Daily Archives: February 25, 2015

A Trip Down the Grand Canal

After visiting Murano we walked ourway through the tourist traps of the Strada Nova towards Ferrovia Train Station where we could catch Vaporetto 1. We plugged ourselves into Rick Steves and budget toured ourselves down the Grand Canal past the weathered, watered, and weary palaces. 

Ca’ d’Oro (House of Gold) – Quintessential Venitian Gothic

We disembarked at Merkato Rialto which houses the fish and vegetable market. Most of the stands were already shutting down for the day (or because it was Monday) but we stopped there for the traghetto (ghetto boat?). The traghetto is a gondola manned by official gondoliers who are obligated to volunteer for this public service a few days a month. This functions as a ferry crossing for only 2 Euros for a semi-gondola-like experience (at a fraction of the cost since a gondola rental can be 80-100 Euros). 

From here we walked winding back streets which opened into the occassional piazza and cross little bridges until we got the the main bridge – Rialto.

Hopping back on the vaporetto we continued down the Grand Canal past varied merchant palaces, University of Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico, and Peggy Guggenheim’s collection (now a musueum), the wooden Accademia Bridge, and the La Salute  Church. 

A few more stops and we were at San Marco and St. Mark’s Square. We passed the crowds and disembarked at San Zaccaria (1 stop beyond San Marco) for a quick lunch before braving the throngs of humanity and pigeons at Staint Mark’s Square. 

Salute! Cin Cin!

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Murano Glass Factory

Upon check-in we were told the hotel could arrange a complementary trip in the morning to Murano where all the Venetian glass is made. Although we knew it would be an up-sell to purchase glass we jumped at the chance to visit Murano and see the artists at work.

We left in a stately and self important looking private boat at 9:30 (shared with a few other guests) and headed down lonely canals and eventually away from Venice towards Murano. 

View from our room


View from our room

Heading away from Boscolo Hotel down canal

The slow decay of Venice

Clara leaving Venice for Murano

Leaving Venice for Murano

In the 1200s all glass factories were banned from Venice for fear of fire to the island of Murano. A much more industrial island it also looks to be in a slow motion decay.

Once in the glass factory were were treated to a tour and explanation of the craft. The master craftsman (the younger person) was working on a single light shade for a large chandelier. We saw him start from a mere bowl and attach pieces of glass, form them into petals, and shape them into the graceful curve to match the rest of the set.

This is the process used to ultimately create lamps such as this:

Next we were treated to a glass blowing and bottle making demonstration.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the galleries but were obliged to go through each one of them with a commentary. No prices were spoken, but if you had to ask you probably couldn’t afford one anyway.

We jumped the next boat back to the Boscolo to enjoy our day in Venice.


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