Venice Travel Blog› entry 2 of 9 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.