Most big cities that attract tourists have famous sights and attractions that the majority of visitors want to see. The “Must do” list, if you will. Paris has the Eiffel Tower. Rome has the Colosseum. New York has the Empire State Building. You get the idea.
So have you ever gone somewhere and totally missed out seeing/doing one of the top sights that you planned to see/do? I don’t count it if you missed it because you really weren’t interested. That’s not the same thing. Sometimes weather gets in the way. Sometimes your itinerary or schedule just isn’t going to allow that one other thing to be squeezed in. Sometimes, it’s just all three with a dose of bad luck thrown in like this story shows.
In Venice, one of the sights is the Rialto Bridge. It’s a lovely arched stone bridge with an interior lined with shops and a walkway you can cross on the outside of the shops to get great views of the Grand Canal, the largest and widest of the canals snaking through Venice. This particular incarnation of the bridge has been standing since the 16th century. It’s quite pretty and has an added plus of a market at one end. In addition to St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, it’s one of the things that most people see if not traverse when they visit Venice.
Not me. And I’m not really sure why or how it happened!
We only had a day and a half in Venice. We were going to be joining a bus tour around Italy but we weren’t joining it until the day after we arrived, which was a sunny Sunday. We were staying on the mainland in Marghera and my friend and I headed into Venice by a city bus and took the vaporetto (a public boat/bus) up the Grand Canal.
I can’t for the life of me remember seeing the Rialto though we must have gone under it as we took the boat to San Marco. I certainly didn’t take any photos of it. From there we looked around the square and then walked and crossed the canal to the other side and it must have been at the Accademia bridge. We walked through that part of Venice following signs for the train station where we could get a bus back to the hotel. We completely missed the Rialto (again) though had a wonderful walk through parts of Venice that a lot of tourists miss, I think.
The next day, the day we picked up the bus tour, we got a motorboat ride to San Marco but not up the Grand Canal, we went up around the exterior of the main of Venice, through the Lagoon instead, I think. It was raining. Really raining! We had a walking tour around San Marco and a peek into the Basilica and of course, the obligatory stop in a glass blowing factory. After lunch, we went to Burano across the lagoon where the houses are brightly coloured and lace is traditionally made. I believe we must have taken a boat again back to the train station (but not via the Grand Canal) to pick up the bus back to the hotel. Again, no Rialto.
We did have a really good tour around Italy after that though the weather wasn’t great the first week while we visited the hill towns of Umbria and through down to Sorrento. It did clear up the second week. Here’s a couple of photos I did take in Venice and there’s a detailed travelogue here.