I had signed up for a race when we left on our road trip and I knew it wouldn’t be good to go two weeks without running at all, but running the streets of Venice, while charming, was like trying to train in a labyrinth. I went out early in the morning though, which is always a great time to enjoy a city. The street sweepers were all out, sweeping away with their wicker brooms. I got lost so many times, and ended up being out twice as long as I meant to, but eventually I found my way back to our apartment.
Because of a long run, and pregnancy and sheer vacation exhaustion, when we all left the house to go out tourist-ing for the day, I was not feeling it. I was tired and grumpy and I couldn’t seem to muster any enthusiasm, even though I’d dreamed of seeing Venice for my adult life. The prospect of herding the four kids around another city on another hot day felt overwhelming and I wanted to go back to bed. But I kept my bad attitude to myself, we found some tasty pastries for breakfast, and gradually my spirits lifted.
Our first stop was Rialto market, where we ate some delicious fresh fruit. Then we just walked the streets of Venice. Venice is a city made up of hundreds of tiny islands, all connected with hundreds of small footbridges. (We decided it would be a nightmare to have a stroller in Venice.) We walked to Piazza San Marco and just tried to appreciate the amazing architecture, but didn’t want to wait in any lines to tour any of the buildings inside.
Basilica di San Marco
The weather was really good and we weren’t sure if it would hold up so we decided to take a gondola ride while the sun was out. Of course the minute we were about to step on the gondola Simon had to use the toilet, so we let that one go by and caught another a few minutes later. It was really fun, but it went by so fast, we kind of felt ripped off. If I could go back and do it again I would spring the extra 40 euros for a longer ride.
The Grand Canal.
After our gondola ride it was time for lunch, so we found another great restaurant and ate more pizza, pasta and gnocchi. When we finished our lunch Richard had to make a phone call, so the kids and I were just killing time by taking photos in this really rustic courtyard.
The afternoon consisted of more walking, more gelato and more architecture. We took a long walk along the outer edge of the city, on the really wide Canale Della Giudecca, where you could look across the water at some really amazing buildings.
The canal water was a really pretty color of blue/teal.
As we walked along the water, there were occasional puddles that had been there long enough to form a mossy film on the pavement. The kids thought it was really fun to splash in them, despite our warnings that they were really slippery. But inevitably, our warnings were futile and Simon took a major spill. Richard and I thought it was pretty funny, Simon not so much. He was covered in mossy goo, so I took his shirt off and as I was rinsing it in the nearby canal, I nearly slipped in myself. We had some good laughs about it all, and the sunshine and warm weather had him dried out soon enough.
Santa Maria della Salute
The round interior of this church had a really impressive effect. I loved the floor tiling as well, and of course the sculpture and painted artwork.
By the time we made our way back to the Piazza san Marco, it was late afternoon. I really wanted to go to the San Giorgio Maggiore, an island directly across the water from where we were, but you had to take the water bus (really expensive) to get there. So we decided I would just go by myself, so I could go up into the clock tower and see the views, and Richard would entertain the kids until I got back. I was gone less than an hour, and it was totally worth it.
Church of the san Giorgio Maggiore
Piazza San Marco from the Giorgio Maggiore clock tower.
It was dinner time when I met back up with the gang, but we wanted to go back to our more quiet part of the city to find a place to eat. We had more pizza, but with a little salad this time too, and then Richard and I just sat at our table and relaxed for a bit while the kids ran around in the square. (The benefits of dining al fresco.)
I’m pretty sure we had gelato again for dessert before calling it a night and walking our weary bodies back to our apartment for bed. I think this day was probably the most walking we did in one day during our entire trip.