Today was all about visiting the neighbouring islands around Venice. We bought our 48hr vaperetto boat pass and headed off on our first stop to Murano, famous for its glass making.
We had the 11 museum ticket pass including the glass museum so headed there first.
The museum itself only has a few rooms with select pieces in so I wouldn't bother paying had it not been so cheap to get the museum pass but there was a really interesting video which showed all the different glass making techniques which you get to watch at the start of the tour.
The chandeliers were rather impressive and when you see the techniques around how this stuff is made you can see why the real murano glass pieces are so much more expensive than the imported stuff from China.
Next it was off to Torcello but not before stopping in a little cafe next to the boat stop for an amazingly great slice of pizza, our first of the holiday and shouldn't have been anything special. Maybe it was hunger or maybe all pizza in Italy is great but either way it really hit the spot.
Torcello is tiny but was in my top ten things to do in Venice book so we thought we'd try it since its next door to Burano. There's only one street with a few restaurants and shops and at the end of the road is the church and the bell tower.
The church had some wonderful mosaics and on a good winter day from the top of the tower you can apparently see the Alpes. We could not but there were still some lovely views.
Torcello also has one of only 2 bridges in Venice left without sides so of course we walked across and had our picture taken.
Final stop on the morning's island tour was Burano. This is the island famous for its lace and great news, we got to go into the lace museum with our pass ;-)
Its the tiniest museum I've probably ever been in and only worth it if you are really into lace but it was a break from the heat and again had a video you could watch at the start which was kind of interesting.
(Picture as evidence we did see some lace)
Prior to the museum we'd also stopped to have a drink in a place called Bar Sport. Interestingly enough there was no sport inside and when we tried to just order drinks we were told this was a restaurant for eating food and she had to check with the manager we were allowed to stay if only having drinks! Quite random but never mind as they did allow us to stay.
Besides the lace the other thing you'll see plenty of is coloured houses, these are extremely pretty and nearly every house is painted a different colour from its neighbour.
En route back to the boat there was of course the opportunity to try more gelato. I had a wonderfully refreshing passion fruit sorbet and Al went with what seems to becoming his favorite combo of pistachio, caramel and cherry (again rated well but not as well as the Day 2 morning gelato which is currently in the lead).
We headed back to the apartment for another late afternoon chill before heading back out to make the most of our 48hr boat pass and explore Giudecca, another island in Venice.
We had a bit of a wait for the boat so didn't get over until quite late so headed straight for the sky lounge bar, it's in the Hilton hotel and apparently Venice's only roof top bar.
The cocktail menu was amazing and this is clearly what we'd be missing so far this trip. The drinks weren't cheap though €18 a cocktail! The views were worth it though and soon we were joined by a lovely couple from the US who we ended up chatting to for longer than expected.
This meant it was about 10.30 by the time we started looking for somewhere to eat so ended up staying at the first place we found since they said their kitchen was closed but were still making pizzas (which was handy as we had already decided that's what we wanted). We ordered some drinks, Al went for a large beer but got a little more than he expected when it turned out to be the size of a small child (and cost €13, which we weren't planning on after our expensive drinks in the bar earlier).
The pizzas were beautiful and we had a lovely view across the water back to the main island of Venice.
It had been a long day so no midnight hunt for gelato, instead back on the night water bus to our apartment.