As I walked the silence streets of Venice I heard the whispers of the past. Around every bend there was a story just waiting to be told. The boats lined the small weathered homes while the afternoon sun danced off the water. As I listened to the lapping of the water I began to daydream of years past when Venice was the wealthiest of nations. Marveling at it's newest architectural creations, smelling the sweet smells of spices, and hearing a lute player in the street while seeing couples walking arm in arm laughing. I was brought back to the present by the clanking of a window as a maid began to hang out her laundry. What I love most about Venice is the richness of history that is weaved into the fabric of the architecture and the culture. It's risen and it's fallen and as time passes and society advances it still holds on to all that it was and to all that it will be. That's what inspires me.
Murano doesn't have as many channels as Venice. I found it very strange that there is only one bridge to cross this channel. To give you an idea, the width is more than twice of the Venetian Grand Canal and it took us over an hour to traverse it.
I put quickly in quotes because the vaporetto has many stops on both sides of the Grand Canal and it takes a while to make its way through Venice. There are others that are more direct and others which circle the island. It's a little stressful at first, but if you want to get around Venice, it's either the vaporetto or crossing bridges, hehe.
Access to Venice is closed for cars so it's a bit difficult if you travel by car. Besides the classic choice of access by crossing the bridge from Fusina in Vaporetto to Venice you can park at the Fusina campsite and arrive in 20 minutes. You don't have to stay at the campsite, there's fenced and guarded parking cars and you can take the boat. A different way to reach Venice.
The guidebooks recommend you to see the sunset from the Zattere area, in the south of Venice. I was not lucky enough to see a good sunset from that area, so failing that, I got on the vaporetto, I went to the north of the lagoon at sunset and watch as the sun slowly disappears over the horizon. In my case I took the vaporetto LN from Murano in the direction of Burano and honestly it was the most beautiful picture I took home from my trip to Venice.
Cruise departing in Venice, in the direction of Murano Island where you can assist in the making of the beautiful creations of the famous glass, inside particular factories. The next stop was on the island of Burano, where what most catches the visitor's eye are the colorful houses. Finally a brief stop at the island of Torcello, where according to legend, the king of the Huns was and where, they say, was his throne. We return to Burano and from there back to that wonderful city called Venice.
The work of the artist Daniel Libeskind, it can be admired in its entirety from the bridge across the river, when you walk from the train station. It is a modern, recent memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York, and is composed of steel and glass that light up at night. It includes a steel beam from the World Trade Center donated to the City of Padua.
This was the main gate of Padua in the thirteenth century, and now corresponds to the Via Altinate. The name comes from the fact that the road leading to Altino Veneto in Rome passed through here. The door was destroyyed in 1256 by the Crusaders who were fighting against Ezzelino da Roma, and was then rebuilt in 1286. Nowadays, the gate leads to the Garibaldi area.
After visiting the vineyards where Prosecco is grown we reached this 17th century mill, after being restored, it continues to grind flour using water from a clean, trout-filled river. The best thing about the day was getting back with old friends, visiting their favourite places and hearing their stories. There is nothing like walking through a place with a person in love with their land. And for lunch, the area is full of great steakhouses. That said, an unforgettable day.
The Verona tourist train promises to give you a tour of the city, for just under 4 euro for a 40-50 minute journey. You catch it in the Piazza Bra, just in front of the entrance to the Maffeiano Museum. If I remember correctly, it comes every hour. We caught it at 12:30, and it rests a while between tours. But the truth is, it's not very comfortable to rest - if you have back problems, it's better to give it a miss altogether. As for the journey, the train takes us to the Castelveccio, then goes back on a long, scenic route through the city. It crosses one of the bridges and passes near the Roman Theatre. The entire route is in the modern part of the city, so that apart from Castelveccio there's not much to see that's particularly interesting. When we got off the train, we decided to head to Castelveccio on foot, expecting it to be quite a walk given how long the train had taken to get there ... but to our surprise, it was just a 10 minute walk away. We were left feeling a bit ripped off.
The first wall of Padua, built during the Commune era, was along the waterways. Parts of it remain to this day, and you can see two of the nineteen gates. Later, new stretches of the wall were built, in the period of the Carrarese, and in the sixteenth century the Venetian Republic built a new wall, 11 km long, with many strongholds still standing.