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VENICE

The FLOATING CITY of VENICE is actually built of wood and clay that has been hardened over years by the high-content salt water that it stands upon.  There are 150 odd canals that snake all around the small islands and some are as deep as upto 17  metres.  To make them accessible are 400 odd bridges that arch and curve around every nook and corner.  No matter where you stand and view the city from, the scenes are sure to leave you spell bound.

 

Did you know that the word QUARANTINE was invented in Venice ??  In olden days , when people traded using boats and ships in the area, it was expected that the vessels that reached the shores would bring along various diseases from the various lands it crossed.  In order to protect themselves the people of Venice followed a rule of making the vessel dock for upto 40 days on the shore, before resuming work flow.  QUARANTA in Italian means 40. 

After 7 full days of touring the mediterranean through the MSC Cruise, we reached the final day of our cruise travel.  The Ship reached Venice Port at 9am.   We were ready after a sumptuous and elaborate breakfast and were super excited to explore this beautiful  lagoon city. 

TIPS:

It is easy to navigate through Venice on your own for cheap.  Instead of going through travel agents and pre-booked tours , try exploring this wonderful historical abode on your own. 

1. To get to the centre from the Port, just use the PEOPLE MOVER ( something like a monorail/metro that runs overhead and gets you to the centre in no time). One single ticket will cost you EUR1.5 and can be purchased either through vending machines available or also online.  We purchased ours at a machine near the station.

 

2.  Also, back it up by buying a VAPORETTO (water bus) TICKET that is valid for 24 hours (or 1, 2, 3 and 7 day pass is available too) around Venice and there is nothing else you need. Currently this costs around EUR26.   It will save you time and money.  It is a means of public transport and is convenient and cheaper than the water taxis or private boats.  It also follows the same route as your expensive taxi and boats. Additionally,  It gives you the unbeatable experience of getting around like a local. You can buy these tickets online easily from websites that are available in plenty on that front.  Search - “Vaporetto tickets online”.

 

3. Since the transport system works on perfect timing, you can chart out your route in advance and stick to it.  Make sure you leave enough time to get back.  That’s all you need to do and you are good to go.  You will simply be able to explore the place to your heart’s content.

We walked to the People Mover stop at Tronchetto, that’s where our ship had docked.  It took about 3 minutes to get there.  The People mover took us from the TRONCHETTO stop to the Piazzale Roma stop in minutes. The pre-booked 24 hour vaporetto tickets came handy.  We walked down pier and found all details on the digital boards . The pier is well divided and is more like a bus stop.  No wonder the boats are called water buses.  We needed to swipe our tickets at the available reading machines, just once, to validate it for the entire day and the job was done. We were then free to use as many water buses for the next 24 hours. But keep your tickets for every drive you make.  If you are on your own, take care to check for the correct pier to board for the onward and return routes.  If you stand in the wrong pier, you could be riding the opposite way.  We were fortunate to be guided by one of the locals in this regard.   

 

Our WATER BUS arrived. It was easy to find a seat.   We were ferried through the winding GRAND CANAL with ease.   Referred to as the “AQUATIC HEART” of the city , this canal runs for about 3 kilometres around the lagoon, in the form of an INVERTED “S”.  It is surprising that only 4 of the 400 bridges that exist today,  arch over this canal.  

 

Our first stop was at the RIALTO BRIDGE 

RIALTO BRIDGE

We got off at a crowded pier that was surrounded by a market place, right at the foot of the arching bridge. 

The RIALTO is the oldest bridge in Venice.  It connects the SAN PAULO AND SAN MARCO areas.  Initially , the RIALTO was referred to the market place in Venice where trade flourished and later on, since a wooden bridge was built across the waters, the bridge was named the RIALTO BRIDGE.  

 

The current MARBLE structure came into being in the early 16th century and is astonishing, although it didn’t differ much in design from its earlier wooden structure, except for the roof above.  It is considered an engineering marvel as it stands without support in the centre.  

 

Giving ourselves a 20 minute stop here, we looked around the market area and walked up and down the bridge savouring the views of the Venetian waters combined with the lively and busy land area.  We then boarded a next available water bus and got to our next stop PONTE DELL ACCADEMIA.

PONTE DE ACCADEMIA

Getting off near the Academia bridge, we walked around enjoying sights of narrow canals, boats wading through inter-connecting bridges.   A straight, narrow lane took us to the other side of the land to reach the Dominican Church of Saint Mary of the Rosary ‘Gesuati’, as it is called.   

 

This 18th century, attractive building lies so close to the waters.  The smooth pillars shine away in the morning sun and its beauty can be more admired from far, especially from the opposite banks.  We had the opportunity to marvel at all the beautiful pieces of art etched into niches on its walls and architecture in and around it. Due to shortage of time, we didn’t get an opportunity to take a peek at its interiors.  We posed around for photographs, before heading back to the water pier.  

 

Boarding yet another water bus, we got to our next stop - SALUTE’

SALUTE'