The weather on the second day was less Italy and more England. Still the drizzly morning didn’t deter the crowds from flooding St. Mark’s Square.
Thanks to my attempt to be more spontaneous (i.e. not have bookings for every thing) we had to join the queue. Someone posted on TripAdvisor that you can bypass the lines to enter St. Mark’s Basilica (the huge cathedral at the square) if you’ve got a bag to deposit at the baggage counter. We did but it didn’t seem to help. Anyway things moved along fairly quickly and we were in after five minutes.
Once inside, the line snaked around past the treasury (3 euros for a small room of sparkles) and the Pala d’Oro, the gold retable. Did you know there are 8,000 square metres of mosaics in the cathedral? Neither did I.
For a smashing view of Venice including St. Mark’s Square and the Santa Maria della Salute, hop on a water bus to the neighbouring island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The church there is beautiful and less crowded.
An elevator ride up its bell tower will reward you with gorgeous views of the surrounding islands.
A quick stroll around the side of the church along the water…