Joern really surpised me last week Wednesday by telling me that he booked a hotel in Venice for 2 nights. Since I am still on break, it worked very nicely. I went to work with Joern on Friday morning. Joern planned his route for the day so that his route brought us to the Swiss border, in the direction of Venice. We were able to start our trip around 2 pm. We drove through Switzerland, through the Alps, and through the St. Gotthard tunel. Our drive got a little worrysome as the lightning started really strong as we neared Venice, and there was a huge accident which really slowed traffic.Since our hotel was on Venice Lido, one of the Venetian islands, we had to take a ferry over to the island, and we were a bit concerned about time (we got to the ferry dock at 10 pm,) and the weather. But, we were lucky, and got on the ferry at 10:15, and made it to Lido by 11:00 pm.
Our hotel, Hotel Ville della Palme was really everything I could have expected from a hotel in Venice. As this was our first time staying directly in Venice,it was a pleasure to stay in a converted mansion. The rooms had high ceilings and huge windows, and the walls were covered in a beautiful jaquard fabric.
The hotel also had a wonderful rooftop terrace that affored amazing views of Venice and the Alps beyond on one side, and the Meditteranean on the other.
On Saturday after breakfast at the hotel, we headed out to the beach. The great thing about Lido is that it is the beach of Venice. Our hotel was about 7 minutes from the beach on foot.Plus, walking from the hotel to the beach took us on some quiet, lovely streets and through the center.
Although it is part of Venice, it hasn't been taken over by tourists the way Venice has, so we were able to appreciate the quiet Venetian charm. We really enjoyed relaxing at the beach and swimming in the marvelously warm Mediterranean.
In the afternoon, after getting showered and changed, we hopped on the Vaporetto and headed over to the main island of Venice. It is truly amazing to me that no matter how many times I see Venice, my heart skips a beat. I find it so incredibly romantic there.
We meandered through St. Mark's square, and made our way over to the Museo Correr,which served as a home to Napoleon.
From the museum, we met our tour guide for our tour of the clock tower. We really enjoyed the tour clock tower in St. Mark's square. Our tour guide was very informative, and with only one other person on the tour, it was very personal. We learned all about the clock and the tower, that was completed in 1499. Much of the clock remains today as it did in 1499, which is simply amazing. We wound our way up beautiful iron spiral staricases to see the mechanisms of the clock, and to find breath-taking views of the city. Most amazing of course was the top of the clock tower, where the two Moors (named so because of the dark copper used,) ring the bell over the city.
It was beautiful! After the tour, we wound our way down the main shopping passage to the Rialto Bridge, one of the oldest bridges in Venice.
We returned to Lido for an amazing dinner of Carpaccio di Bresola, pasta with arugula and tomatoes, and pizza with ham and mushrooms.