Got back to Venice. Warmer, dryer but very misty. Hotel very welcoming but only a handful of guests in evidence during my four day stay. Bought a four day Vaporetti pass and soon learned my way around the canals. Very easy to get hopelessly lost in the labyrinthine maze of passages and alleyways as I did a couple of times
First stop St Mark’s Square to collect my Museum pass. Experience proved that access to anywhere required booking an allocated time slot to avoid frustration and denied entry. Social distancing strictly enforced with compulsory masks and hand sanitizer everywhere. Took the elevator to the top of the Campanile and looked down on a virtually deserted St Mark’s Square. Had to feel sorry for all the cafes, restaurants and shops but a real treat to see it all without tourists and a forest of selfie sticks!!!
Cathedral basilica closed for restoration but Museum open with good views down into it from the gallery.
Quite a lot of the churches and museums are only partially accessible but still plenty to see before art and Catholicism overload kicked in.
Spent quite a lot of time remembering the extraordinary Pink Floyd experience of 1989. My guide book lists it as one of the Top 10 Historic Events in Piazza San Marco along with the founding of the Doges Palace, Napoleon remodelling and the Campanile collapsing!!! Spotted a few familiar buoys that we used as mooring our monster barge.
A misty trip out some of the Islands – Murano etc. Some impressive glass blowing and colourful houses.
Reading (for the second time) The Unfinished Palazzo which chronicles the lives of the three extraordinary woman who owned and operated out of what is now the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. It covers most of the 19th century and biz are goings on that linked the three heiresses. Well worth a read. Modern art has never really appealed to me and still doesn’t but set the scene for what was some extraordinary behaviour and decadence!! Also to see where the remains of P Guggenheim and her animals (Dogs) are interred.
Discovered some great little restaurants in the alleyways near the hotel. Fantastic food and very attentive staff – just delighted to see someone, apart from a few locals.
Next up – train for 5 hr trip down to Naples. Trying to keep ahead of Covid and threatened lockdowns across Italy, France and Spain which will have to navigate as I head home on Tuesday. Meanwhile missing the Gang who seem to the very happy, settled and popular in their holiday camp.
Sitting in Air France lounge at Paris CDG on my way home. Will post this now and move onto Naples & Pompeii etc later.