I think I already mentioned that Venice is made up of 6 districts (sestieri), one of which is San Marco. San Marco is possibly the smallest, yet it is the heart of Venice and central to a number of points of interests. It is named after the patron saint of the city. It is the most famous which means it’s packed with tourists.
Now to learn a little more about the Grand Canal, take a look at this Wikipedia article that mentioned some fascinating points: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canal_(Venice)
Venice is known for its silk. For instance, Rubelli textiles, which, of course, when I was practicing interior design, were represented by Donghia at the San Francisco design showrooms. In Paris, there is a shop/showroom in the 6th arrondissement. Here is just one of the websites for Rubelli textiles: http://www.rubelli.com/en/products/textiles/burano-30411.html?simple=13931#
And here is a hint at the history of Rubelli and textile production. What is also interesting to see is the photo of the Rubelli family, once upon a time, and current day, especially paying attention to their past and present dress (fabrics!): http://www.rubelli.com/en/news/rubelli.-a-story-of-silk-in-venice
Along with Venice being known for textiles, Murano glass is also a coveted purchase due to its complexity of colors and craftsmanship. If your budget won’t stretch for one of these potential purchases I quickly photographed below, maybe a gondolier hat will fit into your suitcase!
We headed out on foot. My travel partner did the navigating with the use of ‘google maps’ on his phone. I was paying attention only enough so I didn’t lose sight of him. We were weaving amongst the stylish sophisticated shop windows while I tried to gain some photographs as we made progress through the vast numbers of gobbed-on-to-the-window shoppers.
And, then there it was: the Piazza San Marco with its broad and lengthy presence and the obvious stretching-to-the-sky Campanile ‘fortress of yesteryear’. But..we didn’t have time to wander as we had a reservation to keep.
And with such a glorious weather day, I could not think of anything better than to have a front seat on the Grand Canal.
But before I move on, did you know these facts?
“Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St Mark’s Square, is the principal public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as la Piazza. All other urban spaces in the city are called campi. The Piazzetta is an extension of the Piazza towards San Marco basin in its south east corner.”
“Mark’s Square is long. Previously, the square was traversed by a canal and was used as a growing area for fruits and vegetables. In 1174 the Venetians filled in the canal and paved it over with bricks in 1267. Since this time, it has been the religious, political and social centre of Venice.”
and the Campanile:
“Located in Saint Mark’s Square near the mouth of the Grand Canal, the campanile was initially intended as a watchtower to sight approaching ships and protect the entry to the city. It also served as a landmark to guide Venetian ships safely into harbour.”
The points of interest in the San Marco district:
San Marco highlights and tourist attractions
Basilica of St. Mark – Venice’s great sight: a historic treasure-house of riches and loot.
St. Mark’s Square – probably the most recognisable and dramatic piazza in Italy.
Ducal Palace – this is where Venice’s ruler, the Doge, lived and where the city’s business was carried out.
Torre dell’Orologio – The Renaissance clocktower in St. Mark’s Square.
Campanile di San Marco – climb the famous bell-tower of St. Mark’s.
La Fenice – Venice’s famous opera house, recently rebuilt after a devastating fire.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo – attractive external spiral staircase; closed for restoration but can still be viewed.
Palazzo Fortuny – Gothic palazzo; atmospheric exhibition space.
Shopping – if you like designer shops, or are looking for expensive glassware, this is the place to come.
Acqua alta – this low-lying part of town is one of the best places to witness high water. The tide only has to be slightly higher than normal to start flooding the Piazza.
Bridge of Sighs – a small covered bridge which once led to the Venetian prison.
Museo Correr – the museum has a range of displays including some fine artworks. The local archaeological museum is attached. You can read more:
And, this became our view for a few hours as there was a dock just to the left where gondola rides were maneuvered and sold. I don’t believe one could have selected a more prime Venetian scene than this one. Our table reservation was at the Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal Restaurant. I would suggest booking in advance. We did get our front row seat to enjoy the sparkling, splashy water show along with our lunch. (Some of you may be familiar with the Aperol Spritz. My favorite is a Campari Spritz. (https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/06/campari-spritz-recipe.html )
I want to say we had something like one of these treats for dessert.
And, on the way back to the hotel, a few more architectural gems:
After having some time to process this 2nd visit, I am all for a 3rd. As in all travel, there is a bit of a mystery and excitement around each corner making it an intriguing and stimulating addition to one’s life learning and growth.
When one door closes, another door opens… (Il Palazzo Experimental doors to their rooms!):
Restaurants I was able to track down in my notes:
Il Palazzo Experimental restaurant/bar’s cicchetti are worth every small bite!
Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal Restaurant: https://www.hotelmonaco.it/en/grand-canal-restaurant-venice-centre/ The food and drink were good. The Venetian view was spectacular!
Osteria Ai 4 Feri: Facebook pad/no website: https://www.facebook.com/Osteria-Ai-4-Feri-218589824878435/ Enjoy the local flair and know seafood is their specialty. Recommended by Il Palazzo Experimental.
Line Adombra: https://www.ristorantelineadombra.com Just open up the link and see what my water view would have looked like for dinner. On the way to the Peggy Guggenheim museum. Recommended by Il Palazzo Experimental.
La Bitta: Facebook (no website) https://www.facebook.com/LaBittaVenezia/ This cozy local restaurant focuses on meats and vegetables. I want to say it didn’t take credit cards. But it may have been Osteria instead. Recommended by Il Palazzo Experimental)
I would return to all of these restaurants.