Venice!!June 24, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C
It's so beautiful and SO HOT!!!!
It's so beautiful and SO HOT!!!!
We spent a day and a half in Venice as it was a change over day with half the ship disembarking and a new lot of passengers joining the cruise. There are three other cruise ships in port already so Venice is bound to be crowded. The port is a little way away from the main square and the only way is by water...there are no roads where we are going (to quote the Doc in Back to the Future - am I showing my age here? )
So we arrive in Venice and the place is a sea of people ( This is also a public holiday weekend). When you think of Venice you really only think of the canals, gondolas/ gondaliers, a couple of famous bridges (Rialto bridge and Bridge if Sighs), St Marks Basilica & Square and the Grand Canal. Apart from the Doge's Palace there is not to much more to see. I guess it is the uniqueness of this place that is the main attraction.
We had a tour of the Doge's Palace - very ornate with gold and painted ceilings and apparently one of the largest canvas paintings in the world. We crossed the Bridge of Sighs which does not have any romantic connotation associated with it as the gondoliers would have you believe as they punt you underneath. Instead it was actually the direct path to the prison. The sighs would be the sound the prisoners would make as they crossed the bridge, possibly only a one way trip.... Or so the story goes.
It is known as St Mark's Basilica (and square) because that is where the apostle St Mark is buried. Trouble is, St Mark died in Egypt , not Venice, but as the Venetians were always competing against Rome (who had St Peter), they decided to steal the body from Egypt and bring it back to Venice. To do this they hid his body in a large basket and covered it with pork so when they passed through customs the Muslims would not touch pork and thus not find the body. True story - fascinating stuff. There is a depictation of this event on the front of St Mark's Basilica. Unfortunately we were not able to go into St Mark's as the queues were just too long.
We didn't go on a gondola as it is quite expensive and when we looked at the faces of those travelling, nobody seemed very happy, including the gondalier. We got plenty of photos though and we also made our way to the Rialto bridge, did some shopping and bought a piece of Murano glass (another Venetian specialty) and a couple of other souvenirs. Back onboard on off to Split in Croatia.Read more
Wow! I think this city was my favourite so far!
Our campground wasn't actually in Venice, but a short ride over by water taxi. The mosquitos (mozzies, in Aussie-speak) were noteworthy, but the bug repellant helped.
Venice is actually made up of 118 islands that are connected by hundreds of bridges of various types and sizes; everything from the opulent Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs to a regular footbridge. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice and the Basilica named in his honour is quite spectacular and the only works of art inside are mosaics. The basilica opens up onto St Mark's Square, which is quite large and home to thousands of pigeons.
We started off our full day in Venice bright and early with a walking tour led by a really terrific tour guide that lives in Venice - she even pointed out her house. There are over 120 churches because, historically, each island had at least one church. There are no cars or bicycles permitted in Venice, which is great for walking around, buy it's an extra challenge to move goods (and even garbage) around the city, so everything is moved using hand carts (definitely contribute to the high cost of Venice).
We had free time after our walking tour ended in St Mark's Square, so a group of us hit some of the high points (Rialto and Sighs) and went exploring. In case of emergency, we had a Mario, but it was fun just walking around the tiny streets, looking in shops, gelato and food multiple times. A few of us found a little restaurant and spent a couple of hours with pasta and vino, then we meet up with the whole group for gondola rides.
Gondolas are pretty much exclusively for tourists at this point and I'm glad to have experienced it. There were six of us per gondola and our gondolier was one his cell phone almost the entire time, which kind of stunted what I'd pictured, but it was near anyway.
I'd mentioned to Cobey and Amelio how much I enjoy bringing back art from trips because it's something that I can display at home and bring back memories from travels. As we were walking back from the gondolas, they came across a man drawing with charcoal and they brought me over... His pieces were amazing! It was a tough decision, but I decided on a charcoal sketch of the Bridge of Sighs. Perfect, since I was definitely hoping to find something in black and white for home. It won't smudge and is sandwiched in cardboard to keep it safe until I get home! I took a photo with the artist and Cobey took a time-lapse of his sketching while I was deciding... Amazing!
It's hard to explain, but I really enjoyed the vibe of the city as a whole. I'm glad I found a terrific souvenir from this terrific city!Read more
A sticker on a trash can
You might also know this place by the following names:
Isola Nuova del Tronchetto