When we decided to make the Padua trip, we decided to do a quick trip to Venice too, the St. Lucia island, as Mr M has never been to that place. In fact, this was his first trip to Italy. When we landed in Padua and saw how easy it was to get tickets we decided to do it on Wednesday. Our trip was from Monday to Friday. On Wednesday after the breakfast, we hopped on the tram to the station. Note: the tram tickets aren’t issued in every station. There is ticket vending machine only at a few of the stations. It will be wise to get them beforehand and validate them during the travel. We booked the train tickets for the train that was leaving in next 10 minutes and boarded the double-decker train much to my glee. It was very comfortable and very spacious. We did not encounter any ticket checking officer at all. We wonder how they manage to ensure that every one validates their tickets.
The weather was good and the sky was bright, the sun was shining. Couldn’t have been a better day in Venice. We wanted to get a map from the tourist information centre at the station, but it cost us 3€. So we decided to use our Google maps. The good part is that we don’t pay extra money for the mobile. Our UK plans works as is in Europe, at least for now. In Venice, there are no freebies. Everything costs. Mr M wasn’t sure of the water bus so we decided to walk our way to San Marco. Estimated time was 45 min and that was ok with us. We didn’t have anything else to do or anywhere else to be 😉 We walked slowly and steadily through the small cobbled streets checking the shops, enjoying the views, relaxing once in a while, ensuring we keep on the “per Rialto” route which would take us to the Rialto bridge and from there to San Marco. During my 2013 trip, I did the walk another way round starting from San Marco and ending at Rialto bridge.
We popped in to the churches on the way, checked the Nativity scenes displayed, listened to a guy give us his sad story of losing his way only to end up having to ask the tourists money, took photos on the way, had our lunch in s very small restaurant, stopped for a few minutes at the Rialto bridge,lost our way towards San Marco, used Google maps to reroute us to the right street, bought a very cool jumper for Mr M, etc and ended up suddenly and successfully at San Marco. It was as usual crowded. Not too much but enough for a weekday and for a nontourist season.
We didn’t go into the basilica of the San Marco because we had to deposit our bags and all, so we didn’t bother. But we paid 8€ for the tower entry opposite the basilica and went up those 9 floors. Thankfully we had a lift, there are no stairs even if we wanted. The views from there were awesome. You can see how big St. Lucia really is and the fun fact is that it is made up of small islands linked by bridges. We could see all the other islands in and around St. Lucia too. That was a wise investment. I didn’t do that the last time I was there. After that, we walked around watching the gondoliers driving and people enjoying their gondola ride.
After a while, it was time for us to get back to the station to catch our train. We started our walk back but this time we ensured that we stayed on the marked path and visited a couple more churches on the way, enjoy the market, got a Moreno glass souvenir from a Venetian who was only very happy to talk to us about how Venice was formed and how the houses and the basilica were built. It was a very informative discussion. He was very glad to hear that Mr M was from Ireland. He wanted us to have a pint on his behalf when we next visit Ireland. By the time we reached the church of Nazareth next to the station where we popped in to see the Nativity set I was already dark but not too late. This church also has its own apothecary and a gift shop. We got something called Melissa’s water which helps in sleep. Got back to the station and bought the tickets and got into the train on our way back from Venice.
When I visited Venice earlier in 2013 I had wished that it would have been nice to see this place with someone I love and that came true this time. What can I say? I am very lucky that I got the opportunity. Thank you, Mr M. It was a very memorable trip. ❤