We started the day by farewelling Stevo as he made his way to the airport. Then it was off for some more exploring. We’d booked our Basilica “No Queuing” Ticket for 4 euros each online and that got us in at 9.45am. The Basilica is one of the most magnificent churches in Europe, dripping in Gold and fantastic mosaics and paintings. You can see that the church in the height of the Venetian Empire was the beneficiary of lots of its wealth.
We then had another crack at getting a temporary dingy license to cruise the canals. This time the Tourist Info Office directed us towards the City Hall and after being bounced around several offices and ending up at one that seemed to know what was going on, only to be told it was no longer a municipale responsibility but has now been transferred to the regional government, one hours bus ride away. Back at the boat, I read an email from Ellen who said a girl at another marina could organise it, but when I rang her she talked about organising it through the Tourist Information Office, but not before we were leaving. It was time to put up the white flag.
We hopped on the vaporetto up the grand canal to see all those magnificent houses and palaces using good old public transport. We hopped off at the Daniela Hotel, which we found out about the previous night when watching the making of Casino Royale, the house that sank was based on this hotel with its magnificent interior.
We then walked up to the Arsenal to see where the real power of the Venetian Lion came from – the shipyards that build the naval fleet that dominated the Mediterranean all those years ago. We then hopped on another couple of ferries to continue our exploration of the waterways and canals. The multi-day transport ticket was proving to be very useful as we hopped on and off at quite a few places.
We hopped off at Salute and admired the wonderful church and then wandered the interesting streets that are found around the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. With the sun shining, it was too good a day to stay inside.