We packed a lot into our second day in Venice. Starting with breakfast on the terrace of our hotel, looking out onto the Grand Canal, I thought I might cry at the beauty of this city. So different to anything I have ever experienced. I could have sat there all day but I’m glad I didn’t.
Venice is complicated. Obviously reliant on tourism but also being damaged by tourism. There were two enormous cruise ships looming while we were there. The problem with cruise ships is they dock, disgorge passengers for a day and then leave. They cause huge damage to the fragile buildings and eco-system but provide enormous income. Here’s a link to an interesting Guardian article published a few days after we left which sums it up very well. It’s hard to work out the best answers as, like so many other people, we wanted to experience the magic that is Venice. How do you decide who can come and how many? At least we were staying a couple of days and spending money outside of the set tourist attractions – I hope that’s better than staying on a floating hotel for a day, visiting St Mark’s Square and then leaving?
We spent the morning in the Doge’s Palace with the delightful Daniella as our guide. A passionate Venetian, she recreated the political and social history of Venice as we drank in the incredible art and scope of this building. Was wonderful to cross the Bridge of Sighs after visiting the Cambridge one last year ( with its slightly less ominous tradition of crossing to sit exams).
Then off to Murano for a glassblowing demonstration and a chance to buy some of the beautiful glass on display ( some Christmas presents were sorted!).
The afternoon was spent at the beautiful island of Burano. Think of a laid-back mini Venice! Apparently Michelle Obama has been here – good choice by her. Brightly coloured houses with fabrics billowing over the front doors, tiny canals criss-crossing everywhere . Just beautiful. One of my favourite places in Italy.
Sadly the next morning was time to leave Venice and indeed Italy. I definitely want to come back and spend more time in the areas we fell in love with. We lingered over breakfast for as long as possible until we had to leave via speedboat. Wayne’s suitcase was precariously balanced on the top of a pile of others. I was convince it was going for to fly off into the sea! But we made it safely to the airport dock and far too soon were sitting on a plane to the UK. A whole new series of adventures to come.