This final chapter of my Venice Recollections will cover the last evening and last day in Venice (minus my trip along the Guidecca, which you got to read previously). Took me long enough to finish this off!
Let’s start off with a pigeon relaxing on a window sill, did I mention that pigeons seriously do not know how to fly on this island?
On my last evening I sat in a nice restaurant and decided to have a pizza. I’ve been loving this particular pizza mainly because I’ve taken a liking to artichokes. Can’t find them in Melbourne (maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough or have never bothered to try cooking with them), but if I do then you’ll probably find it more in my meals from now on. I get the same pizza in Innsbruck as well, but there is definitely a significant difference in tastes in the same pizza between the two cities.
I also had one more proper look at the Doge’s palace, in particular its facade. San Marco square was probably the one place you could find me the most in Venice, mainly because it was very close to the hotel.
Seeing the cracks makes it look quite scary as you never know if it will collapse or not. The carving in the centre is also quite fascinating.
Went up the tower on San Marco square as well as I hadn’t had the chance yet (you’ve heard me mention this before if you’ve been reading my previous posts). The view from atop is simply astonishing. You can see the entire main island, parts of the Guidecca, the little islands just a paddle away and more. Here are some views… this one’s looking South-ish
towards the south-east…
The rooftops of the Doge’s palace and neighbouring buildings. The domes of the church can also be seen, something you couldn’t see from the ground!
Looking down on San Marco square and the bell tower…
Rooftops galore, a true maze, very few landmarks that you can use as your orientation.
The bell tower once again, the soldiers ring the bell every hour!
San Marco square and Skechers shoes that you may wish to buy after seeing the famous billboard…
I stayed up there for about an hour and noticed a large cruise liner enter the lagoon in the far east. See if you can spot it! The picture offers a lot of marine vessel size comparisons!
The thing’s bigger than the island behind it! Turns out it’s a Holland-America liner (what’s it doing in Venice? maybe it’s lost!)
These signs were up on the tower walls. Can you guess what they mean? the bells on the tower I believe no longer function and are simply there fore display. Surprisingly people do obey these rules and it is amazing how spotless the tower actually is…
Soon after the tower, I headed down to the nearest Vaporetto stop. You validate your ticket before crossing the bridge to the floating waiting room. The complicated route map can also be found everywhere for your perusal.
Got off shortly after in search for one place I hadn’t really seen yet, the Fenice theatre. Saw this sign, I would like to see how they plan to host the Olympics. It would certainly make for a VERY interesting experience. Imagine the marathons (many runners may get lost). Canoeing could take place in the canals between the houses. Triathlons would be wicked fun to watch! Look forward to hearing about it more.
Oh and for those who haven’t noticed, you can get a fairly cheap handbag (a pirated copy) just nearby. There’s a potential customer being convinced to buy one. I’ll say the right thing and tell you that it is not advised to support these illegal salesmen, who roam the streets in search for gullible tourists! Be careful when you’re there…
After a lot of walking, I eventually found the Fenice. The only problem was that I was behind it and that there was no way to get to the front from where I was standing (aargh, confusing alleys, confusing map!)…
…enough said…some half an hour later of walking, I eventually found the front (I’m serious about how long it took, haha). The sign on the front seems to be delivering a political message. According to a friend, who tried to translate it for me, it deals with “ignorance that may arise from the fires” or lack thereof. I am not sure (if anyone wants to have a go at translating it for me, please do leave a comment). I can only think of two possible things. It may be some sign of protest in some political manner or what I believe to be more relevant a sign that reminds the people of the disaster that befell this theatre a while ago.
La Fenice is famous for the disaster that befell it. In 1996, a case of arson burnt down the theatre completely, long drawn out investigations were carried out and in 2001 two electricians were found guilty of arson and sentenced to seven years in jail. That was the story in a nutshell. I read a pretty good book that apart from a travelogue, also touched upon this subject. Those that plan to go to Venice may have heard about it, “The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt. I recommend it to anyone who wants to experience Venice from a less formal and more day to day perspective.
My last evening in Venice (like all other evenings) went on until 11pm once again. I am going to miss these late night walks, but know for sure that I will be looking forward to them again when I come back in future.
Let’s now move on to the last day shortly after I returned from the Guidecca. You would remember from my previous post that I had inquired about the whereabouts of Harry’s Bar at the Dolci.
Well, here I am…would you have been able to find it?
View Finding Harry’s Bar in a larger map
It’s right there! I had been walking past it countless times, but never looked carefully enough!
Those doors that do not show what awaits you inside until you actually walk through! I’ll leave you to imagine shortly before the next picture. Note that photography is not preferred inside, but I could not have known that until they told me. The bar has two floors. I was led up to the top floor by some high class waiters. Good service!
I ordered the most expensive cappuccino that I have ever ordered in my life. It cost me 8 euros. But whatever, I wanted to see what it’s like drinking coffee in the famous Harry’s Bar so why not. The menu as you can see has the same symbol on it as the one on the Guidecca. Apparently there are a few Harry chains in other cities as well.
It’s seems like an art itself to make a more or less perfect circle of white milk or a brown ring of coffee along the edge. It looks like very clean and simple art. Nevertheless, the cappuccino, which cost me 8 euros tasted great.
As I was sipping my coffee I was handed a book detailing the history of the bar. Had quick flip through, but didn’t think it’d be necessary to buy it. At first I thought it was free, but I doubt they give it to every single person, who visits them (you’d have to kill a few forests to print that many books of that thickness). I can’t remember exactly how much it cost, but I think it was 15 euros. Could have been thirty though. My memory’s growing old
Had a look at their lemon meringue before I left the bar, this was when I found out that I wasn’t allowed to take photos…
Got a last picture of the clocks showing the three cities where you can find this franchise, London, New York and of course, Venice.
As I was getting ready to leave the city, I took one last look at the tower on San Marco square and said my goodbyes before I returned to the hotel to collect my bags and boarded a Vaporetto, which took me to the train station (be careful not to board the wrong one or else you’ll be travelling for a whole hour).
The original train I had intended on taking left before I arrived (despite taking a faster Vaporetto). I therefore had to kill an hour before taking the next train out and decided to grab some lunch (which I wouldn’t have been able to do had I managed to catch the train). Oh well…
…so I walked into the food court at the station and decided to have a slice of pizza with a coke. Healthy, I know, but given the luggage I had and how crowded it was there, I thought it was probably the easiest meal I could get myself. You’d have to stand in queue otherwise and then bring your food to a cashier counter, where you’d have to pay.
I eventually boarded the train and relaxed for an hour. My way back would take me from Venice to Verona, Verona to Brennero (on the Austrian-Italian border) and Brennero to Innsbruck. My first trip was fairly short and I spent my time looking at pictures from the past few days and reflecting upon the trip (also thinking how I was going to write up this post).
Arrival in Verona, more than two hours to kill (because the schedule decided to be a pain). So I settled for some “patatines” or the more common name of French Fries. I’m surprised I managed to order them with the little Italian I knew. I ordered them to “mangi qui” (babelfish it)
Hungry or thirsty? These “Self Bars” offer you plenty of snacks and drinks. Funny name, “Self Bar”, hehe
From a sunny and warm Venice to a cold and wet Innsbruck. This was the welcome I received and I didn’t actually mind it at all. It was good to be in cool weather for once and it meant that I would be able to sleep well at night.
Whilst I had heaps of fun in Venice, it was also good to be back. It was also fun trying to get back to my accommodation that night as I was not sure what buses were running. Without much trouble, I did manage to find the right bus and was home in no time.