From the station we took the Vaporetto, a water bus, down the grand canal. It was so beautiful. The buildings are so grand, and even though they show the signs of aging, they are still so majestic. It was a bit of a rainy day, but we were spared the rain on our trip up the canal. It was so fantastic to see the gondoliers as well as the fancy boat, water taxis.
We passed under the Accademia bridge, a large wooden bridge, originally meant to be temporary, but later reinforced with steel. We were heading to the Punta della Dogana to go to the contemporary art gallery.
First stop however, feed the children, who had been great so far on this car ride and boat trip. We were fortunate to find a little sandwich bar that we were able to duck into while the skies opened up. Even local painting students took refuge, saving their paintings from the rain. We had a quick sandwich and a glass of wine and headed off to the gallery. I was feverishly snapping pictures of buildings, bridges and canals along the way, too beautiful to only commit to memory.
We decided we would then walk to Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square). We wound down narrow streets, over small canals and past the Guggenheim. I was like a journeying back into time. The railings and grates on windows and doors were ornate and beautiful. I was completely take with the little canals. Mieran was a bit upset there were sidewalks. We made our way across the Accademia Bridge and onward to San Marco, stopping along the way for some cioccolato caldo and cappuccinos.
The piazza was full of people and luckily the sun was out, we enjoyed the views around us. It was so wonderful to see this famous Piazza that I had seen so many time in pictures. We walked toward the canal looking back towards the Punta Della Dogana.
From the Piazza we took another Vaporetto back down the canal towards Palazzo Grassi, to another fantastic contemporary art gallery. Molly was excited to see Jeff Koons Balloon Dog, I thought it was pretty fantastic also. I enjoyed both galleries, but I preferred the exhibit at Palazzo Grassi.
We wandered back through the streets and stopped for an aperitivo, and grabbed a snack for the children, before making our way back to the main station and then back to our cars. It was a busy and wonderful day. I took nearly 300 pictures!! I just can't express how excited I was to be there in Venice, a city I had so longed to see. It met all of my expectations and I vowed to return for a longer visit another time.