We are back in Venice for part two of my mother and my trip for her 60th birthday celebrations. If you have read part one you will know that the weather turned horrible for us the first official day we were there and it was there to stay. We had no other choice but to make the most of it and continue with our plans for sightseeing and shopping, come rain or shine.
After breakfast that first morning, I had to take a few minutes to vent on my twitter and get over that my vision of sunny Venice was never going to happen. So my mother did what every parent does, she let me have my five minutes of tantrums then told me to “Poncho Up!” both literally and figuratively.
We headed first to the Rialto bridge to check out the little shops and cafes that surround it. It’s famous for being the first bridge built over the grand canal. I am sure on a hot summer’s day the views are stunning. We pushed our way through hundreds of umbrellas to lean out and take a photo of the grand canal anyways. Above, you can even see the rain coming down it was raining that hard.
In Venice when it rains it pours and the vendors are prepared for it. They sell ponchos and plastic shoe bags for your feet too! The canal rises very quickly with the rain and it’s not long before you are trucking through the streets soaked to your knees. If you are sightseeing I would highly recommend a poncho, or waterproof windbreaker and wellies. It is NOT fun trying to attempt holding and walking with an umbrella through tiny, tiny streets with hundreds of others holding and walking with umbrellas. We got whacked a few times with them and it’s like moving through a sea of umbrellas everywhere. The positive side is there is so many umbrellas around you, it’s like a covering for you.
Once you get wet you don’t really care anymore so we trucked through the city and walked in and out of high designer shops with our crazy colored ponchos on and dripping wet. The locals are used to it and have umbrella stands and covers at every entrance. I was a bit nervous to be shopping in Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton in a five euro wet poncho but they were never going to see us again, so we did! The shopping was amazing and I was blown away how many shops there were down every single side street.
We explored the city and took breaks in coverings when the rain and wind picked up. It was almost nice to give in to mother nature. I was puzzled how the entire city doesn’t flood completely since it’s below sea level and when the water rises you can see in the photo below, it literally is right at the edge of the sidewalk.
Here it is almost just pouring over near my feet! I would be so petrified to bring my children here and them be so very close to the water. There is never any gates or side rails to prevent jumping in. Although for adults it makes it lovely to walk along the grand canal watching the boats and gondolas go by. I could have people watched from this point, all day.
The coffee was amazing. I loved how the entire canal is full mini cafes and places to eat right on the water. Literally on the other side of these lights and flowers is the edge of the water. We sat underneath warm heaters from above and sipped hot frothy coffee that was just delicious. I think I could live off the coffee there, so rich and creamy!
After stuffing our faces with (amazing) pizza like you do in Italy for lunch, we headed on the other side of Venice to Doge’s Palace. There is a tower, and a few museums connected to the Palace and the prison. We used our rainy day up seeing art and viewing the old prison cells underneath the Palace and the offices of past rich and politic reigns. The building had amazing architecture and detail that a photo doesn’t do it justice. There was gold everywhere and paintings on every wall and ceiling. I love learning about history and going to museums. My mother and I are both the same in this sense so we took our time through each one. I wish we could have taken more photos in each one but sometimes it’s just best to take it all in and appreciate it all for what it is. Here I am in the square of the Palace where most people are hiding in the corner with umbrellas as the wind and rain pick up. I didn’t care by then we were seeing some amazing views below from the tower and walking through halls of history.
We listened away to the history of the people of Venice and how things were built and the way of the Venetian life. It always makes me grateful for the era and life that I lead. As a society we don’t suffer like they used to do (obviously still in some places) but technology really has changed everything. It amazes me how the buildings are made and why we don’t build things like this anymore. For the most part there are a lot of run down old buildings in Venice but the churches and palace are truly something to not take your eyes off of.
I could lay on the floors of the museum and just stare at all the ceilings, each one telling various stories. I wonder how the ceilings can even hold such artwork. This is one of the many things I love about traveling around the world, seeing other cultures, the different ways we all lived and went about life. Each one of our worlds has similarities and differences in our histories. It’s amazing that I love it so much now as an adult but hated history class in high school maybe that always comes with maturity.
We made the most of our trip with the tourist attractions and trying to stay indoors from the rain. Our ponchos for five euros did us proud in the end.
We were watching the weather closely and waiting for our gondola experience to the very last minute. It turns out the rain just wasn’t going to stop. So we preparing ourselves for a very wet but amazing gondola experience so much so I am saving it for my last Venice post because it truly does deserve it’s own post.
Before we got the courage to get soaked in a gondola, in the canals of Venice, we opted to have a hot ice coffee to warm us from the inside out and maybe a little liquid courage too. It’s one of my favorite moments with my mom sitting there looking out onto the canal and sipping our very alcoholic coffees. We chatted about all the places we wanted to see, and life in general. I love talks like this with my mother. I wish I could have them more often with her. It’s just not the same talking to a computer screen on FaceTime.
We had our liquid courage and braved the rough waters of the canal of Venice and survived to tell our tale. We packed our bags to leave rainy Venice, said goodbye to our amazing hotel room, and made our ways through the narrow streets one last time for our watertaxi ride back to the airport. When going to Venice one cannot leave without some “gelato”. We scooped these ones up right in front of our watertaxi stop and it may have been cold and raining but ice cream is the way to my heart and it was a must.
So we spent our last hour in Venice hiding under an umbrella on the docks eating ice cream. Laughing about “Ponchoing it up” and our adventures. That’s a holiday to remember, thank you Momma!
Did you miss “Traveling to Venice: Part One?”