Thursday, April 15, 2010

Venezia, day 2 – The Rialto

We crossed lots and lots of bridges

and finally made it to see the Rialto, which is probably the most famous of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal and was also the only one where you could cross the Grand Canal on foot until the Accademia bridge was built in 1854. (I did take a pic with a better angle later in the week. But this was our first view.)

The bridge replaced various wooden bridges on the site - one was destroyed by the Tiepolo army in 1310, and one collapsed in 1444 when the crowd gathered to watch the wedding procession of the Marquis of Ferrara. The city officials considered proposals for the Rialto bridge for sixty years (yes, sixty), including ones by Palladio and Michaelangelo, but the job was eventually given to Antonio da Ponte (very apt name). It's all marble, and shiny where tourists leaned on it and rough on the half nearest the water where they don't tend to reach. We saw an interesting-looking craft here.

But I guess this wouldn’t be complete without the touristy view of the Grand Canal.

And then we wandered through the old market, full of fruit and veg (including some tiny wild strawberries, which Madam and I were eyeing up).

And then there was the fish market. The fish market was amazing; the fishmongers had a red metal watering can and kept the produce cool and glistening by pouring water over it.

It's the only place I've ever seen baby octopi for sale.

Oh, and in a café I spotted a Venetian glass chandelier.

And Madam spotted more mask shops.

At midday, all the bells in all the churches ring – it’s utterly beautiful. There were also men wandering the streets playing accordions (I thought that was French influence, but maybe not). We discovered a lovely chocolate shop - they sold chocolate in the shape of Venetian masks and also gianduja. (I would’ve taken pics but they were scoffed before I could do so!)


Jan Jones said...

Wonderful chandelier! And probably a good thing Madam doesn't have her own cheque book...

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - LOL, so true!

Sharon said...

The only time I've been to Venice was on a day-trip from a nearby resort. I was a broke nurse - and because I was determined to go on a gondola - I could only afford to eat three ice-lollies all day! Must return...

I know this is a shameless bit of cross-blogging but I have a very interesting voting test for UK readers on mine!


Shirley Wells said...

That chandelier is gorgeous!

You scoffed the chocolates? Shame on you. ;o)

Kate Hardy said...

Sharon - definitely return. You'd LOVE it. The atmosphere is like nothing on earth.

Agree, the test is very interesting. (And so was the debate last night. I was surprised by which one came out as the most sensible.)

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - it was even nicer in the flesh!

And no, I didn't scoff the chocolates. Blame the two younger members of the research team for that one. I was most miffed. They even scoffed my gianduja "by mistake"!