I woke up early the next morning. I needed stamps and walked to the local tabaccaio (tobacconist) which seems a pretty standard place to get that kind of thing as well as bus tickets and newspapers, etc. Along the way, I passed this lovely place.
Here is La Palla (ball) in daylight looking out to the Adriatic (part of the Mediterranean) Sea.
Still no wolves! The balloon read "Pesaro si tinge di Giallo". Pesaro is tinged yellow. There must have been some kind of town festival.
This was the restaurant where I enjoyed a nice pasta dinner the evening before.
The lovely pastel buildings were a treat to the eye.
Then I was off... next stop, Urbino! I'd read a bit about this walled city. It was another reason I had decided to stop in Pesaro. It is just inland - about 35 km.
First I had to find out where I could legally park.
Then it was a steep uphill climb to the area I wanted to explore.
You can see the steepness of the street I was on, and you can also see how narrow most of the streets in the town are.
I case you're thinking they don't use those roads, think again.
Another example of how good a driver/rider you have to be in Italy... can you imagine turning out of that street into this one?
The door to Palazzo Virgili.
I wasn't sure if it was open to just anyone so instead, I just took a picture down the hallway from the open front door.
A nice looking hotel in Urbino.
Walking towards Urbino's Duomo.
Very pretty outside...
... and in!
My favourite place in Urbino... Bartolucci!
How's this for awesome? A full sized motorcycle carved in wood...
... complete with nuts and bolts...
... and motorcycle chain!!
Valentino Rossi thinks this is a great shop, too!
This is the shopkeeper. The lady's brother is the craftsman.
There were all kinds of delightful "nooks and crannies" as I walked further.
As I walked under the Portici di Piazza dell'Indipendenza...
... I came across this interesting sporting venue.
Across the way, the back side to my destination - Palazzo Ducale di Urbino.
I'm sure Italy's forefathers had the insight to leave these spaces just for this reason.
Ahhh! Finally! The front of the Ducal Palace.
Across the street, a place to enjoy both the view of the palace and the encompassing view of the lands outside the walled city.
An alternate way out of the city.
Walking down towards my parked bike, along the town's high wall.
Il barre... across from which I had parked. Too bad I was riding! There were many interesting wines to sample.
As I rode back towards the coast, I took a detour towards Talacchio... it just seemed so pretty in that direction.
I was not disappointed!
Then... it was time to make tracks! I wanted to get to Venice as soon as possible. After following the Autostrada towards Ravenna and the "flatlands". Hey! This could have been Manitoba!!!
As I neared Venice, you could see a storm brewing!
The bike is travelling faster than the car. Gee... I wonder why.
The causeway went west towards the storm. Once I crossed it, I was able to travel north to Venice and avoid the worst of it. It was actually a pretty decent day when I arrived in Malcontenta.
And then as usual, I got lost. But that was all right because I ended up travelling beside this canal...
... where these two men were quickly gliding along.
And after following that canal back...
... I found the hotel and settled right in.
At the bus stop, I met Orma and Gidi from Isreal...
... and we shared the bus ride into Venice. They were only visiting Venice on that one evening. Orma said they'd take a water bus Piazza San Marco. Then she and Gidi would walk back through the streets to see as much as they could.
The bus ride wasn't too long. Soon we were travelling over the causeway (Ponte della Liberta) to the island. The first thing I could see out the window was the port with all the cruise ships docked.
After buying a map, I went to the water bus dock at Piazzale Roma to catch the "Number 1" (leaving in this picture) but was advised by a man at the dock to "Take Number 2 instead! Less stops!" (He was correct. We passed the Number 1 on the way to Piazza San Marco.)
Orma and Gidi took seats in the covered section of the bus, but I decided to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. Here's Venice's version of an "intersection". When one canal meets another, you need a bridge to allow pedestrian traffic to continue! This bridge is across from the Ferrovia (railway station).
Speaking of the railway station... :)
Near the Ferrovia.
Some of the buildings on the canals had no "front sidewalk". From this side you'd have to access them by water.
Taking a quick glance, you might not notice that the Venezia Casino has a false front. Perhaps they were renovating. Perhaps full reconstruction was underway. Perhaps the building facade is unrepairable. For whatever reason, a painted drop sheet does a great job of pretending to be the actual building!
It's too bad I can't remember all of the names of the buildings and their uses or origins. Giancarlo (the man who had suggested the #2 water bus) gave me an impromptu tour of the canal as we chugged along.
The Rialto Bridge.
On the other side of the Rialto Bridge... gondoliers!
This is Giancarlo. A former resident of Venice, he now resides in another part of Italy. He and I, therefore, were both visitors to Venice on this nice spring day.
The golden frescos and columned balconies on this building were beautiful. I think Giancarlo told me what the building was, but I no longer remember.
The "Peggy Guggenheim Collection" is a museum of modern art. It's not a bad looking building but I thought that it stuck out like a sore thumb.
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute
Just past Santa Maria della Salute is the end of the Grand Canal. In the distance (left) is the island of Giudecca.
Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore on Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. The tower on that island should not be mistaken for...
... the one on the main island, Campanile di San Marco, which is the bell tower of the Basilica Cattedrale Patriachale di San Marco in Piazza San Marco. That's where I got off the waterbus.
Before Giancarlo walked off to meet friends, he pointed out Harry's Bar, an official haunt of Hemmingway.
Gondolas docked at St. Mark's with Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the background.
An intersecting canal, near the waterbus dock.
A lovely garden next to the dock and on the way to St. Mark's Square.
Would you believe that there was a gondola "parking lot" tucked away behind the park?
Masks are used as decoration around Venice but they are also for sale. I wondered why.
Answer: Venice has a Carnival and people disguise themselves with these colorful creations. They also make great souvenirs. :)
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore created the backdrop for these gondolas.
Palazza Ducale.
Museo Archeologico Nazionale on the left leading to Campanile di San Marco.
How's this for an entrance?
I grabbed a snack at one of the barres located in the portico off the museo.
I walked back out into the sunshine accompanied by some lovely music played by this lady on her grand piano. She was only one of several musicians located at various intervals around the large square.
Details of the Ducal Palace.
Cattedrale di San Marco.
Details of the cathedral...
Details of the Cathedral's gated bell tower.
The bell tower is the tallest structure in Venice.
More views of the Cathedral. Part of it was being worked on and was covered.
Torre dell'Orologio (the clock tower). The clock's face is blue enamel and has the 12 signs of the zodiac as numbers, embellished in gold.
The bell tower has two figures which strike the bell on the hour.
In the square, there were many shops selling Murano glass.
I loved the colourful designs and free flowing shapes.
My favourite? This violin. It was out of this world. If I had money to burn, I would reside in a place of honour in my small household. (Hmmm... if I had money to burn perhaps the household wouldn't be quite as small ;)
The sun was setting and it was time to make my way back to the water bus dock...
... taking the time to admire everything once again.
There was enough time to walk around the corner...
... climb the pedestrian bridge and...
... take a peek at Ponte dei Sospiri (the Bridge of Sighs)...
... before the sun dropped.
A glowing Murano glass sphere led me back to the waterbus dock.
Goodnight, San Marco!
Goodnight, Venezia!
At the bus stop, who should I run into but Orma and Gidi. They had a wonderful afternoon and evening doing as they had planned. We exchanged stories as we waited for the bus to Malcontenta. I laughed when they told me they almost got lost once it was too dark to read their map (and any road signs) as they wandered back to Piazzale Roma. It's a good thing I rode back with them. It was Gidi who knew when to get off the bus for our hotel. I probably would have missed the stop and I wouldn't have gotten a return trip... it was the last bus of the night!
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