After landing at Marco Polo International Airport outside Venice, I take the bus into the city. Since Venice is an island, we drive along this long causeway to get to the city.
I'm greeted by the sight of the Grand Canal after arriving in Venice. In order to reach the hotel, I walk from the bus depot and across this bridge, the Ponte Scalzi. It is one of three permanent bridges across the Grand Canal.
The alley to our hotel is very narrow. We both missed it the first time we arrived.
Our hotel, the Hotel Villa Rosa lies at the end of the alley.
Before there was running water in Venice, water was collected through drains in squares and funneled into cisterns in the middle of the square like this one.
Helen checks the guidebook.
A view of the Grand Canal from the bridge at Accademia. In the distance is the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute. The white palace on the left is Palazzo Barbaro, where Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Cole Porter, Henry James, and Robert Browning all stayed and worked at one time or another.
Walking along the Zattere which runs along a portion of Venice's south side.
The Basicila Santa Maria della Salute. On November 21, an annual festival takes place here where the residents of Venice thank the Madonna for putting an end to the plague in 1689. Although we just missed the day of the festival, many people were still participating in the festival a few days early.
Inside, many people were taking part in the tradition of lighting a candle for thanks to the Madonna. A full-time candle lighter here takes the candles from the worshippers and puts them in a central display.
At last we arrive at Piazza San Marco, probably the most famous spot in Venice. The Doge's palace on the right is the traditional home of the ruler of the Venetian Empire. The Campanile is on the left.
We arrived just in time for the lowering of the traditional Venetian flag.
The view is grand from the top of the Campanile. The two pillars at the edge of San Marco Square constitute the traditional entrance to the city of Venice.
Piazza San Marco extends out below the Campanile
Helen checks out some masks at a Venetian mask shop.
At the Rialto Bridge.
Venetians shop at the San Leonardo Market that springs up in the morning.
At high tide, the water comes dangerous close to overflowing the bank here. Flooding was probably taking place already at Piazza San Marco, one of the lower points in the city, a phenomenon called Acqua Alta. The city quickly sets up boardwalks whenever this happens to keep the tourists flowing.
An old Jewish neighborhood in Venice.
This is the world's first Ghetto, where Jews were sequestered during a period of Venetian history in which they were not welcome to live in the rest of the city.
Dave getting a picture down the Grand Canal.
We didn't realize it at the time, but this bridge is the entrance to the restaurant where we would have dinner later tonight, Poste Vecie.
Helen ponders what to buy at the Rialto Market.
The produce for the market arrives via boat, just like all goods in Venice.
Helen makes a purchase at the market.
Tourists take in the view from the top of the Rialto Bridge.
The clock tower in Saint Mark's Square indicates the time and the zodiac. On it perches a winged lion which is the symbol of Venice. On the very top is a mechanical statue of two men, known as "The Moors" that strike a bell to indicate the hour.
From the Basilica San Marco, we took a narrow stairway to this balcony on its roof. Unfortunately photography was not allowed inside.
These horse statues are very famous, having been stolen and returned many times from the city. The original statues are inside, protected from the elements, and these replicas now adorn the roof.
A boy feeds the pigeons in front of Basilica di San Marco.
Helen takes a seat outside the famous Cafe Florian.
Birds rapidly take over a feed cart that has been left unattended.
I suppose if one were serious enough about photography, he could stick with the old-fashioned camera.
People board the Vaporetto, a boat that travels up and down the Grand Canal.
We took the front seat of the Vaporetto for a scenic ride up the Grand Canal.
This temporary bridge has been constructed for the Festival of Santa Maria della Salute.
Pulling up to the Vaporetto stop.
We come upon Rialto along our Vaporetto ride.
Lots of gondolas at Rialto.
A Traghetto, seen here, is a gondala that inexpensively ferries people from one side of the Grand Canal to the other.
A luggage boat unloads its cargo.
We had lunch at Pizzaeria ai Sportivi in Campo Santa Magherita, supposedly the best pizza in Venice (and it was indeed very good!).
We ordered a horse-meat pizza, never seen in the US.
The Mondonovo paper mache mask shop, where all the masks for "Eyes Wide Shut" were made. Unfortunately, it was closed at the time.
Venice has a whole island dedicated to being a cemetery.
The DHL delivery boat.
On the island of Murano, near Venice, the streets are lined with shops that sell decorative glass, the famous product of the island.
A view of shops in Murano.
Night falls on our last day in Venice.
All gelato stores pile their selections up in tall heaps. By the way, Nutella is big in Italy.
A mask shop.
We had dinner at Trattoria Poste Vecie, the oldest restaurant in Venice, founded in 1500. It was recommended to us by our very friendly hotel receptionist. Here, I'm having Grappa, an after-dinner drink with a kick.
A charming wood bridge leads straight into the doors of Poste Vecie from the Fish Market.
I was amused that the "make it a meal" deal at an airport cafe is to have the sandwich with beer and espresso.