On my first day in Venice, my mom woke me up so I could get a glimpse of St. Marks Square from our balcony in the cruise ship. After eating breakfast, we got off the ship and walked towards the water bus stop by Piazzale Roma. We got on to the water bus and listened to Rick Steve’s commentary as we traveled 45 minutes down the Grand Canal to St. Marks. The commentary gave us brief info about each of the buildings along the canal. It’s amazing how many boats and gondolas manage to share the water in Venice! They drive just as the Europeans do on land, crazy! We made it to St. Marks Square and got in line to see the cathedral. I had to check my bag, but since so much of the church is roped off, or you have to pay extra to see it (like the nave), we were in and out of the main church area fairly quickly.
We decided to pay extra to see St. Marks Museum and the upper terrace. From the Terrace, you can see a great view, both of the area of the Square which beaches out with the Doges Palace towards the water of the canal and also of the rest of the square, flanked by the Museo Correr. Another cool thing about going to the Museum at St. Marks is that you get to see the mosaics up close on the 2nd level, where you get a different perspective of the space. You also get to see the four original (but heavily restored) horses which once stood at the entrance.
After seeing the Museum, I voted against climbing the Campanile tower right outside since it really was so hot, and we had just enjoyed a nice view of St. Marks Square from above. Instead, we made our way to the hotel where I would be staying in order to pick up some of my Eurail tickets which I had sent there. Then we visited the Ca D’Oro, one of the beautiful old palaces along the Grand Canal which has now been turned into a museum. The paintings were nice, but there was no AC so we moved quickly from painting to painting. After visiting the Ca D’Oro, we had lunch at a restaurant with wifi. I really enjoyed my seafood pasta and my mom savored her pesto pasta. From reading a Fodor’s Guide about Venice, I decided that we should visit the Ca Rezzonico, which was quite a walk, although at least it was on the way to the cruise ship.
The Ca Rezzonico was much more of a palace than the Ca d’Oro. The first 2 floors were entirely decorated as they were when the palace was in use. Fortunately, in each room the museum provides a sheet with information about the history of the place in English. The top floor of the palace is dedicated to showcasing the work of Italian artists throughout the centuries. After seeing so many museums, the first 2 floors were much more interesting for me. We walked back to the cruise ship in order to clean up and get ready for our dinner reservation at one of the specialty restaurants. For dinner, I started by ordering two appetizers, then I had lobster, which they prepared right at our table. For dessert, I had strawberry Crepes that were also made table side; a perfect meal to make up for all the walking I did during my first day in Venice and a nice way to end our last night on the cruise ship.