DATE: Wednesday 19 July, 1995

PLACE: Venice



REMARKS: A good sleep and we wake a little refreshed -fruit and buns for breakfast then stroll to the Deutsche Bank. Again only my card has been sent so separate arrangements are needed for Desiree's.

This achieved by way of international conference calls to put in place delivery of the card to Bryce at work in London.

Lunch/brunch in San Marco Piazza -a vast sea of stinking sweating tour groups striving to be awed by the decidedly seedy grandeur (or am I just getting cynical?) catered to by Italians who seem bored by the whole sordid performance.

Individual Italians, such as the staff at the Hotel Alimandi and Patrizia, seem to enjoy being helpful and offering advice and discussing their country. Others strike one as greedy and grasping. Others still, such as the woman advising on the Murano boat trip (see below) seem to glow with enthusiasm - but these are few and far between.

Many shops are an oddity. Most are long and narrow (like the buildings) or crammed with stock. They often appear over-staffed, and non-Italian customers are treated as though they are interrupting the endless conversations which engage the staff:

Anyway, today: we repair to the apartment to lunch on fruit and decide tactics. A cruise to the islands and departure tomorrow is agreed. We've spoken to Dave Dalton and confirmed the meet at Branges by 1400.

The cruise is well-timed, peaceful, guided, commentaried (Sarah is very impressed by the fluency in 4 languages of the guide).

The tour is primarily a chance to visit showrooms and help tourists spend their money. The glass and lace making demonstrations are pathetic. The glass-making especially is brief: although understandable in view of the furnace heat. Most of the Murano glass is overly decorated and ornate for my liking, but beautifully and skillfully made. The lace of Burano by contrast is impressive by its very complexity.

Torcello is hot, and a long walk, although Desiree and the girls are entranced by the church with it's Turkish matyr's relics.

Everyone is impressed by my remembered ability to use a fan - as am I! - and lessons are in demand from the kids to help with their souvenirs. After all these years!

Takeaway pizzas for dinner, followed by a stroll and phone-call to Visa and an early night.








San Marco Piazza



All the photos in one place!






Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry