Venice is a really confusing city to navigate on foot, as it wasn’t built to make sense to those on foot but rather to those plying its canals. Getting lost in Venice is one of the fun things to do, as you can stumble across Venice’s most intriguing corners and decaying Gothic palaces decorated with pointy Byzantine windows. BUT it was certainly no fun getting lost while dragging a heavy suitcase each, as we did trying to locate our hotel – which we found after searching for 30 minutes or so!
After freshening up, we headed to the vaporetto (water bus) dock and took a vaporetto to Burano, world famous as a center of lace making, a craft that reached its pinnacle in the 18th century. It is a charming fishing village with cartoonlike, brightly colored houses in pink, lavender, cobalt blue, barn red, butterscotch, and grass green.
Burano is world famous for its lace industry
Then, we took the vaporetto a short trip away to Torcello. Of all the islands of the lagoon, Torcello, offers the most charm. So-called the Mother of Venice, Torcello was the first of the lagoon islands to be called home by a mainland population fleeing the Barbarian hordes that overran the Italian peninsula during the Dark Ages. It was like stepping back in time as we strolled along the canal and traversed an ancient stone bridge (nicknamed "The Devil's Bridge") to Venice's oldest monument, the Cattedrale di Torcello (Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta), whose foundation dates from the 7th century. Unfortunately it was already closed when we arrived so we didn’t manage to visit the interior of the church. Most of Torcello today is a nature reserve, and roughly 20 people still live on the island.
Things we see on our walk from the vaporetto dock to the Cattedrale di Torcello
Cattedrale di Torcello
The Torcello vaporetto dockOn the vaporetto back to Venice, a massive thunderstorm caught up with us (a refreshing change considering the extremely hot weather during the entire time we were in Italy). We went for dinner and by the time we finished, the rain had stopped so we went for a night stroll around Piazza San Marco.