Venice 1

Picture of map
Picture of market Venice is a wandering sort of place, so we didn't really visit specific areas on specific days. In some cases we aren't sure exactly where we visited. So the best way to distinguish these two pages (other than number 1 and number 2) is by the weather. This is the sum of all the rainy and overcast pictures we took in Venice, which is quite a lot of them because it often seems to be rainy and overcast there. This little produce street market near the Ponte Guglie also features our hotel, the Hotel Alle Guglie (the white sign on the right). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there and highly recommend it.
Picture of ponte_guglie This is the view from the nearby Ponte Guglie (just a little past the train station on the north side of the Grand Canal). This is one of a handful of medium size canals in Venice. Other than the Grand Canal, most canals are relatively narrow and are not serviced by Vaporettos (like the one in the foreground).
Picture of grand_canal We have a hundred pictures like this and it's hard to pick one or two. Gondolas, palaces, and lovely blue-green water. Of course the water is rather polluted but the weather conditions seem to work to its advantage and it comes out looking more colorful.
Picture of gondola_rialto Venice has a few attractions and about half of those are things you just look at, like the Grand Canal, or the Rialto Bridge (shown here). For the most part, Venice is the attraction itself and there's nothing specific to do but go get lost in the alleyways.
Picture of dm_bridge Here's a random small bridge which was probably in the San Marco section of town although there's no way to be really certain. We may or may not be lost at this point, but we are most definitely wet.
Picture of piazza_san_marco If you only go to one place in Venice, it will most certainly be Piazza San Marco. We're not sure why you'd only go to one place in Venice though. Three sides of the plaza are surrounded by several buildings that give the impression of being one big continuous building.
Picture of campanile Also in the square is Venice's campanile. This is not the leaning tower of Venice. There certainly are some leaning towers to be found, but the Campanile already fell down once (1912) and was rebuilt. This is the perfectly straight tower of Venice photographed by a leaning David.
Picture of basilica The fourth side of Piazza San Marco is the fun side because it features the Doge's Basicila. Doge is a specialied Venetian word which basically means Duke. Basilica of course means a cross-shaped religious building that you aren't allowed to take photographs in. The main basilica is free. The good stuff costs extra. The Pala d'Oro is one of those good things which is worth the extra Euros. It is a fascinating and intricate work of gold and gemstones (so many gemstones).
Picture of basilica_detail The outside of the basilica is fascinating and heavily influenced by the cultures that Venice traded with or fought with (usually both) like Turkey and Greece. Incidentally, you should really try to eat (or drink) as far from here as possible. The cover charges on San Marco square ranged as high as 7 Euros just to sit down.
Picture of doges_palace The Doge's Palace leads from the main piazza to the waterfront. This is probably the single highlight of Venice if we had to pick one just because of the variety of things contained within it. Photography is not really permitted inside even though everyone else was taking pictures anyway. We followed the rules for the most part so we don't have any pictures of the private apartments of the Doges which are definitely worth seeing.
Picture of giants_staircase This is Giant's staircase inside the palace. This is a highlight because the guided tour says so. Sure it's nice but it doesn't compare to the Map Room which has two of the biggest globes you'll ever see. The ceilings alone in each of the rooms upstairs are worth the price of admission.
Picture of bridge_of_sighs Ahh, the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte Sospiri). This leads from the Doge's Palace to the dungeon. Convicted prisoners had their last view of the city from here before being locked away. It certainly isn't the most attractive bridge in Venice but we need to include this picture of it so that the next picture makes more sense.
Picture of bridge_sighs_inside This is the view from inside the bridge through those tiny little decorated openings. That's the church and island of San Giorgio visible across the lagoon. The dungeon is part of the tour of the Doge's Palace, or at least it was on this particular day. They seem to change the route daily if not hourly.
Picture of gondola_mark Sooner or later we have to bring up gelato, so let's get it over with now. Gelato (an Italian form of ice cream) is a necessary part of Italian life (and of visiting Italy in our opinion). On our 1999 Italy pages we did goofy things with colors and gelato flavors, so we are going to follow precedent even though Melanie almost always ordered brown and cream colored gelato flavors. Luckily David was around to use up as many different colors as possible. On this particular day David had apple while Melanie had chocolate and hazelnut .

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