Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cruising the Canal Grande

I followed my guidebooks advice and took a vaporetto to see what Venice's main 'street' looks like at sunset. As I cruised the length of the canal I had a chance to see all the front facades of the fancy buildings that are inaccessible by foot, to go in the front door you need to arrive by water. Venice is a little faded in colour but I can imagine the splendour of yesteryear from the architecture and remaining paint. The sun bathes the buildings in a golden glow and you start to get the romantic feeling that everyone describes.

I strolled around St Mark's Square a bit and had dinner at a fairly hole in the wall restaurant. Italian restaurants (I can generalise after having seen this in Rome) place a cover charge "for bread" AND a service charge of between 10-15% on a bill. You don't need to tip as its already included. In some ways it nice to not have to do the math at the end of evening but it does not encourage waiters to be friendly or efficient, they will receive a tip regardless of their behaviour.

I took the vaporetto for the reserve of my earlier journey now that the stairs were out. Buildings are lit from within by beautiful chandeliers and side canals by decorative streetlamps.

On the note of chandeliers, I will have to revise my opinion on Swarovski crystal versions in favour of Murano glass creations bedecked in flowers. They are truly breathtaking. I also discovered that taking photos at night (which require a stable surface for light exposure shots) on a moving boat is not the easiest task.

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