We arrived in Venice after a hairy drive from Sirmione in the poring rain that saw us bypass Verona and head straight to the parking station and car dropped off at the Train station.
When we arrived the sun came out and we jumped on board a Taxi boat for the ride to our hotel Savoia & Yolanda which was located on the Waterfront facing out to the San Giorgio Maggiore Church and the Main shipping route. after lunch at the hotel we headed off to explore The San Marco Piazza and of course inside the amazing Byzantine 11th century basilica San Marco. The mosaics and ornate decorations were unlike anything we had ever seen and so totally different to any other Italian church we had seen. The eastern influence was very clear and the multi domed design of the church was clearly from further east.
We ventured further on up to the Arsenal region along the Riva Delgi schiavoni and through the back lanes and canals of the Castello region before deciding on getting Gondola ride and hang the expense…it was worth it and we had a ball and saw Venice as you need to see it, from the water and down the small canals as well as the grand canal. We decided on eating at a Chinese restaurant that night for a change. and it was really good! after dinner we went into San Marco again and the square was flooding which was exciting and weird at the same time.
Our wanderings the next day took us all over Venice, the Rialto bride area where we bought leather jackets, the acceding region where we visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum whic we loved to bits and onto Santa Croce and San Palo and back over to the Jewish quarter and then through to San Marco again. we secured a free trip to Murano Island on a taxi boat and managed to get away without buying anything big and we watched an amazing glass blowing craftsman in action making amazing wine glasses which was incredible to experience. We wandered around Murano and after a snack caught the ferry back to San Marco. We went towards the Dorsoduro area the next day and took our chances on the vaporetta ferry which worked out really well and visited the Ca’ Rezzonico Palazzo on the grand canal but closed for renovation! So we continued on and ate Pizza and pastries as we kept going seeing all the back area canals and the life of the venetians. it was the rogue palace the next day and wow that was amazing, so much fascinating history and such great stories of a political system that was so far ahead of its time…all in the name of commerce. our hotel ground floor was flooded for a while so we kept exploring and ate at a Tratorria with the locals and then visited the Museo Correr with its crazy religious zealot stuff and then explored the huge ballrooms built during napoleons reign. we kept a wandering that night and had another great meal at a local restaurant ona small canal. We have had such a great time in Venice and will be back to see more of its charms.
The train trip from Venice to Rome was easy but then the train from Rome to Sorrento was a nightmare as we were stuck in a stinking old carriage that was supposed to be no smoking but they just ignored it. We grinned and bore it the best we could and lesson learned…1st class next time.
A crazy situation happened at Naples station where we had a crazy guy run off with our luggage, yes all 4 b/ags to supposedly show us the way to the Circumvissia train to Sorrento. We ran through the ticketing chasing him and then got chased by the station guards until we arrived at the platform and he wanted payment for our bags. a nice man offered to help and in the end it cost us $10 to get our bags back…lesson two learned. the train was a shocker and we were very mindful of pick-pockets and found a nice corner to all be together with our bags watching each other’s back… well that Naples. Arrived in Sorrento to our hotel and it was lovely with fabulous bviews over the bay of Naples so after a wander around town we stayed in for dinner and ate far too much food. the next day was wet and windy so we had a quiet day around town taking it all in and enjoying lunch at a local cafe before John and Beth walked down to the Marina Grande for a sticky and to check out all the restaurants down there. Lovely fishing village and vibrant atmosphere.
Yes it is an amazing place and something to add to any bucket list and boy oh boy did they love their erotica in this city.
Wow, nothing can prepare you for what to find here, they have only excavated 40% of the city and so much more to go but what you will find is just off the planet amazing. The forum was a great place to start which flowed onto the temples and shopping areas with a take away food bar on every corner and a brothel on the other corner.
the frescos at the house of Vetti were our favourite and the style was so Botticelli but of course they were buried at his time and had Ben for 1,500 years so history in art repeats itself. The ceramics, mosaics, Phallic symbols and mummified bodies were everywhere and and there were so many places open to explore that you could spend weeks here discovering something new every day. We visited the Theatre, the Arena, the Gladiator barracks and so many amazing villas of the ruling classes as well as tenement houses of the poor and of course the many bath houses that were part of everyday Roman life. We will be back one day to explore more.
This was a real highlight for us and despite the really bumpy ferry ride over where we nearly had a bit of chunder it was delightful
The huge cliffs that surround the Island were dominant from the boat and as we pulled into the MarinaGrande the seas went calm and the sun came out and it was beautiful. We took the cog railway up to the main town through the orange and lemon tree groves to the Piazza Umberto and had an ice cream to celebrate and then took off down the other side of the island to the Certosa Monestry and onto the Augusta garden where Emperor Augustus has a villa 2,000 years ago. The gardens were lovely and the views to the Faragolioni rocks was stunning. You could see the mix of Greek, Roman and Byzantium influences in the buildings of capri which gives it a very unique feel. We lunched at the terraza cafe and afterwards John took his chances and headed off to the Arch Naturale and to see the sights along the way. He had to run a fair bit of it to make sure he got back for the return ferry. the Villas and Luxury Hotels along the route were stunning. We caught the ferry back and enjoyed a very relaxed trip, all in high spirits so we stopped off at the Foringers club for a drink and enjoyed a lovely meal out followed by a wander around the town at night.
The View from the ferry exiting Marina Grande.
The views from the path to Faragolioni and the Arch naturale towards marinaPicillo
All smiles on the calm ferry ride back to Sorrento.