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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Saturday, 5 September 2015
At the Hotel Commercio in Venice.
We hired a gondola this morning and went to church of St. John and St. Paul and then to the small church of Something dei Miracoli, very grand and quiet but not thrilling. Then on to Grand Canal, which we came down, seeing all the flags and carpets exposed to decorate houses for the Regatta this afternoon. It was certainly a most wonderful and lovely scene. What a marvellous experience it is, on arriving at Venice by train, to walk out of the station onto the concourse and to see the whole life of the Grand Canal going forward in front of you. I knew in advance that it would be so and yet was still momentarily taken aback by the sight. Venice is truly a unique city. The gondola are good in their way but for my money the best way to see Venice is just to wander about, almost certainly getting lost in the process. I think I have a good sense of direction but it doesn't seem to work in Venice, which has somewhat damaged my pride.
We also inspected two hotels, the Europa and the Britannia, with a view to moving from the Commercio. We liked both of these hotels, and at the Britannia were offered the apartment where Verdi had composed "Rigoletto" (a bad opera) at 450 lira a day. We could decide on nothing , as nothing (except the Verdi) was free.
I like Venice for a holiday better than any other place I have ever been in - provided it is not raining!