Sunshine, colour and light…Venice in April

Early morning at the Doges Palace
Early morning at the Doges Palace
Another great view of the Grand Canal
Another great view of the Grand Canal

Venice was our introduction to Italy, the first Italian destination on our European holiday and to say we were excited is a bit of an understatement. We had four nights booked at the Locanda Ca’ Valeri not far from the Doges Palace and the Arsenale and the only thing we had planned for our stay was to visit the port city of Trieste and to ‘get lost’ in the maze of streets that make up the city of Venice.

Upon arrival at the train station the realisation that we were in Italy hit us, it is a beautiful sunny Sunday and the number of tourists and day trippers at the station was overwhelming. We were excited and nervous at the same time, I’m sure that our mouths were wide open in awe but we were also attempting to keep our wits about us and not let our bags out of our sight. 13 euros bought us two tickets on the vaporetto and although it is jam-packed we have managed to claim a great spot for taking in the views along the Grand Canal without blocking anybody’s path on and off the vaporetto.

Once we had found and settled into our hotel room we set off to explore the city and find a Tourist Information office and find out about getting to and from Trieste. Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) was the natural first stop, it was also were we picked up a couple of panini for lunch but we weren’t allowed to sit and picnic on or near the square so we found a quiet little spot near a canal and some luxury shops where we could eat in peace.

Our hotel buzzer
Our hotel buzzer
The Arsenale
The Arsenale
Luxury boat
Parking, Venice style

During our stay in Venice we did manage to visit some of the recommended sights such as the Frari Church and Rialto Bridge however we spent most of our time wandering through the streets, stopping to eat at a small snack bar or taste a new flavour of gelato. We got lost gawking at window displays featuring masks, costumes and Venetian glass, turning left or right depending on what appealed to us at the time or what photo opportunity lay ahead. One day we found ourselves on the point of Dorsoduro, looking at a sculpture of a boy holding a frog with the water and St Mark’s as the backdrop, another day we walked to Fondamente Nuovo via the San Giovanni Church and the Hospital, there are less people here and we stand on a bridge watching a funeral procession on the canal below us. We did not see inside St Mark’s Basilica or the Doges Palace because the crowds were offputting and although it was on my to-do list I did not venture into the Peggy Guggenheim museum, the joy of walking through the streets of Venice and watching the colours change as the sun rose and then set was enough for me. We were probably very lucky during our stay, the days were warm and the skies were clear with not a rain cloud in sight, walking around of a night was also beautiful (and safe), glass lamps of all shapes, sizes and colour lit the way and in St Mark’s we could stand and listen to the bands playing outside the cafes.

Venetian glass lamps
Venetian glass lamps
Piazza San Marco at night
Piazza San Marco at night
Doges Palace at night
Doges Palace at night
Waterside restaurant at night
Waterside restaurant at night

My expectations for Venice were high, 12 years ago I had visited the city on a tour and fallen in love with it and I was worried that it would not meet my expectations during this trip. There was no need to worry, although many consider Venice a ‘theme park’ for tourists and too expensive to stay for longer than a day or two, I fell in love all over again and still consider it to be one of my favourite Italian cities.

Chiesa di San Zaccaria
Chiesa di San Zaccaria (St Zaccaria Church)
A boy and the frog
A boy and the frog, Dorsoduro
Walking through Dorsoduro
Walking through Dorsoduro
Campo San Giovanni  e Paolo
Campo San Giovanni e Paolo
Gondolas of Venice
Gondolas of Venice

21 thoughts on “Sunshine, colour and light…Venice in April

  1. Elisa April 11, 2012 / 1:54 pm

    These are gorgeous. Love Venice!

  2. The Blissful Adventurer April 11, 2012 / 1:56 pm

    We should talk! We go to Venice in May and I have not been there in 20 years. How was your hotel?

    • twoblackdoggies April 11, 2012 / 5:44 pm

      Always happy to talk about Venice! Our hotel was small, simple and comfortable, a little bar serving good coffee was only a two minute walk away.

  3. dutchgoesitalian April 11, 2012 / 7:19 pm

    Beautiful photo’s of an amazingly beautiful city!!! Love the photo of the statue (boy and the frog)!!! Really funny! 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies April 11, 2012 / 9:54 pm

      Thank you. The boy and the frog sculpture was completely unexpected, it made us smile and so did the antics of the security guard making sure people didn’t get too close the sculpture 🙂

  4. megtraveling April 12, 2012 / 5:26 am

    Fantastic photos of Venice! And it sounds like you had a wonderful stay. I really think your evening photos show how most of the tourists have left and then you can see another side of the city. Great post!

    • twoblackdoggies April 12, 2012 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you, it is a wonderful city for walking and exploring. During the day the streets and squares are packed with tourists but the city is at its finest at dawn and dusk when the day trippers aren’t around and the tour groups are nowhere to be seen.

    • twoblackdoggies April 12, 2012 / 5:26 pm

      Thank you, I think Venice provides many opportunities for taking beautiful photos.

  5. Posky April 13, 2012 / 1:24 am

    I previously had no interest in visiting Venice but this post made me think twice. It does seem to have a charm about it.

    • twoblackdoggies April 14, 2012 / 12:41 pm

      I’m so happy that you feel that way, thank you. I once thought the same about visiting Germany and Austria, now I am excited about seeing more of both countries.

  6. aplscruf April 14, 2012 / 6:44 am

    Our favorite city of Italy, too! Just so beautiful, interesting and unique. My son wants to go back someday, and I’m sure he’ll make that happen.

    • twoblackdoggies April 14, 2012 / 12:06 pm

      I hope your son does make it happen, would you go too? I could happily visit Venice on an annual basis but the 25 hour flight and the cost is a little prohibitive so I’ll settle for another visit in a few years time 🙂

      • aplscruf April 14, 2012 / 2:20 pm

        We’d love to go again, too! By the way, one of our local bands is coming to Australia this week! Massy Ferguson. Very fun band, country-rock style music. Check their website (same name) and see if they’re coming near you. Worth checking out! Tell ’em Lisa from Seattle sent you! 🙂

      • twoblackdoggies April 14, 2012 / 5:54 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion, I checked out their schedule but it appear that they’re staying south in New South Wales and Victoria.

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