Today was our last day in Venice this most picturesque of Italian places. It is as gorgeous a place as we remembered. The first day we checked into our hotel, which is situated on the third floor of an ancient building without an elevator. When we went to check in we encountered a tall staircase leading up to the office. (52 stairs and counting) We panted halfway up with our bags when the clerk came out. She told us to stop and offered us a choice of rooms, upstairs on the third floor or one on the first floor. Of course we opted for the latter. Somehow God watches out for fools and old people since it's the only downstairs room. We still have to climb up for breakfast but what the heck, it helps to build up an appetite and gets the old legs limbered up for the day's exploring.
Although they have water buses they call vaporetti, it's best to walk since this is a very compact town. Needless to say, we have been walking our buns off. Whew! We did however begin our explorations by taking a vaporetto (singular) to two of the four main islands. They are Murano which is famous for its glass works and Burano which is famous for its lace. Both require much craftsmanship and great skill so the beautiful pieces are quite expensive. However, despite their expensive wares, both small islands are very picturesque each in their own way.
In the evening after the day-trippers headed home we went to the biggest and loveliest square called St. Marks for our evening stroll. (See picture) The huge square is usually filled with throngs of people but at this late hour it was just right. Still plenty of folks for people watching and very serene. We found a bench under the shadow of the giant cathedral and enjoyed the music from two of the big outdoor restaurants that had bands playing. The orchestras took turns playing everything from Jazz to classical music and had everyone clapping and singing along. Finally we regrettably returned to our room in the dark because we were tired and plum wore out from our long day.
Today we got an early start, but made the mistake in taking in one of the many art museums call the Academia. The artwork was great from some of the old Venetian masters but the mostly religious themes got repetitious. Our mistake was that we forgot that the city itself is the main attraction. So we decided instead to leisurely stroll and enjoy its great beauty. The old buildings are unbelievable in their architecture! Around every corner is another breathtaking edifice. Among them are dozens of churches that are free to enter to enjoy the incredible frescoes, statues, paintings and stained glass. However there are also numerous palaces, private homes, theaters and public buildings that are also quite ornate.
The only complaint we might have is that we are kind of tired of eating pasta. Although it's quite tasty and they have hundreds of ways to prepare it, it's also very expensive and repetitious. You play hell finding anything different. We did see a gelato place that had hot dogs, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna lay out five Euro ($7.50) for a stinking hot dog! We finally found a Middle Eastern place that served Arab and Greek meat sandwiches on a bun, so we said, "Hmmmm" as we stuffed our happy little faces.