Winter Break 2013: Venetian wanderings

We had planned to sleep in this morning, and made it to 8:00, when the nearby church bells woke us. They rang and rang and rang. I have no idea why, but can only imagine they were telling the hungover sinners to come in for confession.

Yesterday, we saw many of the most famous spots in Venice — St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge and Rialto Market, and more.

Today, we decided to skip the well known in favor of the unknown.

While it is easy to get lost in Venice, if you are headed for a major landmark, just follow the signs on the buildings.

After a leisurely brunch, we went out for a walk. We had no real plan or purpose, just a desire to see more of this lovely city.

An untended lot in Venice? How can that be?

There are six sestieri (neighborhoods) in Venice — three on one side of the Grand Canal and three on the other side. We headed to one sestiere that is a little off the beaten path and less visited by tourists.

The girls snacked on gigantic meringues -- vanilla on the left and lemon on the right.

It’s easy to get lost in Venice. The streets are a tangled mess. They zig this way and zag that way. They duck between buildings. Even still, we took a risk and put the map away, except to occasionally get our bearings.

Carnevale masks are a favorite souvenir here.

We saw those things that tourists aren’t necessarily looking for — people walking their dogs, trash cans that need emptying, an Italian toddler starting what promised to be an epic meltdown, laundry hanging on a line… All the mundane and normal things that one finds where people live.

Kayakers. Something I never thought I'd see in a Venetian canal.

One thing’s for sure, if you come to Venice, you really must pack comfortable shoes for walking. And I don’t mean your Nikes. The only sneakers I saw were on tourists. Even my own husband ditched his sneakers in favor of some nicer shoes.

Laundry hanging across a canal.

It was interesting getting away from the crowds and just walking where our feet led us. We wandered for a couple of hours, covering more than five miles.

Tomorrow, we leave Venice. We’ve enjoyed this visit and will definitely come back again. That said, there’s all the rest of Italy to see, so I think that Rome or Florence will be our next Italian destination, whenever that may be.


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6 Responses to Winter Break 2013: Venetian wanderings

  1. Emma says:

    Amazing adventure!! So happy for you guys.

  2. Karin says:

    Lovely! Beautiful pictures to document and amazing trip!

  3. Sarah says:

    January 1st is a Holy day of Obligation for Catholics. I’ve never understood why they don’t adjust the date a bit on that. In college I’d be home on break and probably have just wondered in a couple of hours earlier but my dad would drag my hungover (hopefully) or still drunk (not a good thing) to Church. Ugh!

    It looks like you’re having a wonderful time! Those masks are stunning! And I’m obviously hungry because the pic of the meringues have me drooling!

    Keep the pics coming…they’re awesome! So glad y’all are enjoying yourself!

  4. Aunt Snow says:

    Wonderful photos! How can i be homesick for a place I’ve only been to once?

  5. The masks! (I’m ashamed to admit most of what I know about Venice comes from that blasted Dan Brown novel I read a couple months ago.)

  6. bdaiss says:

    Oh yes. My favorite day in Venice - wandering hither and yon exploring all the nooks and crannies. A delicious pub crawl and finding lots of kitties to admire (and a few who’d let me near).

    I’d recommend Rome over Florence. There are a few things I missed in Florence (Michelangelo’s tomb), but Rome. Oh, Rome. I could have wandered there for MONTHS.

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