Ah, Venezia, canals, built on a Lagoon and a precious gem frozen in time. All of these are true and my husband and I were so eager to show it to my parents and son. My husband even planned for us to park at the airport so we could have the water taxi ride that we had back in 2006, during our first visit here. It was a wonderful memory.
Well, let me set the scene. We were in the car for quite some time and it was dark, way dark. But Mike was determined to give them the experience, and curious to see the entrance to Venice at night. This seemed to turn into a real cluster as we got turned around several times and my, yes my, navigational skills were questioned. It was unbelievable that when you give someone driving directions, they do not listen to you, they get lost and then it becomes your fault. My husband is awesome! After parking was found, we did walk in the cold to a water taxi and found entertainment in getting everyone into the water taxi. These moments will not be detailed here, however we all made it to Venezia and enjoyed the moonlit ride and seeing the city in the distance. I was also excited that our Hotel Campiello was an ideal location. It was quiet and close to everything that we wanted to see.
The next day we set off, or tried to… The water was quite insane. I was so thankful that my friend, Gillian, sent me a note and link about flooding and we bought rain boots. My God, we should have bought a canoe. The water in St. Mark’s Square was frightening and it was going to get higher at midday. All I could think of was my equipment, oh and my child… But with my equipment, they either make me leave it behind at St. Mark’s, from what I remembered, OR the rain could damage the camera body, etc. I made the decision to leave it in the hotel room. I was thankful because St. Mark’s is another UNESCO site that does not allow photographs and makes any large packs be left at a desk. With the equipment I have, no way was I going to do that.
We went off on an incredible tour from “Walks of Italy” hosted by an English-speaking, native Venetian, guide named Sara. It was a small group of twelve, which I appreciated from our Accademia experience. She was excellent and had such an intricate knowledge of the Doges Palace, history of Venice and St. Mark’s. Granted, we are quite lucky that our 5yo loves to go on tours and learn new things, but she definitely made the tour interesting with great pictures and charts to fully explain histories. If you are ever coming to Italy, I highly recommend them. In fact, when we returned to Rome, my parents scheduled their Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Mark’s Basilica Visit with them. They loved it.
But all was not lost. On our exit from Venice my husband had the Water Taxi man take us up the Grand Canal. Granted, we did this on a Vaporetto, but it was a crowded nightmare, fogged windows. Oh, Mr. Rick Steve’s what disappointment you brought to mia madre. But I digress, they got a better view of things from there and I risked the D700.