We flew out of the East Midlands airport, outside Leicester, on an afternoon flight, arriving at Marco Polo Airport (just north of Venice) that evening. One really posh boat ride later – their version of public transportation, although it felt like I was on some cheesy night-time soap about the lives of the rich and famous as I sat on comfy seats below deck, surrounded by wood paneling – up the Grand Canal and we were in San Marco/Saint Mark's Square.
|Saint Mark's Basilica|
It wasn't difficult to find our hotel from there, thanks to Tea's knack for orienting herself. We did have to rouse the night man, which was an early test of our Italian (that I failed miserably – thank goodness they get so many English tourists).
|The view off the Rialto Bridge|
We headed back to the hotel for a nap at some point – it was the heat, not my age, I kept telling myself – and ate in a little pizzeria that evening. (You really need to make reservations in Venice. Even places you might consider middle of the road book up quickly.) It was fun, with a large family enjoying all sorts of local appetizers beside us. (I had the Quattro Stagioni, of course; very good.) Then we were off in search of a nightcap.
Having explored a lot of the sestieri (areas) San Marco and San Polo the previous day, we then made our way to Sestiere Dorsoduro. We'd planned to spend some time in the Accademia, but it was so nice out that we decided to continue walking. Tea bought some gelato, and then we found this shaded dock that a restaurant had built out into the lagoon, facing the island of Giudecca.
And so, an incredible trip to Venice came to a close; my first trip, and Tea's second. It won't be our last, but we'll take in other parts of Italy before then: in a few short weeks, in fact, as our Mediterranean cruise stops in Florence, Rome and Naples!