We spent our morning in Venice getting lost in it's streets with the locals, visiting the Rialto Bridge and shops, and eventually making our way to Piazza San Marco. The Campanile is the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica and a place where visitors can get a panoramic view of the city. We decided it would be our one chance to get a macro perspective on this amazingly complex city and so we waited in the long line of tourists for our turn to see the vista.
As we started to wait....it started to rain...soft at first and then fairly hard. We watched in awe as crowds of tourists clamored for umbrellas and shelters. Meanwhile local Venetian guards ran about the square erecting a series of raised platforms for people to use as temporary sidewalks. I knew that Venice was famed for it's frequent flooding - but this was truly a once in a lifetime scene to see.
We watched as the water began to bubble up and fill the many drains in the square. The Piazza is filled with drains to allow for the seasonal Acqua Alta tides to fill the streets without raising them. It was crazy cool to get to see in person, and before we knew it we were inside the tower awaiting our elevator ride to the top. For about 8 euros, you get entry into the bell tower where you are immediately taken to a look out deck. We spent about an hour up there, soaking in the views and imagining what life would be like in this clustered yet gorgeous city.
Oh those views. Even in the rain, it was beautiful to see the terracotta roof tops and the teal blue Adriatic spotted speed with boats. It was also wonderful to see the detailing on the tops of the many facades in the square.
Even though these sorts of "pay-for-the-view" type towers can often be over-hyped, the Campanile is a MUST in Venice. Nowhere else in the city can you see from this high up and with Venice's many corridors, roads, and canals, seeing a wide angle vista is well worth the wait.
Pleased with our time at the tower, we made our way back to the Grand Canal for a late lunch on the water. Each restaurant seemed to have it's own outdoor pergola, perfectly awned and nestled next to the water so that even in the rain we could dine with the scenery.
After a delicious lunch (the best PESTO PASTA EVER), we meandered back towards the water as I wanted to see a view of the Adriatic. We found so many little secluded dock-ways and stoned paths and sort of just got lost on the water for a while....
It was such a wonderful afternoon we spent in Venice, wading (literally at times) through the empty sidewalks in one area or through the crowded avenues of another. We found some great gelato at a place called Suso, which we practically swam to but it was so worth it.
As our train departed at 8 pm, we had an earlier dinner with enough time to roam about the Santa Croce area as dusk fell over the city. Truth be told, my anxiety kicked in MAJORLY during this evening, so much so we tried to book our train back to Verona earlier. However, after some encouraging texts from friends back in LA and some serious prayer on the Ponte degli Scalzi, I made it through. God granted me some serious JOY that evening in Venice, which we fully enjoyed as the clouds finally parted....
A huge shoutout goes to this Husband of mine who waits with such patience and grace when I have an anxiety attack. Venice was one of the best but hardest days of our trip. However, it became a true milestone. I asked for peace and God gave me pure happiness to love where I was in the moment. I mean come on - look at this place!
Until next time!
~ A ~
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord..."