3 days in Venice
Saturday, October 21, 2017
We still had the car, and we drove from Portofino to Venice, almost entirely in a light fog. The start of the drive was a little stressful, lots of twists and turns. I was glad that Mike was driving! We hadn’t planned ahead to do any side trips (I kind of wanted to go to Parma, Bologna, and/or Verona), and we toyed with the idea of stopping, but decided to just get to Venice.
Dropping the car off at the airport was very easy, and the signs to get the water taxi were clear. This was the most unusual approach to any city that we’ve ever been to. Seeing pictures of the “highway” on the water doesn’t capture being on a boat that is hauling people all over the place. It was a pretty amazing “drive” over to the city of Venice. The taxis are cash only, and we needed to stop at an ATM, so the driver pulled over on a canal once we got to the city, and Mike hopped out, got some cash, and we continued on our way to our hotel.
The city is amazing! Our water taxi driver gave us a tour of the city on our way in. Mike took a ton of pictures, but we can’t remember the importance of some of the buildings. We saw the Aman Canal Grande Hotel where Amal Alamuddin married some American actor (George Clooney), a huge sculpture of hands rising from the water, called “Support”, by Lorenzo Quinn (to bring attention to the climate change that is threatening this beautiful city), a golden tower (named “Golden Tower”), and of course plenty of gondolas.
The view from our balcony at the Hotel Bauer Palazzo included the Grand Canal, and the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica. We were a short walk from St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), which is almost always bustling. We did a little shopping (more wine en route…) and went to dinner at Club Doge in the Hotel Gritti Palace (inside, because it was raining).