Italy
Campo San Polo

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    • Day 59

      Venice at last

      May 14, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      14/5 Lucca to Venice
      First of all I’d like to say that I do change my clothes, its just that I’ve got black and navy jumpers, a couple of pairs of black pants and some black tops so they have all been washed several times. Looking at the photos this morning it looks as though I’ve had the same clothes on all the time with just a change of scarf.

      Up early and despite Giovanni telling us ‘Go to breakfast at 8.15, early, before you catch the train’ he shooed us away for another quarter hour, but we were already packed up so not to worry. He’s a bit OCD but no complaints at all about our accommodation, we’d definitely recommend it as being extreme value for money. Giovanni called a cab for us and we were in plenty of time for the train.

      On the platform we ran into the Aussie couple from the day before so stood and chatted again, they have relatives in Nelson and had visited a few years ago. They’d also travelled a fair bit so we had that in common. We had a half hour on the train to Pisa (no sign of the tower from the station) then all four of us changed for Florence and what a scrum that was to get onto the train with a case and backpack each, it was absolutely crowded, no seat reservations, and it had three levels (quite an odd configuration in the carriages, some are double decker, some are on the level but with maybe four steps up above the wheels, then down again). We all got seats but Pete was tucked into a corner on a flip-down seat with one bag under his feet, the Aussies’ bags beside him and our other bag tucked into an opposite corner, was impossible to do it any other way as there’s no baggage storage other than above the head and no-one's 20kg case is going up there. Got my book read anyway.

      We had 45 minutes at Florence so it was McDonald’s for lunch standing on the platform, easy. At the stations we again noticed people smoking any old where: lined up to get on a train, waiting on the concourse for track numbers, waiting outside cafes. It’s really not very pleasant to be around. You don’t see many vaping so maybe tobacco is cheap. On the train to Venice we laughed, hearing again the announcement that says ‘This train is going to XYZ, if that is not your destination please get off now’ very sternly.

      We had reservations on the third train so no scrums involved. We noticed some people had the lunch boxes and the staff came through with a trolley once we were under way and this time we understood that they were looking for people who had just got on and were giving them the boxes and wine or hot drinks if they wanted. Having just had McDonalds because we weren’t sure about the lunchboxes on every trip (this is only in business class by the way, that’s what our train pass was for booked seating), we declined. They came through again after the next stop and we realised that we could have actually had one on the train Rome to Milan back on the 7th but there’s no English and just a mutter as they go through the carriages really fast so I think there’s a bit more PR needed as it’s a great service. The people next to us didn’t understand so we helped them out with sign language and they were happy to get a free lunch.

      This trip was on a fast train, got up to about 280k but mostly just under 200kph, and I got my laptop out so caught up on a bit of the blog but also looked out the window. We went for miles alongside rice fields, I googled it and this area is the rice bowl of Italy. In some parts the crop was partly flattened in parts and looked a bit like crop circles. I’ve put in a photo of one of the trains with the Venice Lion on the front, they look really good, we saw several on our trip today.

      Had no trouble getting a Vaporetto pass at the station, found our way to the hotel pretty easily, it's just a short walk from the Rialto bridge, checked in and were settled all within an hour so that was good going. We’d stayed at Hotel da Bruno four years ago, as had a friend from Nelson before that and she’d put us onto it, we were happy to stay again https://www.hoteldabruno.com/en/ When we checked in I asked how they’d got on in the bad floods a year or so ago and the receptionist showed us the flood marker almost two feet up the wall. He said they’d had to renovate/repair/replace much of the ground floor but it still looked the same.

      The oldest part of the building is 14th century, they know that, but the main part where we are he didn’t know other than ‘it’s old and has had many changes and owners’. The rooms are very old-fashioned, in fact I know the wallpaper in our room was around in NZ around 1980 because we had similar in our Tukuka Street living room until we repapered it. The bathroom is tiny but there’s hot water (important as you know), and this time we have a little balcony. No tea-making in the rooms but there’s a jug and teabags by reception so you can help yourself at any time (and don’t have to pay 3 Euro).

      We were happy to put our feet up for a while and later went for a walk around the neighbourhood towards St Mark’s Square. I like looking at the shops, there's tourist tat and countless Murano glass shops (rumour has it that much of it is made in China), and still marvel at the old buildings and countless bridges, old doors and their brass knockers and handles, and there are plaster decorations everywhere you look on buildings and bridges. And you wonder how they manage with the flooding pretty much every year getting into the houses, not just on the Grand Canal but in the alleys too.

      We had dinner at quite a nice place and at last had the iconic Venetian Bellini cocktails BUT Pete’s sea bass was priced on weight, it was quite sizeable and I feel he owes me a small Murano glass cat for that small mistake. However the fish was very tasty and expertly boned and served by the waiter. We got gelato from the shop next door to the hotel, it’s really popular through the day, famous in Venice. A nice way to end our day in Venice, my happy place.
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    • Day 61

      The start of a day of beauty

      May 16, 2023 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      16/5 Venice in the rain
      We woke to rain, looked out the window to see umbrellas up, jackets and rain ponchos on the street, so didn’t rush for breakfast and didn’t rush out but had to get moving towards 11 and retraced some of our steps from last night. Had to be really careful too, the paving stones on all the alleys are really slippery if you don’t have the right footwear, which I didn’t.

      First stop was Scuola Grande di San Rocco which we’d seen last night, website attached if you are interested as it gives information and many more photos than I could ever take. It’s famous for Titian, Tintoretto and other artists http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org/home/ There’s a fairly empty, columned room on the ground floor with very big paintings, I was looking at the babies in one painting (see attached), then saw the title ‘The Circumcision’, poor wee mites. I can’t help thinking the paintings are all dark though it would take a fortune to clean them all, must have been a sight when new.

      Next we headed up a long stone staircase flanked by more big paintings, to another massive room with a colourful tiled floor and beautiful painted ceiling – they provide magnifying mirrors the size of a tray for you to walk around and stand under the paintings, Pete tried it but got a bit dizzy. The walls are covered in more paintings but also, spaced a couple of meters apart, beautifully carved wooden statues, each over a meter tall; wooden statues are my favourites. Wasn’t too keen on the bare-breasted women ranged along one side, not sure what those monks got up to back in the day, but on the other side the statues were stunning, all of people doing something. I think my favourite looked like a servant; he has a set of bellows for the fire. Another was reading a book and………number 3 favourite had and Akubra, just like Pete!

      Up yet another staircase to a smaller room full of display cases, the treasury and my favourite was this little man, about 3cm tall, part of a large candlestick and really delicately made.

      Next stop - see the next entry....
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    • Day 6

      Zu viel Wind auf die Nase

      August 4, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

      Nun sind wir bereit um los zu segeln, doch Petrus leider nicht. Der Wind (20-30kn) kommt direkt auf die Nase, Regen und daher auch Wellen. Kurzerhand setzten wir uns daher in den Zug nach Venedig.

      Zusammen schlendern wir durch die verschlungenen Gassen, beobachten von der Rialto Brücke aus das bunte Treiben auf dem Canale Grande und schippern mit den Wasserbus nach Murano.

      Auf dem nach Hauseweg erwischen wir leider eine Zugverbindung ohne direkten Anschluss nach Grado. Es giesst aus Kübeln und wir müssen 1 Stunde auf unseren Bus warten. In Grado eilen wir zu Fuss durch Wind und Regen zurück zum Hafen. Endlich beim Schiff angekommen, gibt es eine warme Dusche und anschliessend fallen wir todmüde in die Kojen.
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    • Day 37 - Venice

      August 15, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Today we only have a 4.30pm walking tour booked. So we had breakfast in the apartment and headed out to grab a coffee, anyone that knows me knows I love a good cappuccino with lots of milk froth but I must say I am switching to espressos from now on as they are frothier the further north we are heading! Espresso here is like a can of red bull so I am not complaining!

      We walked into the area San Polo first & went over the Rialto Bridge, this was surprisingly not as busy as I thought it was going to be. We kept heading South towards Dorsoduro, the narrow streets in this area was the first time we had noticed shops shut for the public holiday today & when most Italians take time off - that being said has not one bit affected us so no complaints here just noticed a store shut with a sign every so often.

      We stopped for lunch at a focaccia place called Farini, when we first went past it had no line, as soon as we come back, there was a line going out the door… typical!

      We made our way around Dorsoduro down to Accademia area where Ponte dell’ Accademia is, a bride which is poplar for photography and adorned with padlocks from people.
      We kept going around and came across the Corner Pub, 3Euro Spritz… You had me at Spritz but had me with happy tears of 3Euro! We sat nearby and watched the world go by on the grand Canal. I had a fabulous idea, lets take a traghetto across the grand canal instead of walking the bridge. A traghetto is a gondola that literally goes one side to the other for 2euro pp. All good until I found out the one I wanted wasn’t working due to the public holiday. So we walked back to the apartment, picking up dinner supplies along the way.

      We left for the walking tour which started near Hoel Ai Reali, a 17th century palace which is now a swanky hotel with a posh spa… Again could of stayed here but the cats diets consist of top shelf food of course. The tour walked us over the Rialto bridge to Chiesa di San Giacomo di Rialto, which is where Venice was colonised. Venice was founded in 421 AD and you can’t find Roman things around Venice as it was founded as the Roman Empire fell. We saw the Rialto Markets that was once taking up a the majority of the area instead of now two blocks. This is where silks and other items from around the world that Venetian’s brought back from their travels would sell. The guide showed us the buildings and how the salt water is eroding the buildings and how they fix the bricks that are exploding one by one, from the salt that is left in them as they dry out over summer.
      We then went to Ponte Delle Tette, a small bridge that was well known for the area for past prostitution, as the older Prostitutes would live on the Market side of the bridge and not let the sailors see the younger ones that they had moved to the other side of this bridge. If a sailor did go into the younger area, the girls would stop them from leaving the area by blocking this bridge until the sailor paid them.
      We went to Campo San Polo the second biggest square in Venice, obviously San Marco being the biggest. We learnt that before Napolian, there was no paved streets, just mud and fields for growing food.
      We finished the tour at Campo S. Toma, a store with masks & the guide explained about how masks came to be with Carnival.

      After the tour we walked back to the apartment via the Basilica S.Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, as it was the public holiday for S.Maria, the church was opening and as I put it ‘rehearsals for their performance later in the evening’. This Basilica is famous for having a small Pyramid like sculpture inside that has the heart of a famous sculpture, Antonio Canova, the pyramid is fro an unrealised project of his and was made a decade after his death. The family got his body back but the priest at the time ordered that his heart be cut out and left in the church as his heart belonged to Venice, probably not the worst thing a priest has done though…

      We got back to the apartment, we were very tired from walking and we made dinner and watched some Netflix.
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    • Day 10

      Segundo dia en Venecia

      August 17, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Empezamos el segundo día en Venecia. Antes de hablar de la ciudad, es imprescindible mencionar el parque que hay detrás del área de autocaravanas. Parque de San Juliano. Es uno de los parques más grandes, verdes, cuidados y bonitos que conozco. Por un lado da a una laguna que empalma con la ciudad de Venecia. Un lujazo de sitio.
      Llegamos a Venecia en autobús y decidimos recorrer la ciudad andando. Eso nos permitió llegar a una heladería. El método científico me permite establecer nuevamente la ley del helado italiano. No tiene comparación con el de ningún otro sitio.
      De pronto nos encontramos frente al museo de Leonardo D`vinchi y nos acordamos de la película de Spiderman. El profesor decía que no estaba abierto, y que ese museo era la causa por la que habían ido a Venecia. Así que entramos sin dudarlo.
      El sitio valía la pena. La planta baja hablaba de sus cuadros, pero el piso superior era un conjunto de inventos suyos que se podían tocar y probar.
      Continuamos hasta el embarcadero donde cogimos un barco a Murano, por eso de ver el lugar original de un cristal tan conocido. Entramos en el museo y declinamos ver la fábrica donde soplaban el cristal, ya que habían pasado las 2 de la tarde y había que volver a Venecia.
      En la ciudad de los canales nos sentamos a comer en uno de esos restaurantes donde piensas que solo comen los pardillos, pero el hambre apretaba. La lasaña de Oliver estaba un poco pasada, mis spaguettis un poco duros y sosos, y las pizzas de Ana y Carlos, sin embargo, estaban muy buenas. Aún intentándolo no son capaces de hacerlas mal.
      Allí mismo había un gondolero.
      Irse de Venecia sin montar en góndola es como entrar en un restaurante de 5 tenedores y no ir a probar el cuarto de baño.
      Lo que a primera vista puede parecer un antojo de friqui se convirtió en una de las mejores experiencias del viaje.
      Todo el barullo y jaleo de la superficie se convierte en silencio y paz. Como no hay que esquivar a nadie te puedes centrar en mirar a tu alrededor, y ver la cantidad de palacios que conforman las calles. Me encantó el estilo gótico bizantino, con sus arcos mezcla del estilo gótico con el estilo que conocemos en España fruto de los años de convivencia con la cultura arabe, del que se muy poco pero del que sabré a no mucho tardar.
      Cuando te cuentan la historia de los que vivían en esas calles descubres el poder real que tuvo Venecia, centro real de comunicación con Constantinopla y lugar de comercio con toda Asia.
      Vimos la casa de Marco Polo, y la imaginación se disparó a 500 años atrás. Viviendo en un entorno semejante es lógico que no tuviera problemas para internarse en un mundo desconocido y empaparse de todos los saberes del imperio chino.
      Terminado el paseo llegó la hora de comprar algún recuerdo, búsqueda complicada por las diferencias de precios en función de lo pijas que eran las tiendas. El mismo gatito de murano podía costar 5 € o 45, solo por estar en una calle o en la lateral.
      Volvimos a coger vaporeto y nos despedimos de la ciudad
      Ya solo quedaba descansar para volver a viajar al día siguiente.
      Ante la pregunta de qué ciudad prefiero, en estos momentos me siento incapaz de decantarme, pero sin duda el norte de Italia es una absoluta maravilla.
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    • Day 37

      Doge's Palace

      October 5, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Today a did a bucket list item....... gondola ride. Enjoyed every minute. Everything thing looks different from the canals.
      Afterwards it was off to the Doges Palace.. This was the residence of the Doge and the seat of government. Built in 1340
      The opulence on the chambers is amazing.
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    • Day 3

      Brugge van het Zuiden

      April 3 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Joehoe

      Vandaag 🥁🥁🥁VENETIË! Jippieje
      Omdat we hier al verschillende keren zijn geweest (ja I know, #locals), kwamen we zonder plan en hebben we rondgedwaald in de prachtige stad. Natuurlijk wel dag daar begonnen met koffietjes en wijntjes.

      Geniet maar van de foto’s.

      Ohja er was ook zo’n heel mooi gebouw en toen Fee aan papa vroeg waarvoor dit gebruikt wordt zei papa: “Dit is eigenlijk hetzelfde als onze Elcks Thuys” (een parochiezaal). @Elcks Thuys, jullie hebben nog een beetje werk te gaan dus.

      Tegen een uur of 18u zijn we teruggekeerd met de trein en zijn we langs het shoppingcenter gepasseerd want mama had iets nodig. Nee, het zijn niet de drie flessen Myrtille Grappa die mama in Venetië had gekocht, maar wel de WATERKOKER op het nachtkastje. Wie koopt er nu een waterkoker op vakantie?? Ja wel, mama dus. Ze had keelpijn en kan niet zonder thee. (Subscribe and like om te weten of deze zaterdag mee terug in de valies gaat kunnen)

      Maar bon, avond verder gezellig afgesloten met een gezelschapspelletje.

      Arrividerci
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    • Day 3

      Sun and Food

      November 16, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      Kein Wölkchen am Himmel über Venedig, als wir heute Morgen das Haus verließen. Erstes Ziel, ein kurzes italienisches Frühstück. Cappuccino und ein süßes Teilchen, im Stehen, direkt an der Bar verzehrt, das ist typisch italienisch und spart auch noch ein paar Euro.
      Dann erwarteten uns viele kulinarische Genüsse und interessantes zu Venedig.
      Wir hatten eine Foodtour durch Venedig geplant. Über drei Stunden folgten wir unserem Guide durch die Gassen der Stadt, in Gegenden, in die wir so wahrscheinlich nicht gekommen wären, mit einigen Stopps, um italienische Köstlichkeiten zu probieren. Salami, Käse, Oliven, frittierte Fleichbällchen, herzhaft belegtes Brot, Kekse und kleine Kuchen. Dazu allerhand Informationen zur Stadt, zu Gebäuden und einzelnen Stadtvierteln, auch Unnützes - wir wissen jetzt, wo George Clooney seine Hochzeit gefeiert hat. Beeindruckend der Markt an der Rialdo Brücke, hier hat uns vor allem die Auswahl an Meerestieren fasziniert. Die waren so frisch, dass sie noch gezappelt haben. Ich mag es ja nicht, wenn mich mein Essen noch anschaut 😳.
      Wir waren danach erstmal satt und platt, haben Sonne und Kraft mit einem Aperol Spritz getankt, bevor wir uns einmal quer durch die Stadt, Richtung Piazza San Marco aufmachten. Eigentlich hatte ich ja gestern schon das Gefühl, dass wir bereits über jede Brücke in dieser Stadt gelaufen waren, heute waren es mindestens noch mal so viele. Und auf jeder bleibt man stehen und macht ein Foto, weil diese schmalen Kanäle einfach alle so toll aussehen.
      Pünktlich zum Sonnenuntergang standen wir auf dem Markusturm, dem Glockenturm des Markusdoms. Er ist knapp 100 Meter hoch und man hat einen tollen Blick über die Stadt. Für 8 € Eintritt wird man mit dem Fahrstuhl nach oben gefahren.
      An unserem letzten Abend in der Stadt ging es mit dem Vaparetto nochmal den Canal Grande entlang. Da stehen schon beeindruckend Paläste.
      Zum Dinner sind wir einer Empfehlung unseres Guide‘s gefolgt - „Cantina do Spade“ - auch sehr zu empfehlen, etwas abseits der Touripfade.
      Morgen haben wir noch den Vormittag, um Stadt und Sonne zu genießen, bevor am Nachmittag unser Flieger Richtung Deutschland und Novemberwetter abhebt.
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    • Day 1

      Gondeln...

      November 14, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

      ...Brücken, Wasserstraßen, Tauben, Casanova, ganz viel Romantik und Amore. Damit sollten alle Klischees dieser Stadt genannt sein.
      Und natürlich Pizza, Pasta, Espresso und Eis.
      Viele kleine Inseln, durch die sich Kanäle schlängeln und die mit über 400 Brücken miteinander verbunden sind.
      Venedig - Mädelstrip in diese Stadt mit besonderem Charme. Bei Sonne, blauem Himmel und zehn Grad mehr als in Deutschland sind wir am späten Nachmittag in Venedig gelandet.
      Schlüssel (der hier wieder elektronisch, in Form eines Zahlencodes war) für unser Airbnb Quartier organisiert, Ticket für die „Öffentlichen“ gekauft und dann nicht mit der Metro oder der Straßenbahn, sondern mit dem Boot auf dem Canal Grande, praktisch die Hauptverkehrs“Straße“, zu unserem Quartier. Vaparetto - „Buslinie“ die ein Boot ist und fast im Zickzack durch den Canal Grande fährt.
      Leider hatte sich die Sonne bereits verabschiedet, nachdem wir unser Ziel erreicht und das Gepäck abgeladen hatten.
      Die Abendgestaltung bestand aus ein wenig schlendern durch das abendliche Venedig, leckerem Essen (natürlich Pasta) und Rotwein und zum krönenden Abschluss...Eis. Das haben wir auf Venedigs berühmtester Brücke, der Rialtobrücke mit Blick auf den nächtlichen Canal Grande verzehrt.
      Morgen freuen wir uns auf ganz viel Sonne im November und so einige geplante Highlights....
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    • Day 13

      Die Füße brennen

      August 29, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Nachdem Gestern mein Gastautor den Blog führen durfte, übernehme ich heute wieder das Steuer. Um ca. 8 gestartet haben wir nun fast jede Gasse in Venedig abgelaufen. Gott sei Dank liegt unser Zimmer im Zentrum. Wir Drei konnten immer mal wieder dort verschnaufen. Die große Sightseeing- und Food-Tour ist fast vorbei. Es war Top!! Venedig bietet extrem viel zu sehen und ist einfach unvergleichlich. Außerdem macht reisen mit Kind in Italien Spaß. Es ist fast so als hätten wir mit dem Kleinen einen Sonderstatus. Man bekommt ständig ein Lächeln von den Venizianern. Die negativen Klischees kann ich nicht wirklich bestätigen. Preislich ist es wie in Hamburg, wenn man nicht am Markusplatz seinen Kaffee trinkt. Ein Riesen Stück Pizza kostet z.B. 2€. Morgens ist die Stadt noch recht leer. Es füllt sich zum Mittag aber ziemlich. Abseits der Trampelpfade ist es dann jedoch wieder ruhiger. Die Gastgeber sind zudem generell sehr freundlich! Geschafft von so vielen Eindrücken, geht es Morgen nun weiter nach Bologna!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Campo San Polo

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