On tuesday the weather was very nice, perfect for exploring the town on foot and taking a boat all along the Grand Canal. We had booked a different hotel for our last night, so first we made our way there, walking to a Traghetto stop, taking the bus (read: boat) to our stop, and finding the hotel. That part of town is some distance removed from the major sights, but it was right next to the railway station where we’d have to take the train the next day.

We took the slow boat (line 1) down the Canal, admiring all the sights, took line 2 (the fast boat) a couple of times to get to places, and once took a ferry (meaning a gondola for a mere 50 cents) to cross the canal. All very cool. We didn’t travel by official gondola, which is expensive, and the gondoliers don’t even sing anymore. (We stood on a bridge as a few gondolas passed under. Some Italians shouted “Canta! Canta!” to the gondoliers, which was answered by insults in the Venitian dialect, but we never heard a peep in the days we were there. Gondolas seem mostly popular with the Asian tourists. I was going to write Japanese, but these days maybe they are Chinese….)

Here are some pictures of the tour of the Grand Canal, the main artery that runs through all of Venice. It used to be a river, with what is now Venice being the its deposits.

We made a brief stop from the tour. The museum of 19th century Venetian life was closed, but we found an exhibit of models made from Leonardo’s sketches. And had some great coffee in the sun.

We ran into a lute player twice. He was from Hungary, playing on the street, selling his CDs.

In Italy, museums close on tuesday, so our trip to the Guggenheim Collection was wasted, at least from that point of view. I’m saving that one for tomorrow; Elaine is not big on contemporary art.