we boarded our flight for Venice I had bought a little Venice guide book which had the vaporetto map.  We took line #1, that goes up and down the Grand Canal, to travel toward San Marco Square.  We boarded our vaporetto at Piazzale Roma, the stop before "Ferrovia" at 10 o'clock on the map below and were to get off at the San Zaccaria stop, in the center of the map.  (Click on picture to enlarge.)
There are some open-air seats in the front area of the vaporetto - they are the best to get good views for picture taking.  It was a thrill really to look right and left and go by all the beautiful old buildings.  The Grand Canal goes through Venice in a S shape from the area where we boarded the water bus all the way to the Saint Mark Basin, or about 2.36 miles (3.8 kms.)  The width goes from 100 to 300 feet (30 to 90 meters) and a depth of 16 feet (5 meters.)  Most of the buildings are from the 13th to the 18th centuries. (Click on the collage twice to enlarge pictures.)
It was like an overload of sight and sound - should I snap a building on the right, or the left, down or up?  So many choices.  Can I get a picture of the Rialto Bridge and avoid the head of another passenger in front of me?  What about a gondola on the side, or the one passing us as we go under the bridge?
The vaporetto stopped along the way to let passengers off and on.  It had to maneuver among all the boats and gondolas on the canal to stop on the right or left bank - I was sure sometimes that we were going to hit another boat.  There are only four bridges that cross the canal but a ride across can be taken for 0.50 euro on a "traghetto" or gondola like rowboat.  Venetians stand on the side of the Grand Canal at certain points to wait for a crossing and then stay upright in the traghetto boat as you can see on the two bottom pictures below.  I think I would have fallen into the canal...
Our little vaporetto kept going - stopped at Ca' Rezzonico then passed under the Del Accademia Bridge.  I wished I knew more about all these gorgeous historic buildings.  This canal is an ancient waterway.  Merchants started building houses along it in the 10th century.  By the 12th and 13th centuries the houses became elaborate and often in a Byzantine style.  The 15th century saw more of the Venetian-Gothic style with brighter colors and pointed arches.  By the 16th and 17 centuries the style of the buildings was more Baroque.  Nowadays the largest ones have become museums or purchased by foundations that can afford their upkeep.
Our stop, San Zaccaria, was approaching and most of the passengers were walking toward the vaporetto exit.  We had enjoyed our slow cruise down the canal and hated to leave - so we agreed to miss our stop and we stayed on.  Next was the "Arsenale" stop but we would stay until the end of the line, at the Lido.
I remembered reading about the Arsenale.  This is where the warships were built and gave Venice his power and wealth.  It started in 1104 and by 1400 it employed 3000 specialized employees.  It is said that it was "one of the earliest large-scale industrial enterprise in history." Below are some Library of Congress photomechanical prints from the 1890-1900s; the Venice Arsenale is the bottom photo on the right hand side.
Then our almost empty vaporetto went on the open water of the lagoon toward the terminal at the Lido.  We went by the 17th century Punto della Dogana (Tip of the Customs House,) reopened to the public in 2009 by the Foundation Francois Pinault (owner of Gucci) as a Center for Contemporary Art.  I took a close-up of the top of the Tower of Fortune crowned with "Fortuna," a winged sphinx statue standing on a sphere - the Earth.  The Venice Lagoon is an enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea with thousands of boats of all kinds such as vaporetti, motor boats, hydrofoils, ferries, cruise ships, sail boats, etc.  We even passed close to a Police boat.
 We arrived at the Lido island - a sandbar 6.83 miles long (11 kms) with hotels, summer villas and beaches where tourists gather in September for the Venice Film Festival.  We did not stay long as we exited our vaporetto and walked a few yards to the departure dock of the next vaporetto.  I only had time to take a picture of hundreds of bicycles.  (Map courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)
Back in another vaporetto going to Piazza San Marco we crossed the lagoon again and could see a large amount of trees ahead along the bank.  When the vaporetto stopped at the "Giardini" (gardens) stop, we decided to get off and take a look.
Later I read that these gardens were created when Napoleon Bonaparte, after he conquered Venice in 1797, had an area of marshland drained.  He then directed Eugene de Beauharnais to design a public garden.  In the 1890s several exhibition buildings were erected in these gardens to show international art.  Belgium was the first country to erect a pavilion in 1907.  There are 30 permanent pavilions where various nations display art or architecture during the "Venice Biennale."
 A Gondola at the Jardins Francais, Venice, by Felix Ziem, French 1821-1911

The gardens are also famous for the number of wild cats roaming the area.  As we disembarked the vaporetto, we saw more trees than we had seen in several days.  We walked around and I took the picture of a pretty black cat.  He was standing in front of an old Victorian building where plants were for sale.  Next to it was a small cafe.  We sat outside and ordered some little sandwiches for lunch.
 We ended our meal with a perfect cup of expresso coffee.
It was time to return to the vaporetto and finally go to the Piazza San Marco.  We passed the Arsenale stop again and approached our final stop.
Many gondolas were on the bank near our vaporetto stop.  Ahead we could see the Doge's Palace.
We were on the "Riva degli Schiavoni" near the Doge's Palace.  I had seen many famous paintings of this historic area.  Would it still look the same as in the paintings and old photographs? It was barely 1:00 pm so we had plenty of time to explore further.  More to come in the next post...
 

38 comments:

David said...

Vagabonde, Great photos as usual!! What kind of camera do you use? Laurie won't carry anything that won't fit in her purse...and she's my photographer. I liked the vaporetto map...just like bus routes in a big city. Boats are better! Love the looks of those sandwiches and the dessert...luscious for sure. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Helsie said...

Wonderful. I'm storing away all this for when I go. Can you give us an idea of what your lunch at the gardens cost? I hear eating out can be very expensive in Italy.

Patricia said...

Lovely trip and lovely photos. Love Venice and hope to return soon.

chlost said...

What a treat to be able to just ramble along, stopping on a whim and finding something special, "missing" a planned stop to go on to something new. It is a perfect way to see a place. It sounds wonderful. We did not make it to Venice, so we will have to return.

Frances said...

Vagabonde, your excellent photos and informative commentary have brought back to me many memories of my own visit to Venice.

What a place. Certainly it is unlike any other. I admit to also refreshing my Venice memories with the novels of Donna Leon.

Now...you've got me thinking about another real visit. xo

rosaria williams said...

What a wonderful idea to take the vaporetto to around Venice. I had no idea about the gardens! You always add so many interesting details to your posts. Merci.

Ann said...

dear Vagabonde..oh,you have no idea how badly I needed a vacation today!!! your post was just what i need to take me away!!! the beauty of Venice is breathtaking!! thank you so much for sharing your trip. i have DEVOURED your posts!!!
hugs from California!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a fantastic stay in Venice. It certainly is the most special place---And your pictures, as always,make me feel I am right there with you...!

I love that black Cat just sitting there so quietly and peacefully!
Sooooo much to see there! I look forward to the next post!

Cloudia said...

oh thank you, I'm drunk on Venice now



ALOHA from Honolulu!
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Jeanne said...

Oh I loved your post on this wonderful place. I loved it when I was there, and you have definitely captured the essence of this amazing place!!

Pierre BOYER said...

A so lovely travel...

Pierre

Roger Gauthier said...

Tout un billet ! À la fois instructif et intéressant à lire.

Je regardais tes photos qui nous montrent cette ville. Si belle, et pourtant en grand danger de disparition pour toutes sortes de raisons. Parce que si rien n'est fait, si des solutions efficaces ne sont pas trouvées, et surtout si on n'arrive pas à stopper l'industrie dont les bateaux de croisière, Venise est perdue.

Mary said...

Needless to say your, great pics bring back so many wonderful memories of my visit there, which was also last October! Perhaps we passed by one another along the Grand Canal! We found it easy to get around - walked miles but every inch was delightful with so many stunning things to look at along the way.

I loved Venice so much and had waited so long to get there - nothing disappointed and I want to return and stay much longer next time.

Love what you did with your pics collages - thanks for sharing it all.

Hugs - Mary

Ginnie said...

Venice reminds me of Amsterdam in the sense that it's totally unique and does NOT represent the rest of the country. I really do want to go back and take the same kind of time you took. I love knowing about such things as the vaporetto boats. What a deal for getting around a city whose roads are filled with water!

DJan said...

You took all these pictures in one MORNING? Wow! You certainly did cram a great deal into your trip. Venice is a place that looks like no other. I loved the excursion, VB. :-)

Dee said...

Dear Vagabonde, thank you for this vaporetto ride through the byways of Venice. I confess to not knowing where Venice was located. I'd always thought of it on the left side of Italy. And so I greatly appreciate the map showing it in at the top of the Adriatic Sea. I never realized just how sketchy my geographic knowledge was. I look forward to your next posting about this. Peace.

Jeanie said...

Oh, what a wonderful time! I love all that blue water -- so welcome on our gray day here! And the photo of the cat and your beautiful cafe meal. Ah! I should like to hope a vaparetto right now!

And let me say once again I do love how you arrange your vintage cards with your wonderful photos. Very nice presentation!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Once again you have me marvel at all you manage to post into one. It's a huge feast of goodies and I was left wondering about the smell of mould in a city where water is all over the place. There was none in Amsterdam. I s there any in Venice?

Friko said...

Going by vaporetto is a wonderful way to explore Venice’s waterways and the only way to see the city at its best.

Lovely photos. I am sure you had a great time.

Scriptor Senex said...

Thank you for another wonderful trip. And I love the mosaics. You have really summed up Venice and made it accessible to those up us who will never get there.

Bristlecone Pines said...

Busy but so nice and clean city. Really wonderful post. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures.

Marianne said...

I would love to visit Venice, and this post has just made me even more determined! Thank you for sharing your holiday

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, how I'm enjoying revisiting Venice here on your blog! I ADORED riding the vaporetto.

Molly said...

You must have had a wonderful time. I'm sure Venice is a photographer's heaven..You certainly got some heavenly shots!

Arti said...

Another beautiful Venice post! I love all your photo collages. Do you need a special software program to do it? Exquisite arrangements of visuals.

Vagabonde said...

This is a test - Today I have received 69 spam comments and about 8 more or so went directly on my blog. I am trying to see if I clicked on the right setting so that I'll have to approve each comment. I am sorry about that but I am getting just too much spam.

Richard Moisan said...

On ne se lasse jamais de regarder des photos de Venise. Mais je reste un inconditionnel du carnaval. Il y fait très froid, mais quelle ambiance!

claude said...

Cela donne vraiment envie d'y aller.
Peut-être un jour, quand mon Chéri sera en retraite.
Merci pour cette belle visite.

Fennie said...

Hallo Vagabonde, What an excursion! I almost felt I was in the vaporetto with you. I think I could have ridden them all day. Wonderful pictures. You seem to be having a great time. Thanks for sharing all this.

Perpetua said...

Wonderful, VaLabonde. Being a great fan of Donna leon's Venice novels, it was great to see the vaporetto stops she mentions so regularly in her stories. It felt like being given an illustrated tour of her settings and I did enjoy it.

Kay said...

Thank you so much for all these wonderful photos! I really enjoyed seeing them and appreciate your sharing your fabulous experience with us. My husband has added Venice to our travel list.

Reader Wil said...

Merci de ce tour en Venise. Je crois que les " bridges of sighs" en Cambridge et Oxford ressemblent à le pont Rialto, qui est sans doute le plus vieux. L'histoire de Venise est très intéressante mais aussi très compliquée.
Merci de votre visite à mon blog! Bonne journée!

Miss_Yves said...

Le rêve et la magie se poursuivent... J'ai été particulièrement sensible à l'image des jardins français...

Al said...

What an awesome place, lovely photos.

Ann said...

i just had to re-visit this post...i'm going to spend some time here..then go back to your post above..i just don't want to leave Venice!!!

beatrice De said...

Je partais tôt le matin, la carte de la ville sous le bras. Mais j'aimais bien aller au hasard. Plof, pas d'issue, le canal.
Moi, j'avais la carte, les vénitiens le journal.

ELFI said...

visité des dizaines de fois...toujours aussi beau..belles photos.. merci

Arti said...

Another amazing post. Beautiful photos and informative write-up. What sort of a camera did you use for these? From your artistic POV, you've made Venice even more beautiful.