I bought a two day pass for the vaporetti. To kick things off I did a circular tour of Venice in the early morning - I got to see the docking facilities for the giant cruise ships ("No Grandi Navi"), as well as the place where trucks are unloaded into small boats for delivery into the city. I got to see workers installing a new small pier near Rialto bridge: working on a tiny little pontoon, rocking around wildly as he chainsawed a tree trunk. I saw the vigile del fuoco, who patrol the lagoon in big boats ready to put out fires - with smaller boats ready to head deeper into the city if necessary. I also saw the gondola repair workshop. There is no street entrance - and why would there be, in the floating city..?
In the evening I went up Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore. The clouds obligingly dissipated right on cue. And the view across to the city was quite breathtaking.