Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bridge and Mom: Destination Venice Italy

The last weekend of my mother and sister's sixteen day stay, we went to Venice, Italy. This meant that we needed to catch a 7:31 train in Zug and spend close to seven hours on a train, changing trains once in Milan. This makes for an extremely long day.

This may be the first time in Venice that I didn't get turned around. Once off the train, we proceeded down to the boat taxi area and paid for our tickets to the Lido Island where we were staying. After a thirty minute boat ride, we arrived at the Villa Laguna Hotel. To our surprise, it was off to the right in visible view.

When we opened the door, we were warmly welcomed by the matre de, where he explained different things to do in the Lido and provided us with a map. He then brought us to our room to show us where everything was and how to work the electronics in the room.

We were first pleasantly surprised at the actual size of the suite to European standards. It had a kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom and a living room. We had excellent views of the laguna and could actually watch while the boats came rushing in. It gave you the impression of what it would be like to be on a boat out on the Adriatic Sea. It even had a slight vibration from the boats docking and you could hear the splash of the waves.

We decided to play it more low key the first night since we had a seven hour train ride, so we decided to explore St. Elizabette Street where there were shops, boutiques, gelato stands, and open air restaurants. We stopped for gelato at an open air cafe and watched all of the people rushing to whatever they had planned for that day.

The next morning, we awoke about seven in the morning, got ready and headed out the door to the Island of Murano where we would be escorted by a private Italian speed boat. It resembled what a limousine would look like on the water. We each took turns sticking our heads out of the roof of the boat and feeling the cool breeze and sea air envelope us.

Once to Murano, we were greeted by two Italian men in suits who the led us through the door and asked to sit down and listen to a short presentation of how Murano glass was made. We learned that it takes a man twenty years to be considered a master of this trade. It was amazing seeing these men turn hot glass into something so artistically beautiful.

First they shaped the hot glass into a ball. They then rubbed the hot glass in colored glass to give it some color. Then it went back into the fire. Once out, they would bend and mold it into the shape they want and then add any other specifications. Watching a true master make a horse out of a hot ball of crystal in mere seconds was astounding.

We then toured each of the exhibition halls ranging from high end expensive to reasonably affordable. The Murano glass creations were chandeliers, wine glasses, vases, modern art, jewlery, and sculpture. We each bought an original Murano piece and made our way by private speedboat to the Island of San Marco.

San Marco is a lively and touristy destination that houses some of the most amazing religious architecture. From The Saint Mark's Basillica to the historic bell tower, this island was very aesthetically pleasing. We spent the better part of that day moesying from one store front to the next. The one thing I found intriguing, was the islands fixation on Murano glass. You will find Murano pendants, necklaces, sculptures and art. The only problem is, that you will be receiving a machine created replica of the original. I opted to buy one of each.

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