After Athens, we had a sea day to relax. We enjoyed the break and the chance to rest. The next day, we reached Venice, our final destination for the cruise. Most cruise ships currently get to the port, located on the west part of the island, by sailing in (from east to west) via the waterway between La Giudecca, an island to the south of Venice, and Venice. This route provides good views of several major landmarks, including St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace. However, the wake and the waves made by the ships are causing damage to the foundations and pilings of the buildings along the waterfront. So, there is a movement to ban large cruise ships from using the current route. While I don’t want to contribute to the decline of Venice, I’m glad we got to sail in using the current route as the views were great.
St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace
The south end of the Grand Canal.
Santa Maria della Salute, a church built in the 17th century in thanks for the deliverance of the city from the Plague in 1630.
Upon arrival at the port, we had to wait until the ship (and all of the cruisers) got clearance from the local authorities to debark. Once we were cleared, we walked to the tram, appropriately titled the People Mover.
From the tram stop, it was a short walk to Piazzale Roma, the closest vaporetto (waterbus) stop to the port. There are several vaporetto routes, taking people around the island, up and down the Grand Canal, or out to the other islands in the lagoon. Several ticket options are available depending on how often you plan on using the vaporetto for transportation (one ride, 12 hour, 24 hour, etc.) Since we were staying in Venice for a couple of days after the cruise ended, I bought the 72 hour tickets for us to use.
From P. Roma, we boarded Line 1 to head towards St. Mark’s Square via the Grand Canal. (If you look at a map of Venice, the Grand Canal is the main waterway that flows through the middle of Venice.) Line 1 picks up/drops off passengers at most of the vaporetto stops. So, it’s good for taking pictures and for getting oriented to the area. We also listened to the Rick Steves’ Grand Canal audio guide during the ride for a little historical perspective.
Views of the buildings along the Grand Canal from the vaporetto.
The Hotel Principe
San Geremia, a church that is home to the relics of Saint Lucy.
San Marcuola, a church built 1728-1736. The façade was never completed.
One of the many gondoliers in Venice.
We got off the vaporetto at the San Toma stop and walked to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The Scuola was set up as a charitable institution for the sick. The building was completed in 1549; and, in 1564, Tintoretto was commissioned to paint the walls and ceilings. They did not allow pictures inside. But, below is a picture I got off the internet of “The Crucifixion,” one of Tintoretto’s most notable works in the Scuola.
After we finished there, we walked next door to the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (the Frari). The Frari houses masterpieces by Titian, Giovanni Bellini, and Donatello and monuments to several famous Venetians. I thought I took some pictures inside; but I can’t find them now. So, I may not have been allowed to take pictures. (Otherwise, I would probably have some.)
From the Frari, we stopped to get some gelato (yummy!) and then walked to Campo San Barnaba. The San Barnaba church was used in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” So, Jerry wanted to take a picture with it. (Yes, we’re nerds.)
It had been raining off and on. But, we headed over to St. Mark’s Square so we could find the hotel we were checking into the next day. We figured it was better to find the location while we weren’t carrying our luggage.
Along one of the side canals.
Since the weather was bad, I put the camera away. We continued on to St. Mark’s, looked around for a little bit, and then went back to the ship for dinner, bed, and packing since we were getting kicked off the ship the next morning.