Monday, August 8, 2011

Venice and Burano

Tuesday, June 14 (day 8)

We spent the day in Venice. We rode into the city in the morning and caught our boat to St.Mark's Square. I was surprised to find out that their are about 150,000 visitors a day and 50% of the inhabitants work with tourism. It is a very expensive place to live. We went directly to see a glass demonstration at the Merano Glass Company where we saw some very expensive, beautiful pieces (200-thousands of Euro's). He made a glass decorative pitcher and a horse within a few minutes, making it look super easy (especially for the price!). My mom and I both bought a bracelet at a nearby shop made with glass beads. Then we toured around the city until our gondola ride off the Grand Canal. On the gondola ride we had the main seats and the accordion player and singer were on our boat. We had a wonderful ride down the Grand Canal as we were serenaded. We turned down side canals and saw unique Venetian buildings, bridges, and canals. Lots of people stopped to watch our group since we had music. After the ride we bought a piece of pizza to share that was delicious with green olives too! I bought a mask at a shop by the Rialto bridge, then met our tour for Burano. It was a really hot day with beautiful blue skies and CROWDS of people (it was nice to get a way for a few hours). We took a 45 minute ride by boat to Burano. It was spectacular with it's brightly painted buildings and leaning tower. We saw how they make lace and I bought a pricey, but beautiful white with lace tablecloth and napkins. We bought some more water and pastries while we walked around the island. Then we went back to the St. Mark's Square for lots of free time. We went down the closest street to get out of the sun since it was VERY hot! It felt good for a few minutes until more and more people had the same idea, then it wasn't quite as breezy. We walked around Venice more, and came to a square where locals kids were playing soccer and riding their bikes, and went inside a church there. Then we went to a little cafe to use the bathroom, we bought calamari and an apple drink so we could use the WC. We wandered into shops--masks, glassware, linens, etc. Then shared a pizza again for dinner at a cafe. We admired the ceiling/arcade around the church made of gold mosaics and watched the clock figures strike the hour and the digital time change from VII 55 to VIII00. Then we met our group again for the ride back to the hotel.

View of St. Marks's Square from our boat ride in to Venice.Standing on the Rialto Bridge.Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) that is being cleaned. Not quite as spectacular covered in huge billboards. Burano.Lace making shop. It takes about 7 women many months to make most of the lace items for sale. They each have a specific stitch they do.