For those of you that guessed “Italy”, well done! Gold star for you! *applauds*
We decided that it was high time we went and discovered something a little more South of us before Winter really set in. We narrowed it down to the three cities that we wanted to see most, and then proceeded to visit them from North to South and East to West. We began in Venice!
This is the main road from the airport, Marco Polo, out to the islands on the lagoon.
Our first full day we decided to head out to see some of the more famous, smaller islands, and we took ourselves off to see some glass work first of all at Murano.
There was so much glass to see, and it was in every possible shape and colour imaginable! Figurines, animals, vases, bowls, flowers, insects, fish, chandeliers, and then there’s the jewellery! It gets a bit overwhelming quite quickly!
So we decided to take a break and stopped for lunch before heading over to the neighbouring island of Burano.
I personally found Burano with its coloured houses much prettier to visit and walk around. But for me there was a special mission in their lace work!
Yes, I actually got to watch this wonderful lady making some of the most beautiful and delicate pieces of lace I’d ever seen. It’s unfortunate that it’s a dying art, as the younger generation are all leaving the island to look for work rather than learning how to sit around making lace for tourists who won’t pay for the lace they come to see … Understandable, but sad.
I also got the impression that though the locals rely on the tourist trade for a living, they get a bit sick of them turning up to look at the houses and not buying anything, as the pressure to buy was really heavy handed, and quite a bit off putting. I did buy a few things, but couldn’t afford the pieces I was hungering for, and was really put off by the sales tactics.
Of course, owing to re-scheduling, we turned up on the one day of the week that the Lace Museum was closed.
Back to the main island grouping, and no matter where you walk or turn there are the most beautiful and picturesque scenes to revel in and lose yourself in.
Also, ample opportunity to separate you from the money in your wallet and bank accounts! Stores full of the most intricate and amazing costumes and masks are everywhere! At the end of our week in Venice, we did eventually even find a couple that were just right for us!
6 thoughts on “Italy, Venice – Part 1”
Yay! Thank you for sharing your photos and adventures! The glass ducks are impressive!
One of the more uncomfortable aspects of visiting Venice the two times I’ve been was definitely the up-selling and pressure to buy, eat, visit, etc. It made the experience less wonderful than I felt it might have been and made me feel less carefree in my explorations.
Were the two islands busy the day you went? Did you get the impression that one island was more crowded or frequented than the other?
The glass ducks are amazing! And I just couldn’t capture their full impact on my wee snappy at that time of day, though I tried!
We did fine just wandering down alleys, but woe betide anyone whose eyesight actually passes over merchandise at a street stall. They are on you in a FLASH!
The islands actually weren’t bad for tourists. I think we just went to Italy in general at a good time of year to skip the worst of the crowds. Not to say that there weren’t crowds, but I think it could have been a WHOLE lot worse.
Venice truly is beautiful and it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo there. We went for just one day, but it happened to be on a holiday in January, so while we missed the hard sell, we also didn’t get to do much more than wander the streets, since so much was closed. I did buy a Murano black cat glass sculpture, though!
I loved Venice, and could easily spend a lot more time there just wandering in the streets. We were there for a whole week, so saw all the big things we wanted to see, at a nice leisurely pace.
It would have been so easy to bring back so much glass! I saw some amazing flamingos, but I have no where to put them in the apartment 😦 It’s a similar story with the masks. Where do you show them off to best effect once you’re home again?
We ended up with a couple of pendants for me, and some glass-nibbed pens and ink wells. Traditional stuff. 😉
Oh, that reminds me that I also bought a lovely letter opener from a dark little shop on the Rialto. Despite being in such a tourist spot, the shop didn’t feel like a tourist trap. They even wrapped up the box beautifully!
I totally went into that shop! 😀
But resisted the urge to buy anything because (other than murano glass pens) writing implements were scheduled for the next week in Florence. We had a plan and we were sticking with it! 😉