Venice Day 1
It was already in the high teens as we drove across from Tillicoultry to Edinburgh airport in the early hours of the morning. The sun rose beyond the industry at Grangemouth looking like the opening to an 80s film.
Our jet2.com flight from Edinburgh direct to Venice was an unexpected pleasure - lots of helpful and friendly check-in staff, a comfortable seat with good leg room (thanks to a paid upgrade) and very unobtrusive announcements. Venice airport itself was quiet but we ended up queuing for almost an hour before getting on the Alilaguna across the lagoon to the Ponte Guglie vaporetto stop where we met our airbnb contact.
Our apartment on the Campo Ghetto Nuovo was just a few minutes from Ponte Guglie and after dragging a heavy case up several flights of narrow, slippery marble steps it was a pleasure to get the first look at our airy, top floor apartment that looked out over the Campo in one direction and canals and rooftops in the other. The highlight (and the reason the listing had jumped out) was the roof terrace (a Venetian Altana) which was as good as expected with sweeping views across the pan-tiled roofs and campaniles of Venice.
After settling in and changing out of travel clothes we headed into the city, looking for lunch and a cold drink. We wandered along the Fondamente de la Misericordia, past a number of restaurants, but settled on a cool little bar called Vino Vero to have our first Venetian food - cold beer and a selection of chichetti. We went adventurous and were pleasantly surprised by how delicious the baccala mantecato (dried salted cod, whipped into a thick, white paste), topped with a sardine was.
We wandered the quiet canals of the sestiere, passing the Ponte Chiodo (one of only two remaining handrail-free bridges in Venice - see our day out to Torcello for a photo of the other one) and then walking down the broad and bustling Strade Nuovo to the Campo Sant Apostoli.
Here we found a popular little bar where we ordered a sharing platter of cured meats and cheese and accompanied it with our first Spritz of the trip. It was about this time that we got the happy news that my sister had given birth to twins!
We joined the throngs and headed through to the Rialto bridge, getting our first views of the Grand Canal from this popular spot. The evening had brought with it some thundery looking clouds.
We left the crowds behind as we turned off and walked down the far bank of the Grand Canal through San Polo, passing the fish market which had been washed down after the day’s trade.
We returned to our apartment via the Ponte degli Scalzi and a trip to our local corner shop where we picked up pasta (and €4 prosecco) which we cooked up back in our well equipped kitchen.
Up on the Altana there were passing storms and distant rumbles of thunder to end our first day in Venice. As the air cleared and the crescent moon appeared we stood watching the swallows wheel and soar around the chimney tops.