Arrivederci Italia

Last night in Italy!

Finishing off Venice …. Doge’s Palace – well worth it. I didn’t know you could walk across the Bridge of Sighs, but you can! I also walked across the three bridges that cross the Grand Canal … not quite the challenge of walking across the , is it 12?, bridges of Newcastle upon Tyne, as Mick did. A fourth bridge is near to completion – opens late this year, in theory.

Did the islands
Murano (glass) : all priced for the Americans plus Japanese to a lesser extent.
Burano (lace) : most of the houses here are painted bright colours – looks quaint and picturesque but maybe hard to live with long-term. Washing hanging out the front of so many places. I can understand why you’d want something more attractive than Target knickers and bras!!
Torcello : market gardens but also a church with – more! – great gold mosaics. That of course involved lots of vaporetto rides – the equivalent of my getting on and off Sydney ferries all day ;-/ One of the rides went across to the Lido where I noticed buses. I’d forgotten so quickly the terrible traffic everywhere else – nothing on wheels in Venice – wonderful!! But sailors here are like drivers elsewhere in Italy – they’re just not doing it properly if the mobile isn’t attached to the ear! It took a while to get my land legs back after all that …. and it was all very smooth!

Lots of walking around Venice – fascinating in itself. I stumbled on the Ghetto last night and finished up having my best meal in Italy in a Kosher restaurant!! Vegetable lasagne and a great salad.

I went up the Campanile in Piazza San Marco – it has a lift! Stunning views. While up there I met a young (20y/o) traveller from Malvern on her own on her first backpacking trip. Lovely girl – the two weeks she’s been away seem like forever, she said. I know what she means!!

Bling update: I bought a glass pendant for EUR3.00 on Murano and that was it. Elsewhere I was tempted – or could have been – to get some garnet earrings to go with the garnet ring that is of inestimable sentimenatl value to me. But everything was so big! What’s the ear equivalent of knuckleduster?! I also saw glass beads like mine for 1/4 the price … but none the same colour. Phew! So I’m still very happy on that score 🙂

For the artisans: I’ve thought of different people at different times when I’ve seen … several fabric and craft shops … but only one wool shop. Also of interest but not in a knowledgeable way for me …. little workshops tucked away with tools of all sorts hanging on walls.

Basilica San Marco:
– the mosaics there rivalled Monreale but didn’t quite equal them – although I’m sure others would hold the opposite view. Toss of a coin probably!
– had the most awful smelling incense I’ve ever encountered!! They probably think it’s good stuff which could explain why the air ‘freshener’ in the stairwell of my hotel is so …. rank awful! What a pong each time I go to and from my room!!

Final Italian weather report : it rained quite heavily all day yesterday. My fake (but not cheap) GoreTex jacket stood up to it. As did, remarkably, my bargain Diana Ferrari shoes … almost as good as the Blundstones I wore here on my first visit … when it also rained non-stop. Then, but not this time, I experienced the flooding of Piazza San Marco. An amazing sight and astonishing the speed in which it happened. A fine day today with rain in the evening.

Pigeons – flying rats! They are so yuk!

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