We are continuing on our quest to find Papa Piccolo in Venice. If you care to catch up on part 1 of our journey, you can read about it here.
We were determined to find the edge of the main islands and forged ahead exploring the city’s canals, bridges, and alleys.
We passed the Venice Arsenal – the heart of the Venetian naval industry since the 12th century. This was the first time I have been able to make it this far down the islands. It was wonderful! Most of the alleys belonged to us! (At least by Venice standards, that is.)
We climbed on anchors…
Gazed at the boats whizzing through the lagoon…
Inhaled the delightful aroma of wisteria…
And we even found a park! I think it may be the only playground in Venice. It was a large garden at the bottom of the city. Somehow, they seem to forget how tired their legs are when there is something to climb!
After “resting” our legs at the park, we had a long trek back to the hotel for our dinner reservations and it was time to pick up the pace… but not before we stopped to admire the sun slowly sinking over lagoon.
We made it to dinner — albeit 10 minutes late — but perfectly on time by Italian standards. And boy did it feel good to sit down and refuel!
We finished up dinner just in time to check off one of my bucket list items — dancing in Piazza San Marco under the light of the moon while the musicians perform every favorite cliche Italian folk song. That’s Amore!
Sorry for the blurry picture, but nighttime photography with dancing kids is not my forte!
Who could possibly resist another chance to chase pigeons?
They were amazed with the toy demonstrations from the “pesky” sales guys. Being the only kids out there, we were definitely a target that night.
On our way back to the hotel, we found all of the gondolas “parked”. We counted them and noticed how the gondoliers (mostly) grouped them in fives.
We were ready to crash after such a long day of walking when Benjamin found How it’s Made on TV. He was so thrilled and shouted, “That’s what I watch with grandpa!” So we capped off a great day by learning how race cars are made.
We woke up to another beautiful day feeling refreshed and ready for more! One nice thing about staying in the heart of Venice, is that you have the place to yourself in the early mornings and late evenings. I was surprised how much they loved wandering the streets — taking notice of every nook and cranny — and especially loving the dead ends.
Benjamin and Clara took turns leading the way and we spent almost the entire morning getting lost.
I actually took a selfie!
I have to post another one, because… look at Clara’s “duck face”! It was totally unprompted.
We eventually found ourselves in the Dosoduro neighborhood of Venice, known for being a tad more local than the other side of the Grand Canal.
We visited the Leonardo da Vinci museum. It was a bit of a disappointment. Usually da Vinici exhibits are very kid friendly, but not this one. We go in trouble twice! Once for being to loud and once because Benjamin tried to use a machine on his own.
We stumbled upon the Squero San Trovaso, the oldest boatyard in Venice, which first opened in the 17th century. We watched them at work for a while. This gondola was waiting in the canal for some time. When the workers were ready, they placed rollers on the ground and they all worked together to hoist the gondola out of the water. It looked heavy! We compared this to a garage where cars would be worked on and took note that everything requires maintenance to run well.
Next stop… the Ca’ Macana for a mask painting class. I highly recommend this if you are traveling to Venice with kids. The shop was not a bit stingy with supplies and helped the kids with technique. It was a highlight for all!
They had a huge selection of masks from which the kids could choose. (They had another large table in the back) and the masks felt very sturdy.
After the difficult choice of choosing a mask, they selected a color scheme and got painting.
The instructor taught them how to blend the colors together.
Time to dry!
Now for the accouterment…
All of that painting gave us an appetite for gelato!
Not sure what is happening in this one, but… doesn’t Clara remind you of President Trump here? Haha!
Our trip to Venice was finally complete after a much anticipated gondola ride. We named the gondolier Luigi Barbero – just like in Papa Piccolo.
Benjamin marveled at the water level overtaking the ground level of the houses.
We headed out of town in style…via water taxi. Time to say goodbye.
Sadly, this brings our adventures with Papa Piccolo to a close. We had such a fantastic time! The kids have turned a corner in their ability to travel and we had almost zero fighting and whining for a whole day and a half! That is monumental!
I don’t know how much the kids will remember of this time, but I will treasure these memories in my heart forever. Ciao bella Venezia!