Venice – Days Six and Seven

Venice was unlike anything we’ve ever seen! Venice, the world’s longest existing Republic, began with the Venetian lagoon offering a refuge for people fleeing the barabrians who conquered Italy after the fall of the Roman empire. It is a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in a lagoon off of the Adriatic Sea. With it’s many bridges and narrow ‘streets’ and no vehicles of any kind at all, it was a really fun experience. We got lost several times but always found our way eventually with our trusty maps. It rained much of the time we were there but that just added to the adventure!

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In the water taxi from the train station to the hotel. We also took one the day we left from our hotel to the airport. It was exciting going top speed in the middle of the night through the fog!
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We had traveled in Italy by planes, trains, automobiles, and now… boats!
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Our hotel. The water taxi dropped us off right at the dock.
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St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) was completed around 1071 and is considered a shining example of Byzantine architecture.
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The other side of the basilica (left) and Doge’s Palace (right).
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We went up in the Campanile (bell tower) to get a good overview of the city. This is St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) below us.
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The gondola docks on the lagoon.

 

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The view along the lagoon edge of the city.
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A gondola ride with Sergio, our gondolier. He didn’t sing to us but he pointed out the sights along the way.
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The Bridge of Sighs. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace. The bridge name, given by Lord Byron in the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.
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Cullan didn’t get to sit in the “romantic” seats, but he enjoyed the ride anyway. We marveled at how skilled the gondolier was with taking sharp corners, avoiding the many other gondolas and motor boats, and tipping the gondola sideways to get under very short bridges.
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Exploring the streets and canals of the city.
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The Ponte dell’Accademia is one of only four bridges in Venice, Italy, to span the Grand Canal. If you look to the left of us, you will see a cluster of padlocks. We saw these on bridges all over Italy. Apparently they are placed by lovers inspired by a fictional novel and have caused problems because of weight and rust.
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The Rialto Bridge was completed in 1591, is the oldest bridge across the Grand canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. (Yes, Marco and Polo!) There are rows of shops on either side of the central portico.

Thanks for looking in on us. We truly had the trip of a lifetime and hope to return to Italy again one day!