Another day of wandering the city. We visited the food market near the Rialto, toured the Ca’ d’Oro, got purposely lost in the winding streets, bought a day pass to hop on and off the water bus and finished with a tour of Ca’ Rezzonico. Another full day.
After crossing the Rialto Bridge from the San Marco side to the Santa Croce San Polo side, the open air market is just off to the right side along the Grand Canal. The fruits and vegetables were all fresh, but nothing was as fresh as the fish. As the fish stall owner poured another bucket of fish onto the ice at his table, the fish were still flopping around.
We hopped the water bus from the Rialto Mercato station to the next stop on the opposite side of the canal, Ca’ d’Oro station. In the Cannaregio neighborhood. Ca’ d’Oro is the oldest surviving palazzo in Venice. The “Golden House” (the marble traceries and ornaments were embellished with gold in earlier times) is now a museum.
We hopped another water bus headed towards San Marco and disembarked at the Zaccaria station near the Palazzo Ducale.
As we walked past the Basilica di San Marco, the tourists were lined up for the entrance on high water planks. These are stacked all over the city and put into action when the tide is high. The water was bubbling up into Piazza San Marco.
We started our map-less wandering and found a good lunch spot. Right next to the restaurant we also found a mask shop. Mask shops are all over the city and I had planned to purchase just the right one. We browsed many shops, not finding what I was looking for. The masks made in Venice have an authenticity stamp and cost more than the cheap Chinese made masks. Of course I wanted a mask made in Venice but hadn’t found it yet. I finally did when we stumbled upon this shop somewhere in the San Marco area. The mask maker was selling his own masks and painting them right in his shop. He also had molds filled with hardening paper mache and was glad to show us the process and sell me a very pretty mask that he had made himself.
Getting lost in Venice is easy to do, but we did it intentionally. It was Teresa’s desire to walk the streets without reference to the maps just to see what we would find.
We wandered the narrow streets and ended up in the Dorsoduro area. After enjoying a gelato, we found the Ca’ Rezzonico, a 17th century palace whose main floor is decorated with period funishings and tapestries. It was the last home of English poet Robert Browning. The grand ballroom and ceiling frescoes are spectacular.
The apartment we rented was right across the canal from the Ca’ Rezzonico, but of course we had to find a way across. Once more on the water bus, only one stop away from the Accademia Bridge station and a short walk to the apartment.
Nikon color sketch retouch of a Grand Canal photo: