Thursday, July 15, 2010

Venice, Italy: May 31 - June 1 2010

For our time in Venice we stayed with two CouchSurfing hosts in Padua. Because they were actually on the outskirts of Padua it took us about an hour and a half to get to Venice. Because of this we didn't actually get to see the city at night! What a shame!

We found Venice to be very beautiful, very magical even, and a little surreal. It lived up to the hype that it's a fantastical place. All the time we were on the main island of Venice we wondered if there were actual people who lived in Venice or if it were one giant theme park!

Warning: be prepared for a lot of canals!!

Here is what you see when you first step out of the Venice train station. If you look closely you can see the canal that separates the open concrete area from the buildings on the opposite side.

A view from the top of the bridge seen in the previous photo!

The start of one of the main streets in Venice. For obvious reasons there are no cars in Venice, which was awesome! You only had to worry about being t-boned by another human.

Some housing in Venice. We liked the cool blue candy-cane posts the gondolas were tied to!

Just a regular ol' main canal in Venice.

Bridge shot!

More Venetian goodness.

Check out the beautiful sky!

Canal shot!

Shot of Venice from the top of a bridge.

Another shot of Venice from the top of another bridge.

Nothing says "Venice" like really creepy masks... Next time you go to a masquerade ball, you can be a monkey, a dog, a pig...or even Spider-Man!! There were plenty of stores that sold more traditional Venetian masks but why show you those when you can see these?!

Famous Piazza San Marco.

A view from the square towards the water.

The basilica in San Marco square.

We're back to random canals!

A canal that leads to the entrance of the Venetian Naval Academy.

Why yes, it's another canal! Cute!

And another canal...Stefan likes the yellow house!

We found this church next to a hospital in one of the squares in Venice. We felt like we stepped back in time a little since the hospital looks so old! 

Sunset in Venice...

Mmm, food break!! Here is something that was like a Venetian cannoli. It was layers of pastry with chocolate throughout, with something like a mildly sweet paste inside. It was topped with white crunchy...bits. We're so good at remembering things!

Canal shot #45492. We liked the shot of the gondolas parked in the canal.

Another canal shot! Stefan likes the blue sky, green water, and red hydrant.

Fiancé Stefan Dean sitting on a Venetian bridge. Seconds later he did a backflip and went for a swim!

More canals!

A smaller, more out-of-the-way canal in Venice. It was nice to walk around and meander through Venice. In doing that we often got lost (since our map sucked!) and came across some nice neighbourhoods that weren't filled with tourists.

Beautiful shot of the main canal that runs through Venice.

What a cool chair!! Now you can sit on a Piet Mondrian piece of art! And it'll only cost you something like €1735!! We ordered a his-and-his pair for the front porch for when we knit together!

A photo of the African elephant. Oh wait,'s just another canal.

Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. It was a really big church right on the edge of the canal.

A shot of the interior.

A shot of another basilica across the water.

Here is a shot of waterfront of Southeast end of the main island of Venice. The water you see on the left is actually open water and not a canal.


Another canal, but this time with tourists in gondolas! We didn't ride in a gondola even though it's supposed to be the "must-do" thing in Venice. We didn't actually even look at the prices, but were told afterwards that it was something like €70 for an hour!

Instead of a gondola, we took Venice's public essence a floating bus! We got to ride the canals for something like a euro per person instead of €70!

Canal #90348.

We took the public transit to three islands close to Venice: Murano, Torcello, and Burano. Here is a view from the boat ride.

Here we are on the island of Murano. Murano is famous for its glasswork. In Venice you can find many shops that sell "real Murano glass". Other than being told that it's famous for its glass, we're not exactly sure why it's so lauded. We did come across a shop which had some amazing glasswork though, and of course it wasn't cheap. We bought lots to go along with the Mondrian chairs!

A glassblower hard at work!

In some of Murano's squares you would find glass sculptures like this one...weird-looking glass robot-lady...coming out of a glass flower.

A nice quiet canal on the island of Murano.

On the right is the main square in Murano.

Another shot of the main square. The blue glass sculpture was super-cool; too bad they had to put up a fence around it!

A view from a bridge in Murano.

Isn't he adorable?! We came across this doorbell that happened to resemble a robot face! You poke it in the eye and it'll ring!

More Murano.

Here we are at the second island, Torcello. This was sort of a dud island. The walk from the ferry dock to the centre of the island was almost like a cute walk in the country. But when we got to the centre we were like, "this is it?"

This is what we saw when we got to the centre. Some church and some ruins. Whoopee!

On our way from Torcello to Burano, the last island. You can see its distinctive multi-coloured houses here from the boat!

A gondolier-to-be putting in some practice time on the water!


Canal shot in Burano.

We really liked the fun colours in Burano. They reminded us of St. John's!

More coloured houses in Burano.

And to cap off our post about Venice, here are three €2 slices of pizza! The dreaded dinner hunt continued in Venice, where each night we were faced with the decision to pay for a sit-down meal (which weren't cheap, especially since we were in Venice!) or have some super-cheap pizza that will be at least decent. Clockwise from the left: Caprese, spinach and ricotta, and prosciutto and mushroom.