Tuesday, 1 January 2013

La Dolce Vita

The gondolas on the Venetian waterfront
Ah...the good life. It was a perfect day in Venice. We awoke to clear blue skies with a forecast of 10 degrees. With today being the only real full day we had to visit the highlights of Venice, we had to make it count! We walked to the closeby Palazzo Ducale and enjoyed the beauty of the Venetian waterfront before charging to the ticket booths as soon as it opened to purchase our St Mark's Square Museums Pass. This would also allow us entry into the nearby Museo Correr later in the day. It was fortunate that we did this as by the time we exited the Palazzo Ducale at 11am, the lines for everything at St Mark's Square had ballooned out of control.

Greeted by a most glorious winter's day!

Basilica di San Marco

On the way to the waterfront

Campanile of San Marco

Everyone excited to be sightseeing together

Looking at the gondolas

Too bright....

The bridge of sighs

The Palazzo Ducale, the very heart of Venice along with the Basilica di San Marco, was an amazing place in every sense...the history, the architecture, the artwork. We had originally wanted to go on the Secret Itineraries Tour. However, due to my disorganisation, the tickets for the English tour had unfortunately already sold out. The fast moving family left little time for me to wallow in self pity. Andiamo!

Palazzo Ducale

Beautifully detailed interior

On the inside of the Bridge of Sighs

A child content to sit by himself all for the privilege of the iphone...

We sought out lunch after winding through the lovely streets of Venice and crossing the Rialto Bridge. And what a magnificent lunch we had in the sunshine by the Grand Canal. The waiters exuded warmth and friendliness, the food was delicious and the sky was blue! Our next task was to get some gelato en route to the Frari Church. Meandering through the streets and perusing the wonderful shops along the way was a delightful post lunch activity. I was highly tempted to purchase a Gondolieri 2013 calendar...but refrained.

Oops...how did we get here?!?!

Couldn't leave without buying SOMETHING. There was a  sale on! Malcolm did not bring his shareholders card...not happy Jan.

Detail detail everywhere

The Rialto Bridge

Ah...Venice! The Grand Canal

Looking for lunch

This will do!
Grandpa deciding what to eat

 A spoilt boy wearing grandpa's hat to shield his eyes from the sun

....sharing grandpa's "clams"

More exploring on foot

Rich colours


Small canals

Afternoon tea... pistachio pane

A quick stop in the Ferrari store. Jonah "Francesco (from Cars 2) doesn't look like that!!" 

We finally arrived at our destination and took the opportunity to gaze upon Titian's Assumption of the Virgin. The children were fascinated to discover Titian's tomb within the Church and were now interested in the opportunity to see his last work, the Pieta, in Florence. Unfortunately time was moving on and we had one more Museum to visit, the Museo Correr. Once again, it was a great museum. My personal highlights were the Imperial Apartments of the Empress Sissi of Austria, as well as the collection of coins minted by the Venetian Republic some dating back to 814AD.

Frari Church with the very unassuming brick exterior

A very happy family!

The whole family was pooped by now and we trudged back to the apartment. Malcolm went to buy some takeaway pizzas and pastas. The person serving him kindly told him that he was lucky he came just then as they were about to double the price for New Years Eve! We enjoyed our quiet dinner at home and put the children to bed.

The aim now is to rest and then have a quick wander at midnight to St Marks Square to welcome in the New Year. Let's see if that actually happens...

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