We were last in Venice in 2010. What has changed? The biggest change is there was a lot more tourists in the city! I remembered how busy the city was during the day, but the intensity of tourists was so much higher.

We have made arrangements to rent a beautiful apartment in the San Marco area of Venice. This was the same apartment we rented in 2010. Located not far from the Ponte dell'Accademia - one of only four bridges to span the Grand Canal in Venice - the apartment is well positioned. The entrance is off the Calle Vitturi o Falier and the apartment sits right on the quiet Rio del Duca canal. A door opens from the the table onto the canal. On our last trip we opened,the doors for access to the canal. This year, renovations on the building prevented that option. The apartment is part of the Palazzo Falier which was originally built in the 15th century. We did have a chance to walk through the Palazzo and the rooms were impressive.

We highly recommend staying in an apartment. Greater comfort and the experience of shopping for your food and cooking your means makes you feel like you are part of the city. Yes, we did go out for some meals but who needs to eat in a restaurant three meals a day! (Click on thumbnail below for larger image)

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The Regatta

Venice's Regata Storica is a major event for the "Voga alla Veneta" rowing calendar. The sport has been practiced in the Venetian lagoon for thousands of years. Typically 16th century-style boats with gondoliers in period costume carry the Doge, the Doge's wife and all the highest ranking Venetian officials up the Grand Canal in a brightly colored parade. We were very fortunate as the owners of our apartment provided up access to their dock, in front of their palazzo, on the Grand Canal so we had a great view. (Click on thumbnail below for larger image)

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There are four races divided in terms of age and type of craft. The best known and most exciting of these is the "Campioni su Gondolini" race, where a series of small, sporting gondolas fly down the Grand Canal to the finishing line at the famous "machina", the spectacular floating stage located in front of the Ca' Foscari palace.

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