Thursday, October 20, 2016


For the first leg of our Italian Vacation, I flew into Venice on the red eye and headed straight to the AirBnB where I would meet S. who had spent a few days with family she had not seen in decades. The lovely apartment was in Mestre, a train ride away from Venice. Tried to snooze before she arrived, but alas, I have never mastered the nap. We excitedly caught up for a little while before heading into Venice proper to begin what was really only a day and a half in the city.  

Running on no sleep in two days, we zombied around the maze of streets and canals and made our way to The Peggy Guggenheim Collection with just enough time to see the whole museum. I had been to Venice before, so it wasn't on the top of my list of places to visit on our list. This was the one thing I really wanted to return to, especially after viewing a documentary on the eccentric Peggy. What a great space where you can get an intimate experience with art works from so many masters. Plus you get to enjoy Peggy's fabulous home.
(Jackson Pollock)
(Alexander Calder)
(Peggy Guggenheim's place of burial, and that of all of her dogs!)
(Close up on Kandinsky)
(Unbelievable wood carvings)

(Leather shop - so many with exactly the same stock)
(Piazza San Marco)
When I left Toronto, I thought I was going to eat so well in Italy! I was so excited! Italian food is one of my favourites. We were so disappointed at the food offerings in the Venetian restos. So much dumbed down mediocre tourist food. Sigh.

We did love getting lost in Venice. It's easy to do! And the scenery is beautiful at every turn. Passed through the famed Piazza San Marco, snuck a couple photos in the Basilica (hope I don't go to Hell for this) and popped into a pretty bar to escape a rain shower. After the rain we took a vaporetto (water bus) to Murano, hoping to see some of the glass studios. I had been before and remembered the island as a bit of a tourist trap, but we gave it a go. As it was late in the day, most of the studios and shops were closed, so we had a quick wander and headed back to Venice.
(Basilica San Marco)
(Basilica San Marco - snuck a photo or two. Sorry!)

Though very beautiful, Venice seems a bit like a theme park to me. It felt like it was created by and for tourists. Still, I was happy to have re-visited it. There is no place like it! Next up, Florence!

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