Looking back to Venice Italy on this date 7 years ago...Then on to Tuscany for three months...


As our ship made its way to the port of Venice, our mouths were agape in surprise at the historic treasure before our eyes.
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Today's photos are from June 16, 2013, while in Venice, Italy. See the link here for more details.

As shown in today's photos while on a cruise on this date in 2013, we spent a day in Venice, Italy, a location we'd looked forward to visiting as we considered some of the world's most exciting points of interest.
We noticed one historic building after another.
The memories of that day are as clear in our minds today as if it was only months ago, not the full seven years from this date. We're often surprised at ourselves for remembering finite details of touring renowned locations such as this. But, we found ourselves in awe of this and of course, many other such sites throughout the world.

Many of our readers have written to us over the years sharing their experiences in places such as Venice and in each case, they've loved it too. No doubt, we did as well, although one missing element for us has been our lack of interest in shopping.
The waterways were exactly as we had perceived them, crowded with a seemingly never-ending maze of canals.
In my old life (before traveling the world), I would have been over-the-top with excitement to be able to shop in a place like Venice. The colorful little shops lined the narrow walkways with a plethora of tourist-type and specialty products.

Whether it was hats, scarfs, leather goods, artwork, or jewelry, the stores, with relatively high prices from paying high rents to have the opportunity to be located in this area of constant tourist traffic, it all was appealing to the eye.
Over the years we've found a degree of enjoyment simply from window shopping as we did in Venice so long ago.
Check out the crowds!
When we were there in 2013, cruise ships were allowed to dock at a nearby pier that only required a short shuttle ride and about a 15-minute walk to arrive at the canal city. Over the years that has changed as indicated in this article below from this site:

"The Italian government has announced it will be rerouting cruise ships away from central parts of Venice. This move follows a long campaign by residents to stop large ships from docking in the Unesco-listed city.

Every direction we turned there was another waterway.
Italy’s transport minister Danilo Toninelli said on Wednesday that cruise ships would be diverted away from their current route, reported the Financial Times, therefore banning them from entering the historic grand canal.

Toninelli said he had been looking at temporary ports “to avoid witnessing more invasions of the Giudecca by these floating palaces, with the scandals and the risks that they bring.''

What a view!
In 2018, 502 cruise ships brought 1.56 million passengers to Venice, contributing to the overcrowding already swamping the narrow canals and walkways.

Meanwhile, there are environmental concerns about the impact of ships passing through the Venetian Lagoon and along the Giudecca Canal."

The buildings along the canals were often unique but more were attached.
In June, a collision between 2,150-passenger ocean cruise ship MSC Opera and Uniworld river cruise ship The River Countess (in which four passengers were injured) heightened calls for a ban. Italy’s environment minister Sergio Costa tweeted that the incident confirmed ships must not pass the Giudecca area.

As of next month, some cruise ships will dock at the Fusina and Lombardia terminals away from the city centre but still within the lagoon. However, from next year a third of cruise ships will be rerouted away from the city.

The cathedrals were breathtaking.
A plan to reroute cruise ships dates back to 2017 when an Italian governmental committee decided that cruise vessels weighing 96,000 tonnes or more would be prevented from docking in the lagoon in front of St Mark’s Square."

After spending several hours walking the streets of Venice, with tired legs, we decided to take a water taxi back to the ship. I imagine that in recent years, passengers were being transported to the area by buses or taxis. 
As our ship continued on to our docking location.
I'd be curious to hear from any of our readers who've visited Venice by cruise ship as to how they arrived at the canals in the past few years. Feel free to post a comment at the end of today's post, anonymously if you prefer.

Our favorite points of interest while on the self-guided walking tour was visiting St. Mark's Square and the Bridge of Sighs. We'd considered embarking on one of the romantic gondolas in the canals, but the price at that time was INR 9480, US $150, per couple for a 30-minute ride, more than we cared to spend. 

All these photos were taken from our ship as it maneuvered through the main channel approaching the cruise ship pier in Venice.

This type of tourist activity generally doesn't appeal to us, especially when we noticed the gondolas were stopped in "traffic" for extended periods. It made no sense to spend that kind of money just to sit in a gondola. It may have been more worthwhile in the evening, but our visit occurred during the daylight hours.

One of the most exciting parts that day was when our ship sailed into the magnificent Venetian Grand Canal when we had our first glimpse of the canal city. Our cabin was on the right side of the ship, allowing us a bird's eye view as we entered the area. 
As we approached the pier for the cruise ships, we noticed they were lined up back to back.
At times, our "occasional" readers may presume we only get excited about wildlife and nature. However, over the years we've experienced many stunning locations such as Venice that will always be emblazoned in our minds.

For the balance of our first published posts regarding our visit to Venice, please click here. Tomorrow, we'll share Part 2 of our visit to Venice. Please check back.

Be well.
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Photo from one year ago today, June 16, 2019:
In Connemara, Ireland, apparently, this horse has been fed by passersby when she got as close as she could when we stopped for a photo. For more photos, please click here.

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