Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I still love Italy

Some more photos this time of around Lake Garda and quite a few of Verona, another amazing Italian city. The first of the Verona photos is of Juliet's balcony, mmmm!!!! Absolutely hoards of tourists in the courtyard beneath the balcony many leaving 'love tokens' stuck to the walls and love letters in a souvenir shop dedicated to the star crossed lovers. All very tacky and really rather sad. But the rest of Verona was fabulous so much to see but only one day, so would love to go back. Lake Garda was fascinating, lots of villages dotted round the shore all accessible by boat, all full of character, and each quite different. Quite touristy but generally not over the top. And we had fabulous weather which always helps!

Next stop the Alps.

Monday, 3 October 2011

I love Italy

Just a selection of some of the photos I took in Venice. I was surprised by my reaction, I thought I would be amazed by St. Mark's square but I found it soulless, atleast when compared to Sienna. Many of the buildings were under wraps for restoration but it wasn't even that. It didn't help that we couldn't get into Saint Marks because of the queue winding for miles round the Doge's Palace. But it just lacked something. However the Grand Canal and all the minor canals were mind blowing. What a feat of human ingenuity? It resembled a busy motorway with boats zipping around in every direction and at speed. Oh but it must be a hard place to live, everything bought in by boat then trollied[by hand] to home or business. No wonder the numbers of permanent residents is dwindling, and of course putting up with the thousands of tourists who arrive every day must be very wearing.

I was further amazed by the size of the Cruise ships that were docked. More like floating tower blocks. We stayed for two nights on the Lido which meant we didn't have to leave our car in a public carpark. This was an excellent choice as the Lido is much more relaxed and less claustrophobic than Venice itself, and the vaporetto across to Venice gives a panoramic view of the city.

My one regret was that I had just read Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers [see a later review] and had wanted to visit the Church of the Angel Raphael. We found it [after a long trek] just after midday and it was closed til mid afternoon. We did not have the time to return, but maybe that will be for another trip. I would like to go back and explore further. Preferably earlier or later in the year when the weather would be cooler and with maybe a few less tourists. However I am delighted to have had the chance of a brief visit.

From Venice we drove to Lake Garda to spend a week with friends from England, photos from the Lake in my next post.