Venice, Italy- Day 1

Venice Travel Blog

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Canal

Note: Make sure you know where your Hotel/Hostel is located before you go... many say Venice but are the train stop right outside of Venice.  We got off in Venice instead of the one before it which made finding our budget hotel/hostel impossible.  We eventually figured it out but this is the first city there was a big launguage barrier... everywhere else we went we had no problem finding locals who spoke english. 

Next thing to notice... if you are looking for a cheap breakfast or lunch from a local bakery... don't let them convince you to sit down and eat it.  Get it to go or they charge you about double the price plus a sitting fee.  So a cheap 3-5 Euro breakfast turns into 20 Euro easily.

Store selling masks
 

The city is beautiful although the canals smell a little and I'm sure are very dirty.  It is nice because there are no cars and you walk everywhere without worrying about someone hitting you.  The city is filled with stores selling unique things like antiques, masks, jewelry, glass, and more.  Our first major stop was St. Marcs Basilica.  There may be a long line but it moves relatively fast.  Have one person wait in like while the others walk (to the left of the basilica if you are facing it) to a place where they have free lockers to put your bags since you won't be allowed to bring them inside.  Also if you are wearing a tank top or shorts shorter than your knees you won't be allowed in.  At the same place with the bags you can get a piece of cheap cloth (bright orange) to drape around your shoulders and tie around your waist making you look fashionable and allowed into the basilica.

me super Fashionable before entering St. Marc's Basilica
 

Once inside the Basilica look up and admire the amazing ceiling.  It is almost all gold and made up of mosaic pieces depicting bible scenes and saints.  We paid an extra 2 Euro to see the treasury which consisted of fancy cups, books, gold and jweled bible scenes, etc.  Also included in the treasury are the relics.  I don't want to offend anyone reading this but, I am not catholic and I didn't know what relics are.  For all of you who don't know what they are.... my perspective.... they are basically bones/body parts of saints that are put in these fancy containers.  They are said to bring miracles.  It was the creepiest thing i've ever seen... i saw skulls, shrivled hands, leg bones, etc in fancy jars.  Parts of their body are sent all over the world to be in different churches.

Entrance to St. Marc's Basilica
  Every catholic church has to have a relic.  You can make secondary relics by touching an object to these bones which then are considered holy as well.  I guess these saints don't receive a christian burial... Next we saw the golden alter which is worth paying to see.  It is stunning.  It depicts Mary's life and saints.

Then we went to the top of the tower right near the Basillica.  it gave a great view and the bells actually went off when we were up there.  If you walk along the water front in that area you will find lots of artists and crafts men set up selling their art work.  This was exciting for me because I decided I wanted to buy some pieces of art work from places I visited since I may never have the opportunity to go back.

View from Tower
  I also discovered getting a canvase painting is easier then paper because it can be rolled up protecting it better in your luggage.  I bought a beautiful painting from a local for only 35 Euro which was a deal for this.  A lot of times if you say you'll think about it they will say I will sell it cheaper... so you can get a little deal. 

We then signed up for a tour the following day and went off to see Models of Da Vinci's designs that were on display in a church.  many you could actually play with and see how they worked which was fun, especially since I'm an engineer.  After we traveled by bus back to our hostel and rested up.  The owner was nice and recommended a near by cheap resturant for a good italian dinner.  It was great and we ate there again the following night. 

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Canal
Canal
Store selling masks
Store selling masks
me super Fashionable before enteri…
me super Fashionable before enter…
Entrance to St. Marcs Basilica
Entrance to St. Marc's Basilica
View from Tower
View from Tower
Me with two people dressed up.  Yo…
Me with two people dressed up. Y…
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy