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Barefoot in Venice in the Winter

mmmmmm ... bit chilly ...

rain 9 °C

With the Nonnas in tow we decided to head up to Venice for a night. Dan had managed to secure an apartment that would sleep six and was close to all the main activities.

As the train snaked its way across the bridge we could see the twinkling lights over the Adriatic. Disembarking we made our way along the dimly lit streets following the signs for the Museo di Storia Naturale - no, we weren't going to put the Nonna's in the exhibits - the museo was our landmark to help locate our apartment. Once we arrived we were pleasantly surprised ... the bedrooms were big (mostly) and smartly decorated and the windows looked down onto the street.

Nonna's Closet
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Our Palatial Room
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Without much ado we quickly smartened ourselves up, as much as one can when sharing a suitcase with six, and we headed out to dinner to a little ristorante by the canal (twisting and turning over bridges and down dark streets). The place was rated highly on trip advisor but the food overall was disappointing. Perhaps we have been spoilt by all the wonderful places we have eaten in.

Finding the Restaurant

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Returning to the apartment Dan and I decided we would explore Venice at night as it is not often we have two live-in babysitters. So with the young and the mature settled in their beds we started to wander the streets at night. It was an interesting experience as you would round a corner and find maybe a little piazza with a few bars ... generally however the streets were deserted and it felt quite eerie as the lights were also dim. I kept thinking "are we going to turn the next corner and find the tide sneaking in around our ankles?". The term used for this high tide is "Acqua Alta". These exceptional tides occur between autumn and spring and often cause partial flooding in Venice.

Eventually we settled in a bar by the canal (sitting outside) and enjoyed a few glasses of rough red that warmed us up and put our fear of the rising tide at ease.

Venice at Night

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Rising Tide
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A Rough Red
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Returning to our apartment was not an easy feat and we did take a few wrong turns before we found ourselves stepping over the flood gate and into the warm of our beds. Under the safe assumption that at least if the tide peaked at night we would be safe in our warm beds.

The next day we bounded out of our beds keen to start the day and consume our all inclusive breakfast from the main part of the hotel in the next block.

However when we looked out the window we no longer had street views but water views.

Water Views

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Smart Irish Guy
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Carrying Nat
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We decided we would have to brave it as it could be hours before the tide subsided. Gingerly we stepped barefoot over the flood gate into the freezing cold and murky water. We saw many Venetians smartly clad in new gumboots and thigh-high waders. Mum even commented to one guy "you can tell who the tourists are" and he responded in a strong Irish accent "Ai love that was me yesterday until I picked up this wee pair of wellies". Oh how we longed to mug a few locals or smart tourists for those wellies. We never made it to the hotel for the free breakfast as the water was too high but we did find a dry cafe for a coffee and pastry and we were ready to embrace the elements again. Back at the apartment Dan departed for his much loved game of soccer and the Nonnas and I managed to wade to the hotel to check out and enjoyed our breakfast (as brunch). The Museo di Storia Naturale fortunately was next door and we were able to spend a few hours there in the warmth as the tide subsided and the driving rain and wind howled outside.

A boat trip to Piazza St Marco was in order ... even though the temperature was nine degrees and it was raining. However at least the tide had subsided.
Boarding the ferry we huddled inside the cabin not seeing many of the beautiful buildings along the canal. Exiting from the ferry we saw the tail end of a half marathon - poor blighters looked absolutely freezing. Our tour of the Piazza was quick it was just too cold to hang around. Boarding the ferry we were happy to get onto the train and return home to Bologna. Venice had certainly been an adventure but next time thigh-high wellies are definitely in order.

Piazza St Marco

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Bit Cold for Coffee

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Mad Runners

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Flood Platforms

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Note: I have included a web to show some of the photos of Venice in flood. Lucky we didn't go at this time.

http://www.google.it/search?q=flooded+venice&hl=it&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bV2pUKWvHMX14QS124H4Cw&ved=0CCIQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=508

Posted by happellfamily12 12:20 Archived in Italy Tagged venice

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