Sunday, 18 May 2008


Well we returned safely from Venice last Friday afternoon – somewhat poorer than when we left home on Monday!!

Venice is simply one of those places you just have to see and experience – there’s nowhere quite like it anywhere else in the world; waterway streets, no cars or traffic and much quieter than any other City on earth even with thousands of tourists tramping around. It’s also strange every now and again when you hear a police or ambulance siren and then catch a glimpse of a speedboat travelling very fast, lights flashing! Yes, the ambulances are boats too!

And the history of the place – well it just reeks of history, famous people and all plus that unique feeling whenever you go to Italy, the wonderful and colourful Italian language, the yummy food, the people and all that. Here, the Venetians have a very distinctive culture and heritage but it’s still has the magic of Italy nonetheless.

We walked and walked, getting lost very frequently and losing our way down endless narrow streets and across countless canal bridges even with a map!! I couldn’t imagine trying to find my way around Venice without a map which you need to read close-up as the streets and alleyways are so small!

Shirley and some very pricey gondolas!

We did most of the main sights, St. Mark’s Square, the Basilica di san Marco, the spectacular Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace), the picturesque Grand Canal and even a trip across the Lagoon to the pretty fishing village of Burano, an island mini-version of Venice famous for it’s lace industry and we experienced a horrendously expensive ride on one of the famous Venetian gondolas!!

Armed with some great ‘foodie’ recommendations from our friends Elaine and Sandy Downs, we enjoyed eating at a couple of really nice restaurants, the Osteria San Marco and Alle Testiere both of which were absolutely superb – many thanks, E&S!!

And yes, we even did the famous Harry’s Bar where we enjoyed one of their original and speciality Bellini cocktails followed by a light (but very expensive!) lunch; well, you just HAVE to do these things before you die, don’t you?!

So, a lovely few days spent in the sun in a fabulous, historic and unique place – but if you’re thinking of visiting, start saving now!! It’s really, really expensive but probably worth it overall.