Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

20th April, 2014


Bridge of Sighs

The weather was not that kind for our dawn arrival, but it remained dry as we passed through the new lagoon barrage workings at slow speed. St. Mark’s Square looked almost deserted as we made the port turn into ‘Canale Della Giudecca’ near the entrance to the Grand Canal, a far cry from what it would be like a few hours later.

The passenger ships berth on the western side at ‘Stazione Marittima’ where new terminals have been built to accommodate the ‘big’ ships. Ours, over to one side, required a shuttle bus to get to the shuttle boat.

Slightly complicated, but in the end it worked well and the folks managed to get off without too much delay. The shuttle boat dropped our independent passengers a few hundred yards past St. Mark’s and the Ducale Palace, seemingly rather handy for a gentle stroll.

Venice Grand Canal

Not quite, for by the middle of the morning this stretch of ‘Riva Degli Schiavoni’ was packed. Rather daunting for the first time visitor, but Venice is a place where one must go with the flow so we soldiered on, passing through the Square and on into the narrow streets that lead towards Accademia, one of four bridges that cross the Grand Canal.

The further we went the less crowded it became, and eventually we stopped at a café in a small square, of which there are dozens in Venice. They appear all of a sudden, usually around a corner from a narrow alley, bringing light and space to what would otherwise be a confusion of darker passageways.

Venturing further we wondered through the Venice I really love, much quieter with little bridges crossing dark canals that seem to end just around the next corner. The narrowest of alleys lead somewhere, but where, and unmarked polished doors invite, but into what?

Gondolas of Venice

It is relatively easy to navigate without a map, one just has to remember the bridges and look for the yellow signs on the corner of buildings, Rialto, Accademia, Ferrovia or St. Marco. If you think you’re getting lost just follow everyone else and soon a sign appears.

The crowds returned as we approached Rialto and passed over on our way back to St. Mark’s, I took a picture of ‘Ponte Dei Sospiri’, the Bridge of Sighs.

The sun was now shining and as we emerged onto Schiavoni it reflected off the white pavements. Out in ‘Canale Di San Marco’ the waters were being whipped up by the numerous water taxis, vaporettos and other assorted craft. All so very different from the dark waters of the quiet canals less than half a mile away.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.