Day 62: Venice
I slept in this morning until 10:30am and had a great night’s sleep thanks to my air conditioned hotel room. I decided to spend the first half of the day in my hotel room because it was too hot to stay outside all day. I got some lunch around noon, but then went back to my hotel for a couple hours until the sun got a bit lower in the sky.
I took the train from the mainland around 3:00pm, and landed on the island about ten minutes later. I spent most of the afternoon just walking around taking pictures.
The colors of Italy run strong in Venice:
I did find the hospital with the ambulance boats which was pretty neat:
The main streets from the train station to St. Mark’s Square were crowded with tourists, street vendors, and tall black guys carrying an armful of fake purses, which I found really amusing. I found it fun to just walk around Venice, away from the crowds. As Rick Steves says, “80% of Venice isn’t touristy, but 80% of tourists don’t see it.”
I don’t think I ever got lost, but there were times where I didn’t know where I was. The difference being that I still knew where St. Mark’s Square was and the direction I was heading.
Venice is full of narrow streets that no one seems to walk in:
I was going to visit some churches, but they have a strict dress code, and there was no way I was going to wear jeans. I’ll have to see them when I come back on a different trip (not in June, July, or August). It was still hot today, but not nearly as bad as yesterday.
Around 8:00pm, I started to notice something was going on. There were tons of boats in the lagoon, close enough that you could walk from one to another, and there were easily twice as many people than yesterday walking around. I quickly figured out it was some kind of annual festival, but had no idea what it was for. I asked some people, and they didn’t know either, but I did find out there was going to be fireworks starting at 11:30pm.
I killed some time by getting some spaghetti for dinner and then wandered down to the shore to set up my tripod to take pictures of the fireworks. I asked some more people if they knew what was going on, but no one seemed to know why it was happening. (After looking it up later, I found it was the Festa del Redentore, an annual festival given the third Saturday of July to give thanks for the end of the plague of 1576.)
I haven’t had the chance to take pictures of fireworks before, so it’s a shame I didn’t know they were happening, or else I would have looked up some tips on how to get better pictures.
As soon as the fireworks stopped, I quickly started walking to the train station. The last train leaves the island at 12:36am, and the fireworks stopped at 12:10am, so I was cutting it close. I ended up running towards the end, and got on the train with about three minutes to spare. Luckily the train was air conditioned which made the ride back to the mainland so much better. I think when I come back, I’ll stay on the island, even though it will be more expensive, it will be much more convenient.