The Vaporetto is No Friend of Mine

VENICE DAY 3 After a day of chilly off and on rain, we were thrilled to wake to sun. We scampered onto our shuttle intending to make our way to Rialto bridge via Frari Church and Scuola San Rocco. With the better weather, we made a last minute decision to make a trip to neighboring islands instead.

Unfortunately, confusion about the public boat schedules combined with pushy crowds left us stuck under cover on a boat stop during the only sun of the day. By the time we finally muscled our way onto a vaporetto packed to standing room only, the weather had turned raw. It’s a 45-minute ride to Murano, which would be more than tolerable if you have a seat, but smushed against the steel wall of a hull made me feel less like a tourist on vacation and more like cattle.

On the way to Murano, you have the option to get off the vaporetto at Cimitero. When Napolean decreed it unsanitary to bury the dead near the living, Venetians reserved a nearby island as a burial place and Venetians are still buried there today. Now if you know me even a little bit, you know that there is no way I'd miss a chance to see a cemetery island.

Cemetary StatueCemetary IslandCrypt doorCemetary gate

Nothing so romantic as a cemetery on a rainy day, right? (Kidding!)

Laura and Tom in cemetary

From Cimitero, we took the vaporetto to Murano, which is a small island featuring glass-making businesses. Seeing a glassmaker create a prancing horse from a molten bubble is nothing short of magic. I could have watched him all day and I would have if it weren’t for the fact that I felt guilty for taking up space when children were waiting to watch. After lunch, each of us selected a glass object for a souvenir.

MuranoMuran glass sculptureMurano lighthouse

We then hopped the next packed vaporetto to Burano, an even smaller island of fisherman and lace-makers. I’m talking small island. We walked from one end to the other in about ten minutes.

Boys in Burano Burano again

We grabbed some Burano bicuits (famous ‘S’ shaped cookies), took photos of the charming pastel-colored houses and we were back on yet another packed vaporetto heading to Venice. This time, the boat was so full that we couldn’t get inside so we were stuck on the main deck in the cold. I admit it: I was on sensory overload at this point. The many boats, the many stops, the many languages being spoken all around me, the many people shoving and pushing  - all of it combined to make this my least favorite moment during our trip to Venice. The islands themselves were charming and offered a wonderful addition to the experience of Venice. It was the vaporetto that I didn’t love. Had I known better, I would have splurged on the private tour, but everything is so expensive in Venice that it's sometimes hard to figure how where to spend money and where to save.

The weather worsened in the late afternoon so rather than return to the main island for dinner, we elected to go to a restaurant on our own island just a few blocks down from the hotel. Again, we were greeted with a warm staff and a cozy environment. Even better? Tom found a place that sold HDMI cables so we could watch movies from our younger son’s laptop for free rather than pay the 14 euro charge from the hotel!