I may sometime write a more detailed log of our trip to Venice, but here's the condensed version.  [Business cards for all of the restaurants mentioned below are here.]

Ariana flew in from Glendale, Jessica from Albany, and we all left from Logan on May 9, connecting the next morning in Rome, arriving in Venice around 11am.  We took a water taxi to (near) the hotel.  We wandered over to San Marco and later had dinner at ristorante Al Colombo.  We had already determined that the hotel was very musty, aggravating Ariana's asthma, and we happened to run into an American woman in Campo San Luca who recommended her hotel.

Monday morning we arranged to move over to the Hotel Serenissima, then met our guide, Alessandro, for his "back streets" tour, as mentioned in the wonderful Rick Steves' guidebook.  We had a very nice time on the tour, then after lunch we walked down to the west end of Venice to pick up the vaporetto up the length of the Grand Canal.  On the way we stopped in at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari to check out the art there.  We also found a street painter of some talent and bought a painting from him.

After the Grand Canal tour we picked up Alessandro's evening pub tour.  He took us and a group of about a dozen to four bars where we had the house wine and cicchetti (appetizers).  All enjoyed it tremendously.

Tuesday we checked out the Correr Museum and then headed up to the top of the Campanile for some wonderful views of the area. That evening we had dinner at vini da Pinto over by the fish market.

Wednesday we started with a tour of the clock tower in San Marco, which was fabulous (highly recommended!), then we went off to Torcello via Burano.  Torcello is the site of the original settlement and has a cathedral with 11th and 12th century Byzantine mosaics.  The views from the campanile were great, and the mosaics very impressive.  Back in Venice we walked by and looked into St. Peter and Paul cathedral, then had dinner at a pizzeria called Bora Bora and recommended by our hotel.  Despite its name the food was very good and quite authentic Venetian. And having two attractive young women along always guaranteed us good service.

Thursday was for Murano, where they have all the fabulous glass works.  In the morning, though, we spent some time in the markets checking out the glorious fruits, vegetables, and fish. Had some great strawberries.  We got to Murano a little late, checked out the glass museum, and then just managed to squeak into a short demo at one of the factories.  The glass master was really nice and let Jessica and Ariana try their hands at molding glass (videos below).  Jessica got two tries, even.  Back in Venice again we had dinner at Al Burchiello next to Santa Maria Formosa.  Again a very good meal and a very attentive waiter.

Friday was our last full day, and we went over to San Marco to see the Doge's Palace in the morning.  The palace took longer than we had expected so we headed back for lunch after that (Bora Bora again).  A little souvenir shopping in the afternoon meant that we missed going into St. Mark's Basilica.  Guess we need something for next time.

We met Tom and Michelle, our bike partners to be, on the Rialto Bridge and then headed over to Antica Adelaide for dinner (recommended by Alessandro).  That was the best meal we had in Venice.  Everything was innovative and fresh, using local ingredients.

Saturday morning we went by the markets again for one last look, then Kathy and I left Ariana and Jessica at the vaporetto stop and headed off to Mestre to hook up with our guide for the bike trip...

It was a great time in Venice!

Venice Lion
Jessica & Ariana in the water taxi
Water taxis arriving in Venice
Our first view of Rialto Bridge
Piazza San Marco
Jessica is awed by San Marco
Basilica San Marco & Doge's Palace
San Marco detail
San Marco detail
San Marco detail
San Marco detail
Doge's Palace
Rialto Bridge the first evening
Waiting for Alessandro
Waiting for Alessandro
View from Rialto Bridge
Il Gobbo
Fruit market
Artichoke cutter in market
Detail of the fish market
Alessandro by the Grand Canal
A romatic Venetian canal
The ancients do not approve of telefonini
Another romantic Venetian canal
Row of gondolas
Gondolas (video)
Our first hotel right next door
Glass Harmonica Player (video)
Our hotel
Mr. Sleepy at Serenissima (video)
Ariana takes a shot
Buying a painting
Gelato and pictures
Calle near Frari
Frari cathedral
Kathy & Ariana near Piazzale Roma
EU, Italy, Venice
Grand canal palace
Gondola on the Grand Canal
San Tomá traghetto landing
Bridge & canal
Another canal view
View under Accademia bridge
Painted palace on the Grand Canal
Palaces on the Grand Canal
The Dogano (customs)
Ben at Do Mori on the pub crawl
Kathy on the pub crawl
24 hour clock near Rialto
Alessandro's pub crawl ends
Jess & Ariana on Rialto
Ben & Kathy on Rialto
Cat marionettes
Which way to San Marco, please?
San Marco in the evening
The Moors on the clock tower
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco
From the Campanile
From the Campanile
From the Campanile
From the Campanile
From the Campanile
From the Campanile
Gondolier with telefonino
Grand Canal from Rialto at night
Jessica & Ariana
Moors with Campanile
Venice clock tower (video)
Roof garden
Horses on Basilica San Marco
The golden lions
Basilica San Marco
San Michele
Burano house
Torcello campanile stairway
Torcello campanile turnbuckle
Burano from Torcello campanile
Fishing boats
Ariana descends
Ben & Kathy descend
Ariana & kitty
Cathedral, campanile, church on Torcello
Ruins in the lagoon
Kathy and the lagoon
Kathy & Ben
Ariana buys strawberries
Fruit market w/ zucchini flowers
Fish market
Jessica with pigeons
Jessica with pigeons (video)
Bridge of Sighs
Murano glass
Murano glass
Murano glass
Ariana & Jessica on Murano
Murano house & boat
Murano glassmaker
Murano glassworker (video)
Jessica tries her hand
Ariana glassworking (video)
Jessica glassworking (video)
Mask maker
Jessica & Casanova
Happy dinner group
Over-the-top mask
St. Mark and his lion
Out from the Bridge of Sighs
Italian shoe
Convertible boat, top up.
5 kilograms!
Appetizers at Antica Adelaide
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
The market, last morning
Last lunch
On the vaporetto, heading for Mestre
Ariana waves goodbye

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