After a good night’s sleep, we rose to sunshine and an early morning temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit. Our B&B owner fortified us with a simple but filling breakfast in the elegant dining room. Croissants, pastries, two cups of cappuccino later, we departed for Piazza San Marco.
We had a busy schedule set out, wanting not to miss out on anything. Our route led us directly to Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge), where we stopped to climb the stairs, cross over while enjoying the many shops and restaurants along the way. We were not alone. Throngs of people crowded around us, wishing to savor their moment as well.
Everywhere we turned, canals, gondoliers, scented flowers adorning window sills, were charming us. We continued our walk back over the bridge towards San Marco. In no time, we arrived in the grand square, surrounded by the restaurants, shops, the majestic Basilica and the Campanile. The Doge Palace was our first stop.
We took a tour through the Palace, with its impressive apartments, chambers and old prisons. The courtyard outside has some of the most impressive sculptures. From there, we climbed up the Campanile, to have a spectacular view of the city. From high up above, the red terracotta rooftops stretch out across the landscape. The island of Morano, with its famous glass factories, sits across the Grand Canal.
Next, it was on to the Piazza itself. Strolling along, with the pigeons following, we stopped for a quick lunch at one of the restaurants. Bands played, people meandered and souvenir stalls were packed. The charm of Venice completely enthralled me.
With the afternoon having come and gone, we returned to our rooms, to clean up, in order to prepare for supper. Our plan was to have a meal at one of the more upscale restaurants, featuring Venetian cuisine. Of course, pasta was on the menu. Our primary plate was spaghetti in a simple, but savory, tomato sauce. As the secondary plate arrived, the tantalizing aroma of the fresh sea bass, with capers and black olives filled the air. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. To finish off, a tiramisu with an espresso, completed our meal.
Feeling full, we walked along the canal, coming up to the Bridge of Sighs. This bridge is covered and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. We lingered out into the late night, enjoying the starry sky, the atmosphere, and sights. Our day had gone too fast. I was sorry to be leaving the next day, but this is one city I will be returning to. Our next stop would be Verona. I wondered if it would be as magical as Venice. Come back next time for my impressions of Verona.