October - November 2016
  • Day11

    Atlanta, GA

    November 1, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Early in the morning of November 1st we got up and trudged off the ship and walked to the bus station to head toward the airport. Our honeymoon was almost over! We were sad to be leaving our Mediterranean adventure, but were looking forward to getting back home to Atlanta. Mike snapped a couple of pictures of the Swiss Alps and of the Sleeping Beauty next to him on the plane.

    Carole managed to make it all the way back to Atlanta before losing her dinner in the airport bathroom. She was a real trooper, and was more than happy to be on firm ground! We snapped two more after we got home; one is of the sunset from our condo balcony and the other is from Piedmont Park.

    We were back to "real life"—more adventures in the years to come!
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  • Day10

    Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    The last item on our itinerary was to find the Rialto Bridge. With our day pass on the public vaporetto, we hopped on a crowded vessel and headed toward the bridge. When we got there, a street vendor who spoke no English (or Spanish) shoved a bouquet of roses in Carole's hands and took our picture. Funny, but awkward!

    The Rialto bridge, a single span stone bridge designed by Antonio da Ponte, was completed in 1591 after a couple of previous bridges had collapsed. It is similar in structure to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico, and on either side of the portico are covered ramps with rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious at the time that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.
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  • Day10

    Honeymoon Gondola Ride, Continued

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    It is estimated that there were 8-10,000 gondolas during the 17th and 18th century. There are just over 400 in active service today, and virtually all of them are used for hire by tourists. The few in private ownership are either hired out to Venetians for weddings or are used for racing. Even though the gondola, by now, has become a widely publicized icon of Venice, in the times of the Republic of Venice it was certainly not the only means of transportation. On the map of Venice created by Jacopo de' Barbari in 1500, only a fraction of the boats are gondolas; the majority of boats in use at that time are batellas, caorlinas, galleys, and other boats.Read more

  • Day10

    A Honeymoon Must: Gondola Ride

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Although very pricey (and especially pricey after dark), we opted to take an evening gondola ride to celebrate the romance of the city, and our recent marriage. We shared the boat with a family of three (not pictured, as they didn't add to the romance of the trip). Tacky as it might be to talk about money, we shared an 80 Euro cost for a short 30 minute ride; a 45 minute ride cost 120 Euro. The gondola drivers sure do make good money for cruising around the city's canals with sappy tourists!Read more

  • Day10

    Doge's Palace

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Originally built in the 12th century, the palace underwent significant changes in the 15th century when it was expanded due to political changes and fires that damaged part of the structure. The palace is in the Venetian Gothic style and served as the main government building for what might be considered the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, if put in American terms.

    Most of the photos here are of the institutional chambers of government. There is also a picture of one of four rooms in the palace's armory, which houses a collection of old weaponry that dates back to the 14th century.
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  • Day10

    Doge's Palace and Correr Museum

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Although somewhat disconcerted by the lines to get into hot spots in St. Mark's square, we resorted to a tried and true favorite: recommendations from the travels of Rick Steves. Based on his tips, we opted to visit the Correr Museum, where we were able to buy a combo ticket to Correr Museum and Doge's Palace. Our combo ticket allowed us to bypass the long line at Doge's Palace and head right in.

    There were lots of Venetian artifacts and art in the Correr, but it seems that the only photos we took were of old books from the 14th century. Our Doge's Palace pictures are of Mike in the courtyard, Carole in front of the 15th century ceremonial staircase guarded by Sansovino's colossal statues of Mars and Neptune, and of the "Lion's Mouth" postbox—designated for anonymous accusations of tax evasion or fraud. Text translation: "Secret denunciations against anyone who will conceal favors and services or will collude to hide the true revenue from them".
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  • Day10

    Piazza San Marco

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    The Piazza's history goes back as far as the early 9th century, when relics of St. Mark were stolen from Alexandria, Egypt. The first iteration of St. Mark's Church dates back to the 9th century as well, but the current structure of the church dates back to the early 11th century. Most of the decorative effects were added in later centuries.

    The lines were so long for St. Mark's Basilica that we didn't get to go inside, but we hope to do so in our next trip to Venice. In lieu of waiting in line, we indulged in some tasty Italian gelato and explored some other buildings. We also photographed the Bell Tower (initially built in the 9th century, assuming its current form in the 16th century and rebuilt after the 1902 earthquake) and the Piazzetta—with Doge's Palace and St. Mark's clock tower.
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  • Day10

    More from Frari Church

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    In typical Franciscan fashion, the church's exterior is rather plain, but the interior is anything but plain. These images illustrate why Frari Church is one of Venice's art treasure troves. Unlike most art museums, the church provides viewers with the opportunity to see the artists' works in the setting in which they were intended to be viewed.

    In the church's Chapter Room are the following: Paolo Veneziano’s “Madonna with Child” (c. 1339) on the mantle, Titian's "Madonna of the Pesaro Family" (commissioned by Bishop Pesaro, whose family later acquired the chapel in 1518), the Pesaro funerary monument, Giovanni Bellini's early renaissance triptych "Madonna and Child with Saints", the triptych of St. Mark, and early renaissance works.
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  • Day10

    Frari Church

    October 31, 2016 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Our first stop in Venice was to see the Frari Church. Built over the course of the 14th century in the Italian Gothic style, the church houses many impressive works of art. Those pictured include Titian's "Assumption of the Virgin" (considered the painting that first earned him notoriety as Venice's premier renaissance painter), located at the high altar in the center of the church, and the tomb of Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. Only Canova's heart (or what is left of it) now resides in the building.Read more