Venice and San Michele Island – Italy Part 3 of 7

This train had extremely comfortable seats with trays and foot rests. Alhough we were seated in smart class (second class) it felt like first and we had free WiFi as a bonus!


Saint Mark’s Basilica is the most famous of the city’s churches just next to Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) and Doge’s Palace. We both were surprised at the size of it, similar to Bruges in my opinion but it’s a beautiful space. Lots of people wait in a long line to get in to the Basilica and the tower.  I loved going through small alleyways that lead to the shops, it feel like a maze and it was a challenge but we finally arrived north near the sea!


My colleague recommended I visit San Michele Cemetery, a very small island that lies between northern Venice and the Murano.  Taking pictures of the island is prohibited, so I was surprised to see that the people and even TripAdvisor posted photographs! Primarily, this is a place for relatives and friends of the deceased. I wasn’t really planning to spend long here.  


There were row of pure-white blocks, graves and even small mausoleums adorned with flowers and a picture of the deceased. There are famous people buried there, one of which is the violin master, Stravinsky. I read about this and it is quite right that photography is not allowed (although that didn’t seem to stop some tourists) as this is not another tourist attraction. I was told it is VERY quiet and you can take a free map with indication of the graves of some of the great people of our times – Joseph Brodsky, Ezra Pound, Igor Stravinsky and lots of famous people including non-Venetians buried there.  Most tourists visiting Murano, Burano, or Torcello watch their vaporetto stop at the island of San Michele in the Venetian Lagoon, and don’t know anything about it.

I was curious as to why San Michele island that is isolated away from Venice. It turns out the space in Venice became impossible.


I saw all these cool glitzy masks in the shops. I copied the following from a search engine for your information: Masks have always been a central feature of the Venetian carnival; traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day, December 26) at the start of the carnival season and midnight of Shrove Tuesday. They have always been around Venice. As masks were also allowed during Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large proportion of the year in disguise. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.

We were not interested about Gondola traditional rowing boat but we took water bus for Grand Canal which we found boring and there is nothing to see there really, just houses. You can negotiate the price but from 80 – 100 euro for 40 minutes! If the price bothers you, don’t do it! After 7 p.m, the base rate climbs to 100, with 50 for an additional 2 minutes. Even singing if you want one!

I like this comment i read from search engine – If you dislike negotiating, you can leave that chore to your hotel concierge, though he (or she) may add a hefty surcharge. A few years ago, a reader told us that he’d paid the Hotel Bauer’s concierge 120 for a gondola ride just before Carnevale, but he added that he didn’t mind the rate and got great service. Another reader (presumably well-heeled) spent a mind-boggling 150 for a 50-minute ride and thought the expenditure was “well worth it.”

Gosh – Venice’s gondoliers, they invest a great deal in their boats about 20,000 for a traditional hand-built wooden gondola with a useful life of about 20 years! The man who’s rowing you up the Grand Canal probably could earn more money for less work at an industrial plant on the mainland.

My snapshots clip here!

Next one short blog on Pisa! 😀


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