Grand Canal

Venice Travel Blog

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perfect postcard shot

Our evening ended with a lovely GONDOLA ride and a bottle of champange. There were 6 girls in the gondola but only 3 of us drinking. Bring on the bubbly! It's a very peaceful ride (I think my mom was bored) and I imagine that it would be romanic for a couple. The gondolas left in sets of 3 for our tour group and 1 gondola had an accordian player and a guy singing. I have no idea what he was saying, but it sounded pretty good. Many of the building thru the canals many water damage along the bottoms where the canal has flooded. It's funny to see small docks and cement steps going right into the canal. For some building the only entrance is the canal. Even hotels have a nice door right on the water.

After our gondola ride was over, mom and I walked thru Venice back to the train station. It didn't take too long and we didn't even get lost although I expected we might. After a while all the shops become repeatative once you leave St. Mark's square where all the high end designers are. The illegal street vendors are quick to wrap up their merchandise if the police some around. You'll see the same purses and sunglasses all over Italy.

homeres says:
sure is!!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2009
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View from the Waterbus

Murano Glass

Our day at the Plaza Hotel started with breakfast and a train ride. Many people that work in Venice commute from the less expensive areas nearby on the mainland, like Mestre. Upon arriving at the train station, we then switched to a waterbus to get to Murano. The island of Murano located in the lagoon is home to the glass-blowing industry of Venice. Apparently, glass furances were all moved to the island in 1291 as a precausion against fire. Ferro & Lazzarini was our very first tour stop. I guess glass-blowing is a past-time because the youngest craftsman was in his 40s. Each of the 10 or so men working there have a specialty.

Mine
Some make mostly chandeliers while others make certain types of vases or glassware. We watched 1 gentleman make a "flower" vase in about 5 minutes and a horse in about 3. It's amazing to watch and even more amazing that they charge so damn much for these items that take only minutes to form. Of course, the whole process of melting the sand and cooling the piece takes much longer. There were 7 furnaces in the work area. Each furance is heated to 2500 degrees fahreneit and holds a different color glass. The clear was right in front of the viewing area but there was also red, blue, green, aquamarine, amber, and purple. Different elements are added to the sand in order to get the different colors. For example cobalt to get the blue, cobalt and silver for the aquamarine, iron for green, managnese for purple, and gold for the red. Red is the most expensive color to buy since it is the most expensive to produce.
Doge's Palace
After the piece is formed, it's put into another furance that slowly lowers in temperature so that the glass can cool without breaking. I knew going on the trip that I intended to buy a hand blown glass vase...and I did. A pretty blue one!

Palazzo Ducale and the "Bridge of Sighs"

Doge's Palace was once home to the rulers of Venice. And like most, possibly all, buildings in Italy you can't take pictures inside. So many of my picutre throughout this blog are outside only. But really, the insides get very boring. All the dark disturbing paintings look the same after awhile. I'm really not much of a art or history person so I get very bored, very quickly. In Doge's Palace you can take the same walk prisoners used to take across the enclosed bridge of sighs.

Famous astrological clock
When many hear that phase, "bridge of sighs", they think of lovers taking a gondola ride on the canal. But the bridge was named to prisoners sentenced sighing as they crossed to the dungeon.

Basilicadi San Marco

St. Mark's basilica was much more impressive to me. The walls are covered not with paintings, but with mosaics. Above the main entrance are 4 bronze horses that we were told represent the horsemen of the apocolypse although I have not been able to confirm that in my research. That's just something the guide said. I thought the clock tower overlooking the square was pretty cool. It's a 24 hour clock and you can see by the XII 40 that I took the picture around 12:40. The dial of the clock has zodiac signs on the inner ring. The square has dozens of street vendors selling all kinds of touristy stuff. Including canival masks.

perfect postcard shot
perfect postcard shot
View from the Waterbus
View from the Waterbus
Mine
Mine
Doges Palace
Doge's Palace
Famous astrological clock
Famous astrological clock
Pretty little lighthouse
Pretty little lighthouse
Along the Lagoon
Along the Lagoon
Views from the Waterbus
Views from the Waterbus
Ramdom statue as we walked past th…
Ramdom statue as we walked past t…
In front of Doges Palace
In front of Doge's Palace
Backside of the Tower
Backside of the Tower
Doges Palace again
Doge's Palace again
again...
again...
Inside Doges Palace square
Inside Doge's Palace square
view from the second story
view from the second story
something about gold in its mouth
something about gold in it's mouth
not sure...a guard maybe
not sure...a guard maybe
ceiling
ceiling
prison...about to cross the bridge…
prison...about to cross the bridg…
the bakcside
the bakcside
each step has a different pattern
each step has a different pattern
Little Tower
Little Tower
St. Marks
St. Mark's
a mosaic
a mosaic
antoher mosaic
antoher mosaic
2 of the 4 apocolypse horses
2 of the 4 apocolypse horses
Above the entrance to St. Marks
Above the entrance to St. Mark's
close-up top
close-up top
close-up middle
close-up middle
close-up clock
close-up clock
View from Piazza San Marco
View from Piazza San Marco
St. Marks Basillica
St. Mark's Basillica
pidgeon bath
pidgeon bath
hand blown glass horse being made
hand blown glass vase being made
and were off
and we're off
other from our group
other from our group
mom checkin out the scenery
mom checkin out the scenery
its like a race
it's like a race
moms bored
mom's bored
awsome shot...looks great in Sepia
awsome shot...looks great in Sepia
our gondolair (? huh ?)
our gondolair (? huh ?)
thats a good shot
that's a good shot
pretty buildings
pretty buildings
some sort of church on the canal
some sort of church on the canal
try again
try again
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy