A Stop in Venice

      I trained up in Ferrara and got off in Venice.  If you look way back in time, you can see my first trip here in July 2011.  That time I saw this tree growing out of a wall.


    This time I thought I would look for some new sights.  I wandered down the narrow alleys.  I crossed a few bridges and I found this.


I may need to improve my spontaneous wander skills.

     Honest, we were just walking down the street and I came across it…again.  It doesn’t seem to grow much but there were a lot of years in between these shots.

I decided to check out a new neighborhood but the big streets were flooded so I had to take a boat.


Wet Street

                        Oh yeah!! Venice!!  That’s the way it is here.  Lots of water, no cars. 

     First stop, Murano.  A small island in the lagoon.  It’s easy to take the waterbus from Venice and arrive and a new group of islands connected by bridges.


Murano Blvd.

Murano is best known for its glass.  And this hottie.  A real cutie but she looks a little fragile.


Metropolis in Glass

This place has beautiful and delicate public art.  Where else can you find a garden like this?


Or this thing.  I think I saw this wig on kid at a punk show in Berkeley.


Blue Fizzy Blowout

                                    Or maybe it was a bottle of blue Gatorade exploding.

          Next it was time to hop back on the boat and head to Burano, another group of islands.

The buildings are very colorful and they are best known for their lace shops lining the main street.



This lady had a big wad of thread.  She tied some knots and came up with a lace thing to stick under your Grandmother’s lamp.

The amount of work going into these lace items was amazing.  A true art form.


I thought about buying some glass in Murano or some lace in Burano but ended up with this instead.


The Good Stuff

                                        Gelato in a waffle cone.  Life gets no better. 

I took the waterbus back to Venice and bummed a ride in this smaller boat to look around the city.


                                           Marco gave me a great tour of the waterways.


                                        He took me by the Venice Casino.


                     And I waved at this guy who seemed to be waving his fist at me.


Fist Pumpin Lion

                                                       I don’t know what his problem is.

Marco took me down some side streets.  A quick right here, followed by a left, and down the narrow shortcut.




Dark Alley


And stopping at a little Trattoria.  I felt like a real king…or maybe a Doge sitting on the seat all by myself.




King of the Canal


                                                  Marco even let me handle the oar.



My gondola trip was over.  Time for some food.  Besides, these people jumped in the boat and I didn’t want to share.



I’m afraid my trip to Italy is at an end.  I left some sights unseen on purpose so that now I must return.  I have my medal from the Vatican to remember the trip and insure my safe return.



Vatican Medal


     Venice has long been a place that I dreamed of someday, maybe someday, visiting.  I never thought it possible to actually go there, it seemed to be a place that only existed in books or TV travel shows.  Now, I not only find it possible to go there, I find it is possible to go there twice.  The people are way too nice for the number of tourists they encounter.  Marco the gondolier was very accommodating for the little yellow plastic guy and let us all pile down to one end of the boat so we could get pictures of him on the seat.  Posing with Bubba was just icing on the cake. 

     All through Italy we met wonderful friendly people.  From Marco in Venice to the Priests at the Vatican, to the guide in Pompeii, everyone was willing to spend a quality moment with Bubba.

              The impossible trips are actually possible.  All you need to do is take the first step.

Pigeons and Venice

Bubba saw some amazing mosaics in Ravenna.  He really liked the idea of putting little squares together to make big things.  Bubba said it reminded him of his childhood.  From Ravenna, he jumped a train for Venice. 

       Venice is a little scary to me.  It is a maze of narrow alleys crisscrossing tiny canals.  That is the scary part.  I can float, but I can’t swim.  I was deathly afraid of falling into a canal and being swept away.

        Actually, in the evening, and away from the big tourist areas, there is a family feel.  Hidden in the warren of narrow walkways are several piazzas; a church surrounded by a few businesses and a restaurant or two.  You can see the opening to one of the piazzas in this photo.  It is at the end of the street and the big clue is the tree.  There are not too many places for trees to grow here.

The trees take advantage of any place they can get a foothold, even a crack in a wall.

The most famous piazza is Saint Mark’s Square.  It is the home to the fabulous cathedral and the home of the Venetian Doges. 

This is where my problems started.  In addition to all those feet to get under, high tide came.  Venice is a low lying island and sea level rise is causing a great problem.  At high tide, this square begins to flood.  The church has a moat built around it but, at times, temporary walkways have to be put in place.  When I saw the water coming up through the drains, I panicked.

I hopped up to the base of a statue but found a new danger.  PIGEONS!!  To them I was a small morsel to provide a light snack.  I was terrified!!

A quick swim back to the hotel to pack and I was outta there. 

As a note, if you are ever in need of a hotel in Venice we highly recommend Hotel Al Duca di Venezia.  Friendly staff, and great location.  But back to Bubba.

        I needed someplace a little drier and without the pigeons.  I hopped a ride on the first wheelie bag I could find and boarded a train to Verona where I met up with Rick and Spider.  They decided to drive for the next few days.