The best way to explore Venice is apparently to get lost and find your way out. This is almost impossible not to achieve. Like good little boys and girls we stumbled off the People Mover and happily followed Michelle through the streets like the Pied Piper. Somehow we managed to avoid losing anyone in the narrow lanes and hundreds of bridges. Safely in St Mark’s Square we had 15min to explore before we went to learn about land making. There are a lot of teeny tiny stitches in lace.
After the lace school (last one in Italy) we went to wait for our gondola ride. Sadly some other group pushed in front and we ended up standing around for a while. Mystery DIY Man and I were in the last gondola so we only had 3 people in ours rather than 6. We had been told that if you sing to your gondolier he will sing back. He obviously was not very taken with Mystery DIY Man’s rendition of Baggy Private. He did get talkative at one point to explain why the front of the gondola has an odd shape on it with 6 sections. Apparently Venice is made up of six sectors.
We had the afternoon to ourselves so after spending €3 for a rather costly toilet stop we headed off to see St Mark’s Basilica. I’d recommend having a look at this place, it shows really obviously quite how much Venice is sinking. The floor is very uneven. The last time I was in Venice I was 3 and all I remember was all the pigeons in the square (and on Auntie’s head) – they’re still all there. Although apparently not as many because they had contraception put in their feed.
I only had a couple of things I wanted to do in Venice, one get a Venetian mask and two get some Merano glass beads. I was perhaps a little over successful. In our lost wanderings back to the Rialto Bridge we stumbled into a mask shop that made and decorated their own masks. I picked a plague doctor mask, and then a little black lace wire one, and then a plain white phantom of the opera one. Three masks..not just one. Back on the mission to get out of Venice – you have to follow little signs that apparently point you in the right direction. I’m pretty sure there are a whole load of Venetians just sitting back laughing at the tourists going around in circles. I managed to find another market place (I’m very good at accidentally finding them) where we stopped for replenishment in form of bruschetta and Italian hot chocolate. Back on the sign chase (we had a tight deadline) and I find a Merano Glass shop. Somehow I find myself in the possession of some new earrings and a necklace.. What a shame. By now we have about 20min to find our way out and no way of knowing how far we are in. Long story short, with many loops, corners and bridges we made it back with 2min to spare.
Success in Venice.
I think Venice is probably my favourite place so far, it is just so bizarre. I’d love to have a water road outside my house, not sure I’d enjoy sinking.