We were based on the island of Guidecca, in an apartment converted from a former mill building, just a short stroll from the stop for the vaporetto to St Mark's Square but far enough away to escape from the madding crowds. We have sepnd a wonderful week getting lost in Venice, jumping on and off vaporetti (much more fun than a bus or train!) threading our way backwards and forwards over the Grand Canal via the four bridges and the traghetti (public gondolas which act as ferries between bridges).
We bought fresh fish and tomatoes in the Rialto market, Prosecco from the local shop and developed a taste for Campari spritz, which most Venetians seem to enjoy between leaving work and arriving home.
Our travelcards took us out to some of the islands in the lagoon - San Giorgio famous for its church and campanile, Murano where Venetian glass is made, Burano where the buildings are brightly coloured like something out of a children's paint set and the Lido, with its long sandy beaches.
Although we walked for miles and miles, we managed to pace ourselves with siestas most days. After a rest, we were ready to go back into the historic core in the evenings, when most of the tours had retreated back to their cruise ships, and we were able to enjoy the main tourist attractions with fewer people!
A wonderful week, worth every one of the huge amount of euros we parted with over the course of seven days...
Steve's cough (which was still a problem when we started the holiday) almost disappeared while we were away, so it was of some concern that he started coughing and wheezing again almost as soon as we returned home. Steve's convinced that it's hay fever - so much pollen around at the moment. I think he's probably right - using the puffer seems to bring relief. At the back of our minds however lurks the horrible thought that history may be repeating itself. However, we are trying not to let such thoughts outweigh the benefits of such a wonderful week away!
Today is special for another reason - our daughter is 22 years old! Happy birthday Katie - hope to see you in a few weeks time!