Venice ... you are beautiful.
It is strange to move around a city and not have to deal with cars. It is also strangely beautiful to explore a city with water everywhere. Gondola's, taxies, police, fire, people, all travelling via the water canals. And it is hot. But luckily they have large buildings that create shade. Perhaps that is why the built them so high?
We started our day by heading down streets and make our way in the general direction of the main places to visit. We didn't mind if we got lost a little, and we did. We found the Galleria Accademia and decided it was a good place to start, knowing that it would be cool and have something to look at.
The building itself was a marvel and we got to see some very old, but beautiful things that used to be in churches and buildings around Venice. It made you realise how old the place actually is.
Next stop was to find lunch, which we did in an air-conditioned cafe. Our air bnb host kindly told us to stay away from the tourist spots because the cost is ridiculous so we followed this rule carefully.
We followed more streets and the crowds got heavier as we headed towards St Marks Square. By this time it was sweltering. We arrived in the square to find that all the lovely spots in the shade with good sitting steps weren't to be sat on. It seems they employ people to make sure no one sits. #enjoyrespectvenice.
Makes it slightly less enjoyable when you can't rest your weary feet for 3 minutes in the shade. But I digress.
The line for the Basilica wasn't long so we lined up, passing the begging person with some guilt (There are a few around and we always feel guilty as we walk past). We had sensibly brought scarves with us to cover anything that was deemed coverable. Hannah had to wrap a scarf around her waist and across her shoulders.
The church was highly decorated. We couldn't take any photos though and there were areas that we couldn't access without payment. A Eucharist mass was happening so we watched for a little. It was in either Latin or Italian but seemed to follow the same lines as the Anglican Eucharist experienced at St Paul's in London. Our Father in Heaven sounds the same in any language.
We left and sat down for a moment to work out our next move, and were asked to stand. There may have been some muttering and plotting but some squatting and looking at our map seemed to satisfy our need to 'rage against the machine'. This probably sounds a little disrespectful but it was frustrating to watch elderly people being asked to stand in 35-degree heat when they clearly needed to rest.
More walking and found the famous Rialto Bridge. It was higher than expected and many, many people were enjoying the view from the bridge. There was some extra excitement from us because this scene was the one we had worked on with Gran and Papa at their house in puzzle form. We took a photo or two then headed down to find some shade.
Slowly we made our way back to the apartment for some much-needed air conditioning and rest for our feet. Hannah did stop and have a gelato on her way, sadly no sorbetto for the rest of us.
Dinner was had by the water and it was delicious! Pasta, pizza ... yum!