After disembarking our home on the high seas, we had a couple extra days to spend in Italy and decided to stay in Venice for the night before catching a train to Florence the next day. And extra day in Venice is never a bad idea...plus there was time to get our land legs back so we wouldn't be tripping all over ourselves in Fashionable Florence.
It rained, of course, so luggage was hauled through the soggy streets...not for the first time, we were insanely happy about our decision to only bring carry-ons. Watching people struggle over the cobblestoned Piazzale Roma with GIANT suitcases full of cruise-wear (in the rain) was a little horrifying.
We actually took a vaporetto from the train station - and listened to the fabulous Rick Steves audiotour I'd downloaded in the States. We loved every second of our trip down the Grand Canal, but the water seemed...kind of high. What's that? Record-breaking floods all across Italy while we were gone? People swimming across St. Mark's?
Yeah. Our vacations and Natural Disasters. A match made in heaven.
Our hotel was in the Rialto area - we'd decided to try one night in a tourist hub, and...it was fine. We much preferred Hotel Dalla Mora and the Dosudoro, but the shopping couldn't be beat in the Rialto. We found some real gems amongst the tourist kitsch.
Then a walk to a very soggy Saint Mark's. At this point of the trip my poor feet had walked all over the eastern Mediterranean (having never recovered from our first day in Venice!), so I decided to just wear my Keens and go for it - everybody's feet were wet that day. And a pair of cheap wellies cost about $25 on the street!
We shopped our way back to the hotel and then took ourselves on a walkabout before dinner. Saint Mark's had dried out, so we were able to see it in all its glory. We found a small restaurant near our hotel and, after having a pre-dinner cocktail (awesomely leaning against a stand-up bar in the alleyway outside), decided this was The Place. We had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, but the staff were very friendly and accomodating, and the whole place felt very...local. We had such a great time just sipping our cocktails and people-watching.
Venice was even nicer when we had time to relax and enjoy it. Un jet-lagged. With time to eat copious amounts of seafood pasta. And drink lots of wine. *sigh.
all photos, mine