Italy - Venice

Venice – leaving

IMG_2762Today we left Venice – we walked down to the San Macro Vaporetto stop. There was a Vaporetto due in a couple of minutes so we bought a ticket and waited for the boat. Pam gave me the ticket to validate and then the Vaporetto arrived. We had a leisurely float down the grand canal and then an inspector asked us for our ticket. I gave it to him and he said that it was only for one person as the ticket showed 6.50 euro only.

Venice Train StationPam said we had paid 13 euro and could not find the receipt right away, but then she found it. It had 13 euro on the receipt but the ticket only had 6.50, the man then telephoned someone and spoke to them for about 10 minutes. In the end he said that he accepted what we said and wanted to keep our ticket and receipt ( I guess someone is in trouble – but luckily it was not us)

The fine for not having a ticket is 44 Euro, not something that we would want to pay especially since we did everything correctly.


We arrived at the Ferrovia Vaporetto stop which is where the train station is located and Pam wanted to go and do some last minute shopping. The area outside the train station overlooking the Grand Canal was very busy with people arriving and departing and taking photographs. I sat there (keeping a careful eye on our bags) for about 20 minutes while Pam was shopping.

We validated our train ticket (travelling first class in a Regional Train – 21.50 euro each) and got on board the train. We found the first class carriage which for some reason is always located the furthest distance down the platform. There was only 1 man on the carriage and even when the train pulled out there was only about 4 other passengers.

The train left on time and we were heading to Milan – the first stop was Mestra which is a place a lot of people stay and then catch the train into Venice (saving money on accommodation costs). The platform was full of people, then empty and our first class carriage was full.

The regional train stops a lot so it will take us close to 4 hours to get to Milan.

I am writing this on the train – 3.5 hours to go…

Venice – Murano for free (one way at least)

If you want to go to Murano there is no point spending your money to get there – there are people (touts) who work for the Murano glass factories who wear little labels (look sort of official) that will tell you that you can go to Murano today only for free.

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They will say you have to go right now as the boat is about to leave = the boat is in fact a taxi, so they leave when you get on, not before. The taxi is also for you only so they definitely are not going without you.

The taxi drivers know which factory to drop you off at in Murano, then you are met with an agent who will show you the factory and then their showroom and in the end if you do not buy, the souvenir shop. Depending on who takes you around they may or may not be nice if you do not buy.

The guy we had was quite friendly and liked Pam’s Maori Pendant and took a photo so he could get a tattoo of it at some point in the future.

The one way taxi ride is probably worth about 40 euro. Now unless you spend some serious money you will have to catch a Vaporetto back at your own expense – 6.50 euro each person.

The nice thing with the taxi is that you get to go through some small canals on your way to Murano. 

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Once you get to the island you will be greeted and taken to the factory where you can see the craftsman create a piece of art. The salesman really wants to give you 10 minutes but you generally will be able to stay for about 20-25 before they “encourage” you to go see the showroom.

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The showrooms are really works of art with 100s of pieces that are generally lovely. Remember you will be offered 40% discount on the prices in the showroom.

But also remember that 10,000 or 20,000 Euros are common for the pieces in there. If I had the money I would buy.

After the showroom – you will be shown the souvenir shop, and then you are told where to catch the Vaporetto to get back to the Grand Canal.

Venice Bridges over the grand canal

Venice has three bridges crossing over the grand canal.

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The first bridge near the train station (we did not actually walk over this bridge)

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The second and most famous is Rialto Bridge

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The third is made of wood and is the Academia Bridge

Venice, Musical Instrument Collection

We came across an exhibition of musical instruments at what looked to be an old church. There were some amazing looking instruments in the collection some dating back to 700.

It was free entrance which is amazing for Venice and was a great example of early instruments.

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Venice - Peggy Guggenhiem

Pam and I visited the Peggy Guggenhiem collection today – entry was 12 euro each.

There was a collection of sculptures outside and a lot of original works of art inside – mostly around 1910-1930


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This lady obviously had some serious money to buy all of this art herself – including original Picasso.


I really liked the painting above, it is by Richard Pousette-Dart (1916 – 1992) titled “The Atom, One World” painted in 1947/1948 – oil on linen


A close up of the a part of the above painting



I found out later that you were not allowed to take photos…

San Marco at night


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Venice – near sunset

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Venice day 2

I wake up to find it still raining but not as much as during the night. We start our day with a trip to San Marco square which is about 200 meters from our hotel and quite easy to find.

Looks the same to me as 6 years go, but do the normal tourist thing and take photos. We walk around and look at some super priced Murano glass in the shops at the edges of the piazza.

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Coffee is a stupid price – 5 euro 70 cents for an espresso if you sit down. We found a cafe (Cafe Lavena) where it was 1 euro to stand at the bar and drink your coffee and they even gave you a chocolate with the coffee. There was a small orchestra starting up at the end of the bar as well. The coffee was pretty good as well.

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The day then started to dry up and the sun even came out and we had a nice afternoon walking around.

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Venice – Grand Canal


A look down the grand canal from the Accademia Bridge towards the Basilica Di Santa Maria Della Salute (near San Marco)

Do you like my artistic styling to the photo? well if not keep quiet as Pam & I like it.


We arrived in Venice at about 2pm in the afternoon and it was hosing down with rain which is a real pity. We grabbed our bags and then went to catch a vaporetto .

As you would expect in the rain people are trying to sell you umbrellas for 5 euro.

We buy a ticket on the vaporetto which gives you 1 hour travel + 1 bag for 6 euro and 50 cents each. The vaporetto are full with people moving around the grand canal. It took about 25 minutes to get from the train station to our stop which was Santa Maria Dell Gilo.

My job was to find the hotel, I did my research well before I left and “assumed” it would be good. We followed my directions and found the hotel first pop which was very good since it was still raining very heavy. Even though the hotel is just a door with a number – no sign at all. We are on the 3rd floor – no lift.

I had arranged to met with a lady (Verna) from our Italian language class in Christchurch. She had left a note on the hotel door for us to see if we wanted to catch up for a  drink.

The room is very nice and decorated with a quite venetian look.

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At 5:30pm we met with Verna and her husband Dan and went walking (in the rain) to a bar and had a drink. I had a beer in a glass boot – very odd.

Pam & I ate at a restaurant in a square that Verna recommended. Pam had a risotto and I a pizza. The food was very good and not too expensive for Venice – 21 euro all up.

We walked back home along unfamiliar streets and only got lost once. I crashed as soon as I got back to the room, which was a pity as San Marco flooded that night and it could have been good to see that.

Copyright © Chris & Pam - 2020