So it’s northwards now to Venice. This involves a steady motor up the deep water channel in an otherwise shallow Venetian Lagoon.
The channel is bounded by the Littorale di Pellestrina and Littorale di Lido on the east and oak mooring posts, known as briccola, on the west. There are fishing villages and other residential zones as well as depots of light industry on the narrow Littorali, which face the Adriatic, and to the west there is open flooded marshland with occasional fishing huts on stilts. After passing some minor islands we get our first views of Venice island itself.
As we look at the skyline of terra cotta roofs, spires, domes and the Campanile di San Marco which towers above all, we are suddenly aware of a vast vessel which is moving through the Canale della Giudecca towards the Canale di San Marco, and as we round the southeastern corner of Venice to sail into the Canale a monstrous cruising ship looms above us. Its name is Costa Fortuna, and I think it probably must do as I stare up at the folk ranged along the upper decks gazing down at us. (The ship boasts 1,358 cabins, 4 restaurants, 11 bars, 6 jacuzzis and 4 pools.) As we pass the ship we immediately turn towards the entrance to our waterside haven.
We are lucky to have a mooring at the small marina next to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore on a small island which faces Piazza San Marco. The island is dominated by the belltower, the white marble facade of the church and the surrounding buildings are part of the old Benedictine monastery. Andrea Palladio’s church and monastery were built between 1559 and 1580 and the Church houses some impressive paintings, including Tintoretto’s Last Supper. When you climb to the top of the campanile you can enjoy a 360 degree vista. The waterways are dotted with vessels criss-crossing the lagoon. Some of these are the water taxis, vaporetti, which will serve us well over the next three days.
We celebrate our safe arrival with drinks in the cockpit and then eat on board. Tomorrow our Venetian experience begins.