Last weekend, some friends and I spent the weekend in Venice. Earlier in the year I had been talking about how I had once spent 24 hours in Venice about 17 years ago. Unfortunately, that one day was in mid July, the temperature was well over 40 degrees, and we shamefully spent several hours sitting in a fast food restaurant as it was the only place we could find that had air-conditioning. Ever since, Venice has remained on the list of places I wanted to re-visit to explore and appreciate properly. After mentioning this over drinks one Friday evening, momentum took hold and our weekend trip was planned.
My friends had also been to Venice before, so weren't keen to visit the very busy tourist sites. So on our first day we simply wandered from our local area (we were staying in an apartment) across the city, trying to stay off the tourist routes, and exploring the less busy areas.
We stayed in Dorsoduro which is the university quarter. It was a great spot to stay in terms of local bakeries, cafes and restaurants...but we were also able to get a real sense of how Venetians go about their daily lives.
Our footsteps took us towards the Rialto bridge which also afforded us our first daytime view of the grand canal. The local market was still in full swing, with an amazing array of fresh produce for sale.
After exploring the market, we quickly crossed the Rialto bridge and once again headed away from the regular tourist haunts to avoid the large crowds.
This last photo is actually a modern, functioning hospital! By the end of the afternoon we had walked over 8 miles, so we caught a vaporetto back to Dorsoduro and enjoyed an evening of enjoying more Venetian delights (Aperol spritz and cicchetti).
It was a lovely day and a wonderful start to the weekend...