We are here in Mirano for 3 wonderful weeks, renting from friends in Cayman who own this lovely apartment. They were kind enough to let us stay in their apartment to enjoy some quiet time after a busy few weeks moving every 7 days. In 2011 we stayed in Padua for 10 days, only 34 km away from here, so we are somewhat familiar with the area. We will take the opportunity to re-visit a few favorite places and discover some new ones.
The apartment we are staying in is part of Villa Cabrini, a 17th century villa which has been restored with some of the outer buildings sold as apartments. The building we are staying in was possibly the servant quarters, granary or stables. Mirano is known for it’s many villas, 36 in total, built by Venetian nobility in the 16th and 17th century as their summer refuge from Venice. Villa Cabrini is on 5 hectares of land and the main villa is open to the public 2 Saturdays each month. The image below shows the villa from a distance and may be a few years old because you can no longer see the villa from this angle. The apartment we are staying is on the far left side where you see 2 arched windows. There are large trees and hedges in front of the property now hiding it from the main road.
The town of Mirano is home to the Cathedral of St Michele Arcangelo which was a pleasant discovery during our explorations. The Cathedral was built in the 17th century and while totally unadorned on the exterior, is beautifully decorated inside. The link above will give you all the information of the Cathedral, which is much too detailed to repeat here, but interesting. We thoroughly enjoyed a slow look around this beautiful church, the Belvedere Gardens and Mirano town center, rewarding ourselves with a gelato near the end of our walk.
We took the bus from Mirano to Venice for a brief look around, and to see how efficient the public transport was, before taking our upcoming house guest there next week. We have a walking tour booked for 9am and wanted to determine how long it was going to take us to arrive at the meeting point in Venice. Our few hours visit was enjoyable as we wandered the quiet back streets in addition to visiting the popular attractions…..along with a few thousand other tourists!!! Venice receives over 30 million tourists each year and can get overwhelming in the busy summer months. We noticed a big difference in the crowds from morning to early afternoon.
One cannot visit Venice without seeing The Bridge of Sighs. It is a beautifully crafted bridge, despite it’s sad history, if you believe the version of prisoners sighing as they crossed over to the jail. The Grand Canal is much busier than we remember, full of water taxis, water buses, transport boats and gondola’s filled with tourists.
We have had a relaxing start to our time in Mirano playing at the local tennis club and going for long bicycle rides around town and on the canal pathways. I think we both had the desire to stay close to home and enjoy the lovely apartment we are in, not drive all over just for the sake of driving to see “something”. That being said, we have a few excursions planned and next up, a visit from a family member…..