Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Italy with the Beabouts #2: Asia and the Mamushka?

James and Asia

We arrived in Venezia around mid-day, and as always there were a lot of people in the city. Just like last time, we felt like we were being herded around the city in a herd of cattle. But, we were able to find those small corners where there were no people, and no boats cruising by. The funniest part is that most of the tourists are either American or Chinese. Because we saw so many Chinese tourists (and some of us have had bad experiences with them being rude), we decided to start taking pictures with them in the background. It was a silly thing we started… but it turned out to be really fun! (I know... I know... not the nicest thing to do- I can hear my mom now in a scolding tone- Maren!)
On the water bus

a quiet corner we found

We started from the Venezia train station and traveled by water bus to get to our hotel which was near Piazza della San Marco (St Mark’s Square). On the way there we got to see a side of Venice that I haven’t seen before. We saw a bunch of churches on the canals, palaces, and people boating around. There were even stop lights at some corners for the boats. Since there are no roads in the city and the only way around is by boat, it makes sense that there are stoplights for the boats.  It was just a strange sight to see!

We walked around the city and saw the usual sights- Rialto Bridge, St Marks Cathedral, the Grand Canal, the tiny alleys, and of course, we had to find a gelato shop! On our last trip to Venice we found an amazing little gelato shop and decided to bring James and Sofia there. James was on a gelato hunt on this trip, and he wanted to eat as much as possible. As time will tell… he ate his fair share!! He even did a little dance for us because he was so excited for gelatoJ Luckily I had the Flip with me!

St Mark’s Cathedral is a wonder! The entire ceiling is made of gold mosaic, and everything inside has almost a Turkish influence. The mosaics on the floors had symbols that seemed Turkish as well. St Mark’s body is also buried there.
San Marco

The tower outside of San Marco

We stopped for the standard "before dinner" drinks and then found a restaurant for the main course. This restaurant was so cool on the inside! It felt like we were in a tiny, old wooden building with the large beams in the ceiling and the old world feel to it. They even had a large copper coffee machine that looked like it was straight from the early 1900’s. The location was perfect, and the food was great! We enjoyed a nice dinner, and then headed out again to walk around. After all of the tourists from their cruise ships left the city, it was actually really great to see the city. The streets are quiet after dark, and the city seems to take on a different life. We went back to Piazza della San Marco and a few bands were playing at the restaurants. We stopped to listen and of course… James broke out into a dance! Seconds later Josh started dancing as well… Although, I’m not sure you can call it dancing! It’s more of their version of the Mamushka from Addam’s Family. You can be the judge and watch the video below. Before we knew it, it was after midnight and everything was shutting down. The one thing we didn’t do this time around is the gondola ride, but James pinky promised with Sofia that they will come back to Italy and take a gondola ride.

the promise

The next morning we woke up early to get on the road for the next stop- Florence!


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