From the Piazzetta I took a swift left turn past the Campanile and into St Mark's Square. Either side of the square is decked with tables and chairs - sit on a chair at your peril! How about 20 Euro's for two cups of coffee - not likely. If you've got money to burn then dive in, but surely no cup of coffee in the world is worth that kind of outlay. Then again, you're paying for the location, a prime spot in the heart of Venice, and that obviously comes at a price. A small orchestra played for the paying customers as they sat watching the world go by. Waiters in white dinner jackets and dicky-bows tended to the customers, lending a rather finishing touch to the art of exclusivety in St Mark's Square. It was interesting to see just how many people were sitting in the restaurant seats - they must have mare money than sense! There was an abundance of Japanese and American tourists among the crowds in St Mark's - many of them formed part of a group that were being guided around the area, enjoying an informal and factual account of ancient Venice up to the present day. I noticed a flyer on the boat across to Venice that advertised a forthcoming open air concert in the square by Sting, former frontman of pop group The Police. The show was billed as Symphonicity, and what a place to play live in on a potentially warm Summer's night. I wonder how much those tickets were going for?
From the Square I headed through the Napoleonic wing, a long walk where exclusive (and very expensive) shops lined the route on one side, with columns along the other that led back into the Square. The first part of Venice had been seen and what an eye-opener it was - a kind of 'How the other half live'. From the Napoleonic Wing I walked through an arch and into Calle Larga, a typical narrow street with high buildings that had plenty of character. At this point the exploration of Venice really started to kick in and I had the feeling I was going to do some serious damage with my camera. It was now time to invite my 10-22mm wide to the party...
To be continued.