Murano when you need to escape
When Venice becomes too much and you need some space, head for Murano. It's like Venice but with a vastness of sky above it ,which on a hot June day made a wonderful change from the humidity, bustle and oppressiveness of the city. It's sleepy and laid back - ignore the herding of tourists towards the glass factories as you get off the vaporetto and head in the other direction. The little squares have amazing glass sculptures in them. The Glass Museum is quite interesting and will only take an hour or so to look around at most. The glass shops are varied - trinkets to fine art. Manin56 my favourite. We found the shops with the most interesting and unique glass were also the least pushy. Always visit the local cemetry when on holiday abroad - always interesting and a peaceful haven in an oft busy holiday schedule - Murano was no exception - I have never seen such a colourful graveyard! I miss most standing at bars drinking espresso, or prosecco, watching the locals pop in and out, chatting to each other. Middle-aged venetian ladies going out at 6pm for a spritz and swopping gossip. I just loved how people live there.
Also - the best meal we ever had - Restaurant B on Murano not far from Colonna Vaporetto stop. Sitting in a shady campo, we told the manager we would eat anything and what did he recommend? It's the best thing you can do - they love to show off their food skills and we had a fantastic 4 course meal with wine and complimentary drinks, coffee etc for about £30 a head. So many people turned away from restaurants because the menu is not in english - don't make the same mistake. They will help you, they speak good english and you are abroad - so embrace the experience!
Pizza San Macro, of course,...
Pizza San Macro, of course, then take a boat to the other side of the Canak Grande, walk to the very end tip of Chiesa Delta Salute. Never miss it. Take the public bus, of course it is boat (vaporetto) in Venice; sit at the very front seat; hold my camera and keep on shooting the spenlandid panorama as the boats approaching.
Getting lost is – haha - difficult
Erm, this is now something I was very much disappointed of. When I was preparing my visit, I read everywhere that one of the most important things to do in Venezia is to get lost. You all wrote that the only way to discover the charm of the city, is if I would end up somewhere totally different than I wanted to go.
Hm, I tried hard, very, very hard to get lost, but I didn’t. Maybe this has to do with my habit to find means of orientation almost everywhere I go, a habit that developed during my “usual” form of vacation: hiking trails in unknown areas for several days. In Patagonia and elsewhere I oriented myself on trees, mountain or hill shapes, the moon or rivers or swarms of birds and always knew if I am heading north, south, east or west. Maybe my brain found a way to translate this habit into city environments ? So, I didn’t get lost. On the other hand, it is quite difficult to loose track, as the officials have mounted signs throughout whole Venezia, telling the way to Ponte Rialto and Piazza San Marco. And even while walking towards Arsenale, I found the signs on the streets (rather than at the walls). I realised that, even if I did not want to know where I am and just went walking, I came across one of those signs within 15 minutes. But, for me this did not minimise the fun of discovering new and interesting things around each corner at all. For example, when I set out one morning to walk from my apartment (western Castello) to Arsenale and further on east, I discovered a small campo with a church and before going back, I just wanted to peek around the corner to see what is there – and voila, I nearly collapsed of laughing: I had discovered the Questura of Commissario Brunetti’s TV series.
So what do I want to tell you here ? Those of you who are used to a good orientation wherever you are: you will most probably not really get lost. But it always pay off to peek around the corner and see which gems wait for you. So switch off your brain, and wander around without aim and goal – you will get lost without getting lost. Maybe this is the best way to describe this feeling :-)
On Canale Grande there are only 3 bridges - and RIALTO-bridge is certainly the most famous one.
. Rialtobridge is a partly covered bridge with plenty of souvenir-shops ON the bridge.
And it is also one of the places, every tourist wants to go...
...but streets to and around Rialto are rather small and narrow, so try to avoid to be in the area at times of "tourist-hours"
The Venetian carnival has impressed me since the first time I saw those beautiful, funny, scary and expressive costumes and masks.
While walking along those narrow streets and canals, we cross several shops where they manufacture and sell those very cool masks. The artists craft them before our very eyes, but they don't like picture-taking!