Fairy Tale City

Venice Travel Blog

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another early morning for our tour. although we were in venice, we were actually on mainland venice. quite a ways from the island of venice. or i should say islands. as venice is made up of 117 islands. In fact, venice is entirely man made, through land reclamation, and the destruction of the slovenia forests. They cut down the forests after the fall of the roman empire, and pounded the wood into the marshes to create what we know as venice, a long time ago...well venice still stand, although the area is sinking...the entire city of venice is a unesco world heritage site, which means the preservation of the city will continue and also look the same for ages to come, so long as the oceans dont rise too much.

we drove as far as we could, which is the first island of venice.

the italians constructed a bridge from the mainland to venice for port usage. this is where all visitors depart from , as well as cruise ships. the ferry ride was only about 30 minutes long, and the magical city was quickly in sight. venice, to me was like going to disney world. it is other worldly. for starters, mainland venice looks like newark nj. its an industrial area. not attractive at all. moreover, when you arrive on the island, it is like taking a time machine back in history as it looks much like it did 200 years ago....also, due to alot of circumstances, in recent years the population has declined from 200k to about 65k. However, during the day, due to tourists i am sure it explodes to well over 200k.

anyhow, we arrived to the main plaza, san marco, aka saint mark.
st marks basillica towers over the main plaza,(his relics are there) as well as a 100m tower, and this is europe so a clock tower. this square is so maginificent that when napoleon arrived, he decided the square would be his office, so he had a desk put in the middle, and he worked from there for some time.

we had two group events after our arrival. glass blowing demo and venetian lace demo. both of which are the traditions of venice. the glassblowing demo was nothing new to me, as i have seen it done dozens of times before, however lace was new to me...the lace studio is subsidized by the italian government since it is a dying art, and they want to keep it alive. so they help pay the wages of the women, to keep it going. After both demos we had a little free time.
enough to grab lunch. a few of us walked into the city and found a nice restaurant tucked away. i had my first real pizza, which was fantastic. did you know the italians didnt invent pasta, it was the asians..it was brought to italy via trading, and they perfected it. after lunch, i had my first gelato...yum...

venice is a place where maps dont work. there are too many alleys, and lost streets, canals etc,. so they key to experiencing venice is to get lost. all the major sites have signs that guide you there. mind you, they are not all official signs. some post it notes, photo copies, marker on the wall, spray paint, etc...nonetheless, they all work.. they will get you where you want to go...there are a million options and ways to get to one spot.

after lunch, we met at a pier for our gondola rides. a must in venice. the ride was nice, we rode near academia, and up into a canal. 6 per boat, plus wine too. it was an amazing experience and too hard to put into words.

the rest of the afternoon was free time. so i went off on my own to explore, take photos, see the major sites and do a little shopping...i went to rialto, down many back alleys, to academia, and back to st marks to enjoy the basillica... all great sites... and of course, along the way i got another gelato. we lucked out, the weather was sunny and cool, and no cruise ships flooded the city....once again we reconvened in the square, this time for dinner...we had an italian dinner, lots of pasta and music before catching the ferry back to our hotel...

what a lovely day in an amazing fairy tale city.

livelovelaugh87 says:
haha fantastic-if you read my vencie blog i also point out that maps don't work, good to know I'm not the only one who had a hard time!
Posted on: Dec 06, 2009
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