NoeHill: Venice to Malta in 2002

Saturday 2 June: Festa Nazionale della Repubblica

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Mediterranean 2002: Venezia


Our stay in Venice was drawing to a close. Although our cruise ship would not leave until tomorrow, we were to board this afternoon. So we checked out of the hotel, left our luggage in the lobby, and walked across the Accademia Bridge. Gino's had not been open this morning but we supposed that was because it was Sunday. Not so. There was a city-wide protest of the street vendors, with angry merchants shutting up shop for the day. There was also a demonstration against the vendors at San Marco at 9:00, with a giant symbolic white sheet draped across the entire waterfront from San Marco to the Arsenal. Unfortunately, we were too late to see any of it.

June 2 is Republic Day, which celebrates the creation in 1946 of the Republic of Italy. Mussolini was gone, King Victor Emmanuel III was gone. Italy became a republic. For today's celebration, all town dignitaries gathered in Piazza San Marco, along with groups of uniformed police, firemen and the military, as well as marching bands.


Festa Nazionale della Repubblica
Piazza San Marco
Festa Nazionale della Repubblica in the Piazza San Marco. Festa Nazionale della Repubblica in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy. Festa Nazionale della Repubblica in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
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Campo San Maurizio Flea Market in Venice Campo San Maurizio Flea Market
We spent this day just wandering about, taking in the venerable old city.

A flea market in Campo San Maurizio, gondoliers galore, plaques commemorating the stays of Mozart and Goethe in various buildings, and lunch at Ristorante Anoniano Veneziano which seems to be on the Japanese tour group route.

Our visit almost over, unlikely to return, I just savored Venice as it is: old and quaint, falling apart in places, narrow streets often going nowhere, little canals, bridges, very expensive. And packed with tourists, most of whom were simply enjoying themselves and the city. I find it easy to feed off the enjoyment of others.

It may be noticed that we have not mentioned the Doge's Palace, the Campanile, or Saint Mark's Basilica. On our previous visit to Venice, in September, 1992, we visited these very popular attractions. While we enjoyed them very much, we did not feel it necessary to see them again in 2002. There was too much to see in other parts of the city; and we still didn't see all we would have wished to see. Even twelve days was not enough.


Venice Photo Album: Molti Gondolieri
Gondolieri. Gondoliero. Gondoliero.
Il Principe dei Gondolieri. Tecnica. Gondoliero.
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Purse Vendors in Venice Venditori
On the way back to the hotel, we came upon some street vendors and thought it would be nice to get a picture of the cause of so much activity the past few days. But when the three vendors saw the camera, they turned, shielded their faces, and gave us the universal digit.

After final drinks as La Rivesta, we left the Hotel American, taking a water taxi to our ship at the Stazione Marittima. The driver stopped for gas, dropped us far from the ship and ripped us off by charging 70 euros. Fortunately, we found someone to drive us and our bags to the ship. We boarded the Wind Surf and settled into our cabin. The ship's berth wasn't too far from the train station and the Cannaregio, so we decided to go there for a last Italian pizza. With blisters forming on my feet, it turned out to be a very long walk. We sat down at Trattoria da Mimmo just before closing time. When we finally returned to the ship, we relaxed with drinks on the aft deck.


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