Sunday, June 5, 2011

Venice: the tourist route

Ca'd'Oro "The Golden House"
Venice is easily one of the most atmospheric and romantic cities, I've ever had the occasion to visit.  How can it not be, when it is a city built 117 little islands and has 400 bridges spanning its 177 canals?

Since it was a celebratory weekend, we decided to splurge and arrive in style. We took a water taxi and within minutes found ourselves joining the water traffic along the Grand Canal, Venice's main street. I must've immediately used half of the camera's memory space, taking pictures of the gorgeous marble palaces that lined the "street".

And the sight of those gondolas made me gasp with delight.

The Rialto Bridge
On our first day, we decided to play the tourist and do the tourist route...

Hence, we paid a visit to the Piazza San Marco where we posed for pictures along with what seemed like a thousand pigeons...

The Basilica, built to resemble those wonderfully ornate Byzantine churches was impressive with all the gold and gems it housed inside.  But inside, hard as it is to believe, there are quiet little pockets of calm where one can pray and contemplate the mysteries of life and faith.
A view of the Basilica's side

One of the remaining mosaics over the Basilica's door
It wasn't quite as warm and clear as I would have liked on our first day (but don't worry, it gets better), so this shot of the Piazzeta San Marco is a bit gray.  Still and all you can see clearly the proud winged lion that is the symbol of Venice.

Piazza San Marco

 See, it gets better...look at the Campanile towering over everything else. I'm told there's an impressive view on top but I'm afraid that's going to have to be saved for the next visit.

Just before leaving the square, we turned around and there was the gorgeous church of the San Giorgio Maggiore on a little island all its own.

Stay tuned for more tales of the rest of our Venetian sojourn....

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