Well I have arrived in Venice via the Grand canal to the hotel Marconi ( at first thought it was called hotel macoroni) on the edge of the Rialto Bridge. What a beautiful, romantic and dreamy city this is. You can't fail to be mesmerised by the beautiful architecture as it stands proud and almost haunted looking above the watery streets. The hotel has a grandeur one would expect of the Italians with antiqued mirrors, mirino glass wall lights, ostentatious chandeliers and painted ceilings. I feel like getting dressed up in a brocaded ball gown and hand painted mask ready for the masked balls that are held here every year. And what a city to hold them in. Today was hot and sunny and as I sipped my 'cafe con latte' outside my hotel at a nice little cafe I noticed the gondolas bobbing in the water, tempting me to get on. The gondoliers were dressed in their iconic striped tops and boaters with oars a ready as they stood by their highly decorative long boats. I couldn't fail to notice that the one touting for custom had extremely tight trousers on! Seriously, the Italians will do anything for business! On to the gondola I stepped without drama and managed to seat myself gracefully on the throne style, cushioned seat. The ride was so gentle as it seemed to glide effortlessly through the winding canals with the sound of water lapping softly at it's side I almost fell asleep! This was more relaxing than a spa retreat! Obviously it was imperative that I stayed awake as it cost quite a lot of euros to take this trip. On route I passed the homes of Casanova, Marco Polo and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There were several churches, endless little bridges ( of which there are 450 - this is almost double the amount of Starbucks in Manhattan!) and The Bridge of Sighs ( the lovers bridge). I really did not want to get off it was so wonderful! If you come here you must go on a gondola ride as it is well worth it and you get to see things you wouldn't see on foot. Then took a walk through the little alleyways and over many bridges to get to St Marks Square where I visited St Marks church. Obviously I had to stop to drink coffee, wine and eat home made pizza Venezia. Only of course to practise my Italian accent which is coming on a treat! Took a boat back to Rialto, well thought I had but actually ended up at another island as I had gone to the wrong boat stop! Eventually got back to the hotel and prepared for the evening feast. Went for a lovely spaghetti bolognese and way too much Tuscan chianti! My waiter said " You have beautiful colour from the sun, do you work the streets?"
" What do you mean do I work the streets?" I demanded outraged with way too much wine induced confidence. It was a few minutes later that I realised he meant 'walk' the streets! Oh dear, time for bed I think!