Venice: renting an apartment to do laundry
We boarded the train in Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station and two hours later we were at Venice’s Santa Lucia station. We’ve become big fans of traveling by train because they are clean, convenient and a lot less hassle than flying. And speaking of convenient ~ when we exited the train station, this was what we saw:
Chiesa di San Simeone Piccolo.
Not only does the canal and the church scream “you’re in Venice!”, the church is also one short block from our rental apartment. Convenient, yes?
Our apartment was on the first floor (really just a half set of stairs from the street) and was big. It had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room.
The living room.
Even though the location was convenient and the apartment was big, the real reason we rented it was so we could do laundry.
Yes, I’m serious. Laundry.
By this time, we were eight days into a fourteen-day trip. From previous trips, we knew that our suitcases could hold about 11 days’ worth of summertime clothing (no sweaters and such). For longer trips, our options were to use bigger suitcases, rewear dirty clothes, do sink laundry or find a way to do laundry. Using bigger suitcases would make the train and the car parts of our journey more difficult as well as take up more space in tiny hotel rooms (of which there were two). Wearing dirty clothes was a non-starter. Sink laundry can be a drag.
That left finding a way to do our laundry.
Many rental apartments include a washing machine, which is better than sitting in a laundromat (which we’ve done) or using a hotel’s laundry service. This apartment had a washing machine and the daily rate was favorable compared to a hotel, so we chose this. Our only disappointment with our decision was that we couldn’t stay longer in this comfy, convenient apartment.
Of course, we weren’t doing laundry all the time (or even most of the time). We were out:
…exploring areas that were less touristy but still beautiful…
…and stumbling upon bits of real life.
We also toured of St. Mark’s Basilica. Of all the many churches, cathedrals and basilicas we toured during our time in Europe. I am pressed to remember one that I think is grander, more opulent or more striking than Venice’s St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s grand exterior only hints at the splendor of the interior.
Inside, the walls and ceilings are covered in gold-ground mosaics, making everything shimmer even in the dim light. This is the view across the nave to the altar and apse.
The top of the Gothic altar screen that encloses the chancel with the mosaic of Christ Pantocrator in the apse. Mosaics cover every wall and ceiling.
An up-close view of the gold-ground tiles that cover the walls and ceilings.
The Basilica is very popular and packed with tour groups but if you have the chance to visit, please don’t let that dissuade you. The splendor and history of St. Mark’s are worth sharing your visit with hundreds of your newest friends.