We awaken and quickly dress for breakfast. We are one of two rooms occupied at Hotel Cristallo. Guess it’s the off-off season in Venice. Breakfast is included in the room charge and we are given cappuccino, OJ, rolls, apricot filled croissants, ham, salame, and yogurt.
We leave the hotel and are immediately encased in serious fog. Like 1 foot of visibility. Hotel told us to take vaporetto #1.
Then we ventured to the vaporetto stop and found out OL gets the student discount and I am old and must pay full price. We get a 3 day pass for the vaporetto. 33€ for me. Buy it if you ever come to Venice. Serious money saver.
We board and ride across to Venice San Marco/San Zaccaria stop. Enroute, we literally come within an inch of smacking into a much larger boat.
The Italian beside OL has a window seat and leaps up and runs away while madly dialing his cell. All the Italians pull out their phones to report the almost accident to their friends. Btw the boats were shrouded in fog so they really couldn’t see each other.
We arrive at the San Marco stop and are told due to fog there is limited vaporetto service so everyone must vacate. We have zero idea where the piazza de San Marco is because we cannot see a damn thing.
Walk right by the Bridge of Sighs. Finally locate piazza, but can only see first story of each building. The bell tower is hidden, the clock tower is not there. Not so good for picture taking. Though there is no line for the basilica. However, OL must check his bags so we take turns going in.
The Basilica de San Marco is a deffo stop on any traveler’s itinerary. The gold mosaic ceiling is humbling and awe inspiring. The church entry is free, but each section charges a few euros. We skipped the pay per view sections because we found the main area suitably overwhelming.
Then we headed to the Doge’s Palace. It’s 12€ but you see 30+ rooms. Even on a budget, it’s worth it. There’s enough Tintoretto to skip the San Rocco church with his work in it. By the end of the tour, I was having serious overexposure symptoms, thinking each room was in Trump’s design style.
The prisons were a ways off, though the signs kept telling us they were ahead. Coolest thing? The golden staircase.
The downstairs rooms had different pillars on display. Not sure if the Doge collected them or they were just being exhibited there.
We got to walk across the Bridge of Sighs. Then we went outside and took a picture of it. Hungry, we wandered around and stumbled into a lace shop or rather by it because we thought we were walking in but ended up on the street instead.
So we continued to a Chinese restaurant, Capitol, on Campo SS. Filippo e Giacomo. Meals were 4-6€. Rice was 1.8€. sugar fried fruit was 3€–Make sure you order it. The bathrooms were very clean, but had an automatic light so wait 5 seconds after you go through the swinging doors.
We decided to hit the shops and started on the Mercerie off of Piazza San Marco. We crossed the Rialto Bridge because shopping in San Polo is cheaper than in San Marco. I picked up some glass jewelry, a cool carnivale mask, a glass figurine, an I heart Venezia shirt, and admired the cameos.
We ended up walking and getting misplaced. Until we entered a flower shop in Dorsoduro asking an Italian woman for directions. That was a few hours into walking. We were tired, lost, and wrapped in fog. Uh-oh. We found the vaporetto stop but had a bit of a brain freeze so we walked to the next one and figured out how to get back to Lido.
We came back to the hotel. Exhausted. Rested a bit then ventured to the restaurant next door for dinner. It was nice. I had pasta with meat sauce and steak and fries for 13.8 €. OL had steak. I also had apple tart. Then we returned to the hotel, but I was body exhausted mind wired and tossed and turned all night. Damn you jet lag.