Day 11

18th April

Miles walked in 3 days 16.5 miles

GPS same as before

Weather glorious

Venice seems one of the safest cities we have been to .. no hassle .. calm .. not a hint of bother but wandering into Cannaregio area and in particular Ghetto Nuove The Jewish enclave of Venice we came upon armed soldiers with a bullet proof shelter ..Why we don’t know We’re they expecting trouble or is it to keep the peace .. Seemingly this area’s bridges are closed at night keeping the area closed off .. We moved on with a feeling of unease.. The word Ghetto History of the Jews in Venice originated from Venice as it was Giti the word for metal working in this area of Cannaregio where the powers that be insisted the Jews live .. so making it the oldest Ghetto in the world

Today mission was to see the Doge’s Palace ..

Doge’s Palace

Prebooked tickets purchased ..A walk to the bus ..a ferry ride to St Marks and straight in to the Palace bypassing all the queues .. spot on .. Another entrance fee to see the Canaletto Collection but worth every penny ..we were both fascinated by the detail of His Venice back in 1700’s and not a lot has changed .. Magical to see without the masses as we were there so early the crowds were still having breakfast in their hotels

On to the State rooms .. just gold on gold on more gold .. Next off to the dungeons and across the Bridge of Sighs ..

View from inside the bridge

Down 3 flights of stairs with dungeons on every level top level had full height doors the lower ones had doors more suited to large dogs.

No sign of any toilet facilities , and what seemed like an exercise yard. Then back up the stairs through the bridge of Sighs which seems to have been constructed two way to prevent the mingling of prisoners.

Thanx go to Pete Turpie for his addendum to My Venice

Time for a bit if Byron….

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs,

A palace and a prison on each hand:

I saw from out the wave her structures rise

As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:

A thousand years their cloudy wings expand

Around me, and a dying Glory smiles

O’er the far times, when many a subject land

Looked to the wingéd Lion’s marble piles,

Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles!

She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,

Rising with her tiara of proud towers

At airy distance, with majestic motion,

A ruler of the waters and their powers:

And such she was–her daughters had their dowers

From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East

Poured in her lap all gems in sparkling showers:

In purple was she robed, and of her feast

Monarchs partook, and deemed their dignity increased.

In Venice Tasso’s echoes are no more,

And silent rows the songless gondolier;

Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,

And music meets not always now the ear:

Those days are gone–but Beauty still is here;

States fall, arts fade–but Nature doth not die,

Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,

The pleasant place of all festivity,

The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy!

We then passed through the judgment and appeal rooms which then led to the ubiquitous bookshop and very expensive tat shop. We nearly escaped to the great outdoors but the driver had to dash back to retrieve his rucksack.

We then wandered around St Marks listening to the orchestra playing Tango music and watching shocked faces of punters paying their bills.The Cook remembers her parents telling the story of them dancing in the square back in the 70’s to a Tango

Then off in search of a reasonable restaurant for a menu della giornata . “Al Graspo de ua ” opened in 1840 on a quiet back alley, 2 courses for €18. The food was excellent, Wine was extra but a very nice effervescent white… tasting a little like Pinot .

For going the dessert and caffe we were given a generous glass of lemoncelo. and off in search of the Grom Gelato shop which is just fabulous and not to be missed . Then a stroll (longer than expected) back to the bus station and home to Hetty. All in all a lovely day and 6.5 miles strolled.

Author: "Travels with Harry Hymer"

Me and Him and Hetty like adventures ..We spend most of our summers sailing Now a little elderly for big boat racing and have turned to Radio Controlled Yachting competing nationally and even internationally ..I have travelled to many countries in my other life BJ (before John)lots of Indian backpacking trips. Panning gold in the Yukon..Pacific island hopping ..Far east and so on ..John won't go to India but I managed to get him to Morocco and Sri Lanka but didn't expect a Tsunami.

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