So today we didn't have set plans again - just see where the day took us. Mom and I were up and out early again - this time we took the vaporetto and got off at a stop just before San Marco and wended our way over. Managed to find a few churches that I hadn't seen before, so we stuck our heads in for a minute to look (Actually, thinking back - we did this after going back without hubby - my timeline is a little messed up). Also discovered the where all the really expensive shops are! My - even window shopping left me feeling a little broke...1200 euro for sneakers - holy smokes! We went back over to St Marks so I could redo some photos since some from the day before were blurry. Walked back to Rialto and decided to check out the food market - but we were actually a little early as the sellers were just beginning to set up. Then back to the room for breakfast.
After slow poke husband the day before, mom and I decided that when we were ready to go, we would just tell him to meet us somewhere if he wasn't ready when we were - since we both got cranky waiting for him the day before. So by 9:30 he wasn't ready, and we told him we'd meet at 10:30 in St Marks Sq by the column with the lion on it. Back we went and I was able to peruse the artists selling their prints and paintings by St Marks - picked out some I liked, then went back for the final decision after meeting hubby (he was on time!).
We then got in line for St Mark's Cathedral - it snaked halfway across the square! But - it only took 15 min to get in - the line was moving really well. I kinda stuck beside a guided tour for a few minutes to hear what the guide was saying...lol. We walked around there for about 15 min, but did not go to the upstairs area. We went back out and wandered into a little park just past where the artists sell their wares to have a little rest on a bench and figure out what to do next.
We decided to go across the canal to San Giorgio - where there is another bell tower that you can go up in...why did we wait so many trips to go over? I think this was my favourite view in all of Venice. There was no line at all for the elevator (as opposed to probably a 30 min wait for St Mark's campanile) and maybe 10 people up top. Mom decided not to go up (I don't know why). The views across to St Marks and across the island were breathtaking. We were even up when the bell rang - mind you, it was 1pm and it only rang once - and I think that it's electronic or automated since we didn't see the bells swing. It was loud and really startled me! The church itself was really lovely, and there was a little area selling items from monasteries around Italy where you got the ticket for the lift, and I got a nice bag of lavender buds - which I sniff every once in awhile...
So hunger was setting in and we went back over to St Marks and wandered along the waterfront looking for a restaurant with both a free table and not insane prices. My recommendation - skip these places all together. We finally settled on one near the end of the walk as it was after 2pm and I was getting 'hangry' (this was when you go past the Bridge of Sighs area and continue to the Arsenale area). The pizza was only OK, prices were high - I swear that a bottle of Coke was 15 Euro. I still think maybe I read that wrong, but I'm pretty sure that was the price - needless to say, it has the most expensive soda prices I'd seen. Don't worry - we split a bottle of water (and even that was expensive!). I was looking around to see if their were any vendors nearby with water so I could get a bottle for 1/5th the cost, but no luck.
Darrin decided he wanted to check out the Naval museum - but - OH DARN! - on Mondays it was closed at 1pm. He was disappointed - Mom and I, not so much. So we walked down to the Arsenale and checked out all the lion statues, then wandered some back alleys - finding a few churches that I had marked on my map. Came back out in the St Marks area, did a little shopping and looking around as we wandered back to Rialto and the room. Rested for a bit, and as evening was coming on, I wanted to explore the Accademia area (Dorsoduro area).
We took the boat and got off by the Accademia bridge and walked a little - what shops were there were mostly closed, so we went back over the bridge and walked around that area (I think it was the San Marco area - but off the beaten path...yes - it was - we managed to find the 'snail shell' staircase - the Bovolo stairs!). We basically just wandered back over to Rialto and back to the room, stopping in shops along the way and getting a few nice little trinkets to bring home. We were getting really hungry as it was getting on to 8 or 8:30 pm. )After having such a late lunch, we weren't really hungry at 6-7pm). Walked past the few restaurants in the square by the room and saw a restaurant down an alley. I went down and checked out the menu - prices looked good so we went in. We had hoped to sit outside but there were no free tables, so stayed inside. I must say, this place - called All Amarone - was probably right in the top two of places we ate. Mom and I had a Caesar salad and hubby had Bolognese. The portions were the perfect size, the food was good, the waitress was friendly, the price of a soda wasn't outrageous(!), the bread in the basket was tasty (I think it was a focaccia)...if (ok, when) I get back to Venice, this place is def on my return to list.
Back to the room to get our stuff prepped for our flight back to London the next day.
I must say - Venice is still my fav place ever, and even after 4 trips, I still feel like there is so much to see - so many areas I just want to wander around. I guess having seen all the 'touristy' stuff, the next time I return (And I will return!) will be spent wandering the less touristy areas.