La Bandiera di Venezia
We got up early this morning so that we could have enough time to completely explore Venice. We had breakfast. I ate some pretty plain Kellogg's cereal. It wasn't bad. It was just plan corn flakes. I think I ate something else too, but I can't remember anymore.
We left the house at about 8:30 or so, so that we could get the super early train. On the train I slept for about an hour and then looked out the window for the next hour. It was nice to see the countryside in the light. The night we were traveling from Florence to Venice, it was so dark out that I couldn't really make out anything and on top of that it I was so tired.
Anyway, it was about 10am and I asked Michela if we were close. She said yes and she added that you could tell because of all the water. But in fact I saw the other Venice train station, Venice Mestre, and that's how I could tell we were getting close. When we exited the train station we were welcomed by the Grand Canal. It was huge and Venice was beautiful. Michela was being pessimistic about Venice the other day saying that the canal was a to transport prisoners and that people now a days find the canal romantic. Despite Michela telling us bad things about Venice. It was interesting to hear a different point view of Venice.
We started our day at Venice by making our way towards St. Mark's Square. Michela took out her Italian tour book and joked about being a tourist herself even though she knows Venice fairly well. Venice is a pretty confusing city to navigate though, so I could see why she would need the tour book with the map.
We took our time walking towards the square. We admired the architecture and how beautiful it was to live right next to a canal and having a boat as the main way to commute. (Actually I don't think boats are exactly the principle way of commuting. I'm just kidding.) Michela said that the Venetians are leaving Venice because it's getting expensive to live there. --When we got home, Michela's mom added that Venetians would be charged the same prices as the tourist, so it would be unfair for the Venetians.-- Michela also said that the city is sinking. I can't remember exactly why, but later on in the day I over heard somebody say that the city is sinking because of global warming. The water level is rising and therefore Venice is sinking.
So while we were walking to the square we also came across several churches, squares, bridges, and several tourist shops. We stopped at a couple of these places took some pictures and bought some souvenirs. Also, while we were walking, many gondoliers tried to persuade us to ride their gondolas. They would simply say gondola to attract people, so finally we stopped to ask how much it would cost. The man said 80?. On first thought, I said to myself that was expensive and that we shouldn't do it. He later lowered the price to 50? because he hadn't had any customers yet. Michela was a bit surprised because it was 11:30 and he didn't have any customers yet. She said that there must be a gondola crisis.
When we arrived in Venice though, it was really quite and open. There were not a lot of tourists and it seemed like we had Venice all to ourselves. It kinda felt weird because Rome was tourist packed. So after an hour and half or so of walking we finally made it to St. Mark's Square. We went inside the church and saw the gold leaf all over the ceiling as well as how the church looked like an orthodox church. Michela said that it was an orthodox church before but now it's a Catholic church.
After that we went up the bell tower for 8? and we overlooked Venice. Luckily, we didn't have to climb any stairs, compared to how we had to climb countless steps on the St. Peter's cupola in the Vatican and the duomo in Florence. We directly went up via elevator. We saw the square below, the neighboring Venetian islands, and the rest of Venice. Once we had our fill the bells started ringing and that was a signal for us to descend.
We found a bridge right in front of the sea front and had our packed home packed lunches that Michela's mom prepared. Michela's mom said that Venice was expensive so she just made lunches for us. We had salami or some regional sliced meat sandwiches, a box of tea, and a croissant-looking brioche. While we ate, a dog came to watch us eat. He stayed with us for a long time and passer-bys thought he was ours. Then he just left.
After lunch, we went back to the square and Alicia wanted to feed the pigeons. We didn't have anything to feed them with, but then Michela said that she didn't eat her brioche, so she gave us some so that we could feed the birds. It was a lot of fun and Michela took several photos of me feeding the birds. This is one of my favorites.
Next we just wondered through the city and did some souvenir shopping. Alicia and I had some gelato for 1.80?, the cheapest yet in Italy! But on the downside it wasn't that good. After a while, we were ready to go back to Udine. We bought our tickets and waited about a half hour for the train. We sat outside on the steps and took our last views of Venice. Venice is such a beautiful city and I would probably have to say that it was one of my favorite cities.
When we got home, it was dinner time and Michela's mom had cooked breaded chicken, prepared a salad, and mashed potatoes. For dessert we had rather large clementines with extremely hard peels and vanilla ice cream with little wafers dipped in chocolate. Again, dinner was so good. It was so nice to have a home cooked meal. I could never prepare anything like that and it was a nice change from eating out. Michela's dad worked late that night so we didn't see him until later on.