We left the Jolly Hotel in Florence (Firenze to Italians) around 8am. Our tour bus hit the road to go towards Venice with a short stop in Verona. We reached Verona around 12 noon.
We first did the most touristy thing you can do in Italy – check out Juliet’s balcony in Verona. There is no record of Shakespeare having been in Verona ever, but since the story of Romeo and Juliet is set here, you have to assume that he did, atleast for the sake of tourists. This place is complete with Juliet’s bronze statue and even a sarcophagus!
After that we had a quick lunch and had enough time to take a peek at the ruins of the Arena – a smaller version of the Colosseum in Verona. We left Verona around 1.30 pm and reached our hotel in Venice around 3.30pm.
Our hotel Carlton is right on the famous Grand Canal. At 4PM we did the Gondola Serenade tour on the Grand Canal. Going on the Gondola through Venice looking at the nice old buildings and nice hotels. It is a great experience. We came back to the hotel and after a cup of coffee we left at 5pm on our Venetian Night Out tour on a small cruise boat.
We passed through the Realto Bridge – the first bridge on the Grand Canal and reached the spectacular San Marco square (St. Mark’s). With the brightly lit facades, the sight of this square at night is something. Took some pictures but I’m not sure one can capture this beauty that easily. We had a good dinner at the All Angel’s restaurant where Picasso and other great artists have frequented.
Venice is a unique town owing to the system of canals that serve as the thoroughfares. The buildings, atleast some of them are very stylish and exude a certain old world charm. Venice does live up to its Queen of the Adriatic epithet.
Tomorrow also we’ll be spending in Venice. More to come.