Saturday, June 2, 2012

Italia- Venice

"Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go." --Truman Capote

                    Today we drove from Milan to Venice, about a 3 hour drive. But once we saw Venice (also known as La Serenissima- the Most Serene One) in the distance, the drive was the last thing on my mind. Arriving at Piazzale Roma (The Rome Square), our driver dropped us off for us to wait for a water taxi.  This is the last place that you can go in Venice with a car and from there, you must take a boat. Think of the cars, taxis and buses in most cities. In Venice, you have water taxis, water buses (vaporetti) and small private motor boats (motoscafi) as well as the most famous gondola. And the streets are canals and waterways. We took a water taxi from Piazzale Roma to San Clemente Island (a private island about 10 minutes by boat from Venice). Our hotel, the San Clemente Palace, was located on this island, which before being used as a hotel, was a monastery for the Order of Saint Augustine and a Church which dates back to 1191. The island also has a large population of white and brown  rabbits which roam free and are taken care of by the hotel. But the most convenient feature of the hotel was the free private water taxi service which operated from about 8am-1am and went from the hotel dock right to Saint Mark's Square. This allowed you to jump over to Saint Mark's Square in the morning, and escape back to the island after lunch and go back in the evening for a gelato (not that I would do this.....)

Approaching Venice in our water taxi

Beautiful sunset over Venice
The Basilica in Saint Mark's Square

A view from Saint Mark's Square to another island of Venice

Saint Mark's Square
Brown and white rabbits roam free on our property.

The winged lion- the symbol of Venice

Riding through the canals (i.e., streets) of Venice

Our hotel's private water taxi

The Church on our island was built in 1191.
Very odd to have a pool in Venice but we had a nice outdoor one since we were on a private island

Pigeons landing on Ashley's hand in Saint Mark's Square
The Church on our island

Ashley playing with one of the many rabbits running free on the island

The narrow streets of Venice

Arriving at the dock of our hotel, the San Clemente Palace

The small white rabbit that Ashley played with every day

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