Wednesday, September 26, 2007
On to Venice
A very long drive took us from Vienna to Venice, Northern Italy. Along the way we passed farms, small communities & monasteries on the hillsides. Our journey took us through the Dolomite Mountains which are the foreground mountains of the Italian Alps. Indeed we were treated to a few glances of the snow covered Alps. The Dolomite Mountains are very popular with tourists for skiing and mountain climbing.
The next day was spent exploring the beautiful city of Venice. Venice is actually part of the mainland and a group of over 100 islands in the Venetian lagoon beside the Adriatic Sea. There are over 100 canals over which span some 400 bridges. In order to reach our destination of St. Mark's Square, having taken a ferry to the island, we had to walk across about 6 of those bridges. The last was called, "The Bridge of Sighs" because it is where the jail is located!
St. Mark's Square is the main square of Venice, named for the Cathedral which dominates it. St. Mark's Basilica is a gorgeous cathedral of multiple domes and portals--all made of marble. Although we did not go in, it is famous for its beautiful mosaics which we were able to see an example of from outside.
Another thing Venice is famous for is their talent for glass blowing. Boys start apprenticing at 10 years of age to master this craft. Murano glass is among the prettiest and most sought after in the world. We saw a glass blowing demo, and in like 5 minutes the blower showed how to make a simple vase.
We wandered through some of the well-marked alleyways to arrive at the famous Rialto Bridge which spans the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is the main waterway of Venice.
It was very hot in Venice, and by now we were ready to take a Gondola ride. We were maneuvered in and out of small side canals, under bridges-the skill of the gondolier was amazing! How fortunate we were to be placed in the Gondola that carried the musician and the tenor! I can't tell you what a thrill it was as we went through canal after canal to hear his voice resound off the walls of the buildings! It gave me goose bumps! Other tourists came running to hear him when we stopped in an area. They had their videos running, and it is fun to think of how many films we were caught on!
Thanks for joining me on this journey!
Next: A quick visit to Burano!