Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We approached Venice from the south along a non-traditional route. It took us three ferry rides and a cycle trip along the barrier island offshore to get to the city. We boarded the ferry at the town of Chioggia, and up the narrow strand of island to Lido di Venezia. From there we boarded the auto ferry that took us to the central dock of the island of Venice. Our destination was a campground in Fusina on the mainland. When we learned that no ferry goes from Vencie to there with bikes, we decided to cycle it instead.

There is a bridge that connects Venice to the mainland, and it is the main artery bringing people to the island. We found a transit employee that spoke good English. He said the speed limit is 90 kilometers per hour on the bridge, and he would not feel safe doing it, but that he has seen bikes on it. Once we heard that, we were off. We had biked in Rome after all. As it turns out there was a bike lane the entire length of the bridge, separating us from four lanes of traffic on one side, and electric train tracks on the other. We ditched trying to get to Fusina, and went to a campground at the end of the bridge in the town of Mestra instead. From there we took the bus into the city for the three days we visited Venice.

Venice is a city that is kept afloat for tourists. Even though everything we experience was cliche -- the canals, the shops, the restrauants -- we found it to be an enchanting city. The only way to get around the city is by foot or boat. Passenger ferries take you to almost anywhere you want to go. Walking amongst the maze of narrow streets is a calm experience, without the stress of a normal city looking for cars or scooters at each intersection. We visited all the typical sights -- St Marks Cathedral, The Doge Palace, and many churches. We took one ferry ride all around the island just for fun.

Near the Rialto Bridge is a daily vegetable and fish market. All deliveries to the vendors come by boat.

The fruit and vegetables, beautifully arranged, were some of the freshest we have seen so far in Italy. We made it a daily stop for our lunch provisions. We stopped there first thing in the morning, and the place was bustling with shoppers. We went by later in the afternoon, and like magic all the produce was packed up and the place was empty. Just a few pigeons picking at stray fruit left behind.
We ate dinner one evening at a piazza looking towards Venice's own version of the leaning tower. We enjoyed a regional meal of calamari and squid in the golden light of the setting sun. Cliche, yes, but a very nice experience indeed.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Doris & John,
Beautiful pictures. Keep them coming, I really enjoy traveling thru Italy with you guys! LOL Hey Doris, here's a tip DON'T EAT THE MOLD LOL I hope your feeling better. Miss you both. Lynn

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