|St Mark's Square|
|Ready For The Lunch Trade|
|Bridge of Sighs|
|View From Gondola Level|
|A Different Perspective|
|Back On The Trail|
The next part of the walk took us through more residential parts of the city as we headed away from the main tourist areas. This enabled us to see more of everyday life such as the refuse collection and deliveries to the retailers. The lack of roads means that most things are carried using hand carts. The refuse collectors are clearly quite adept at handling tourists as a quick shout was all we got as they bulldozed their way through the streets. Thank goodness we were alert to the shout - we would have been mown down otherwise! All the while we were twisting and turning through the streets until we happened upon a lovely quiet square where we stopped for refreshments and a chance to catch our breath. The section from Rialto crossed several of the canals that looked as if they weren't part of the tourist gondola network as they had working boats on them too.
Our destination now was the Accademia Bridge, the southernmost of the crossings of the Grand Canal. On the way we passed by the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, a magnificent church that I had never heard of before. It boasts the second tallest of the campanile in the city (after San Marco) and it certainly induced a bit of a crick in the neck looking up at it. Outside was a young woman busking in a most unusual way - she was playing Beethoven on jars full of different amounts of liquid to produce a very interesting sound. She seemed to be doing quite well for a busker too - her unique approach obviously aroused a lot of interest.
I really liked this end of Venice; less obviously touristy and a lot less busy as a result. Yet many of the shops were selling the same kind of stuff as elsewhere. The square at Campo Santa Margherita was particularly attractive and I could easily have lingered here for quite a while with a cold drink or a gelato if I hadn't already had both! Fewer tourists meant that there was a better ambience about the square.We crossed yet another canal and were in front of a much later church dedicated to the Apostle San Barnaba. This dated from 1776 after the previous incarnation burned down. I imagine that fires could take hold extremely quickly in this city given the proximity of the buildings. It isn't used as a church now - it houses exhibitions instead.
|Watching And Waiting|
|Punta Della Dugano View|
We were soon back at the Accademia Bridge and once we were across to be honest we headed back through the narrow streets to St Mark's Square in the quickest time possible, not really paying too much attention to the sights along the way. The miles under our feet and the crowds had got to us a little and we were anxious to get back to the hotel for a bit of rest and relaxation. By now we had seen all the gondolas, masks, jewellery, fountain pens and glassware that we wanted to and although those things were in abundance on the way back they had lost some of their novelty value by this point. That is not to say that this was an unattractive section - quite the contrary. It was just as remarkable as the rest of the city and deserved far more attention than we gave it. Eventually we got back to St Mark's Square and by this point it was far busier than when we left it several hours earlier.
|Back to St Mark's Square|
Venice is an amazing city and this walk will certainly provide a pretty comprehensive tour of the main part of the city. It probably deserves far more time though and I shall certainly be back one day to take another look.