We had very little time in Venezia as we were to board ship in the afternoon. To make the most of things we took the water-bus along the Grand Canal to St. Mark’s and then walked back to the station, took the train back to Mestre to retrieve our luggage, and finally boarded our cruise ship.
Immediately outside the train station a broad plaza, the Fondamenta Santa Lucia, leads to water-buses, and beyond them, the sweep of the Grand Canal.
Outside the train station the plaza was a bustle of people, tourists like ourselves stopping to gawp at the canal while the blasé local population went about their business. While there were always replacements, turnover seemed quite brisk, with canal boats whisking people away while others maneuvered into position to drop other passengers off to continue their own journeys. In the early hours of the day it seemed the traditional gondolas were simply cruising for business, with few takers.
No view of the Grand Canal is complete without a gondola, though in this case the gondolier remained silent, having no-one to serenade.
View of the train plaza and water-bus termini from the Ponte Scalzi. The water-buses – that is their function, if not their title – follow numbered routes, like any other municipal bus, and we took one which would eventually take us to Saint Mark’s.
The view above was taken as we were returning to the station in order to dash back to the hotel, but the crowds we encountered at night time were not in evidence in the early afternoon.
With little time for us to explore, the views from the canal boat gave us tantalizing views of the city which had to be abandoned immediately. Eventually we arrived at the San Zaccaria dock and made our way past the Bridge of Sighs to the Piazza San Marco.
Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore
Ponte della Croce, crossing the Rio della Croce which leads away from the Inner Lagoon.
The San Zaccaria area was crowded, and most of the time we had to negotiate our way through the throngs to get to advantageous points where we could grab an image or two before scurrying off to the next location. I would have enjoyed coming in the early morning to see the area with fewer people, but I suppose even then that would have been impossible as so many would have shared the notion.
Chiesa Santa Maria delle Zitelle
Ponte del Sospiri – the Bridge of Sighs – from la Riva degli Schiavonni
Looking back from the Riva degli Schiavoni toward San Zaccaria
Campanile di San Marco – the Bell Tower of St Mark – is topped by the Angel Gabriel. On this face of the tower the Lion of St. Mark may be seen. The figure of Justice appears on another face. The tower was completed in 1514, but collapsed in 1902. This is actually a reconstruction completed in 1912.
Part of the Piazza di San Marco, with the Basilica visible at the right. The square is flooded at high tide, and some water remains. Most of the water comes and goes through drains – see below.
As the tide rises, water is forced up through the drains — the bright spots mark the upwelling plumes of water
Ponte Rialto, crossing the Grand Canal. Aside from tourists, the bridge is home to a number of somewhat tacky shops. as is much of the rest of Venice’s commercial districts.
View from the Rialto
Just outside La Pesceria – the Fish Market
Daniella investigates the Fish Market, though no actual shopping ensued.
Another view outside the market.
We encountered several quiet little canali as we made our way back to the train station, but by this point we were rushing to get back to the hotel in Mestre, and I’m not sure where these were (working on it!).
With decent cropping and good printing, I’d hang this at home…
If you look carefully at the doorway on the right you can see it is bricked up because it otherwise gives entry to a flooded floor.
Essentially a little wet alley…
We never did take a gondola. Just as well, I suppose, since we were therefore not tempted to trail a hand languidly in the turgid canal waters as we travelled.
Finally at the Ponte Scalzi, a couple of shots along the Grand Canal once more, this time looking away from the train station. This is the northern bank of the Grand Canal.
Looking east from the Ponte Scalzi at the southern bank of the Grand Canal