We seem to have left the hills behind. Our journey, once away from Trieste’s urban sprawl, mainly followed bike route I3 through flat, open farmland (maize and vines) and small villages, many with ancient Roman pedigrees.
The 120 miles to Lido di Venezia took two days with an overnight stop in Portogruero, an interesting, non touristy town, with many fine old buildings including a bell tower that can match the one in Pisa when it comes to leaning.
Both rides were marred by rain, Sunday afternoon was warm with persistent drizzle. Yesterday, at 11 degrees Celsius, was fully 10 degrees cooler than previous days. A couple of ominous claps of thunder heralded a huge downpour with the rain bouncing back off the ground soaking our feet in no time. Curiously, the water spraying up from puddles felt warm, the effect of tarmac heated over previous sunny days?
With a nod to our purse strings and as bicycles are banned in Venice, last night (Monday) and tonight we are staying on the Lido di Venezia a long, thin, outer island accessed by a 20 minute ferry ride from Jesolo. This morning we caught a vaporetti, a bus service by boat, to San Marco, to explore the wonders of Venice.
The half hour queue to enter St. Mark’s Cathedral was well worth it. Colourful mosaics, depicting biblical scenes, cover the ceiling vaults and cupolas. A jewelled, golden alter-piece, The Pala d’Oro, commissioned in Constantinople in 976, and four lifesize copper horses dated as Roman works from the second centuary are highlights.