Venice greeted us with rain accompanied by a chilling wind. This was a bad omen. A last minute booking at a B&B turned out to be our first italian disappointment in all the years we’ve been visiting. After Verona, where we had been received so graciously, our venetian hosts did not live up to expectations. The breakfast part of the B&B turned out to be a cafe 500m away where the cafe staff treated us with disdain and were extremely unhelpful. And it rained, and rained…The chilly wind drove everyone, including us, from piazza San Marco.
But, we walked — across the Rialto bridge to piazza San Marco and il Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s palace, where we joined the queue of tourists seeking shelter from the cold and rain. An impressive, enormous building, it was the seat of the government of Venice for centuries. As well as being the home of the Doge (the elected ruler of Venice) it was the venue for its law courts, its civil administration and bureaucracy and — until its relocation across the Bridge of Sighs — the city jail.
A ride on a vaporetto with the chilling wind in our faces was our experience of the Grand Canal. Dinner that night, although tasty, was served by sour-faced waiters, which spoiled the experience. Then it was a fast walk back to our room and bed, with the hope that the next day would be better.
Buona notte, Isabella