I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Day in Venice

funeral hearse on the water

the Bridge of Sighs

Campanile at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square)

St. Mark's Basilica under renovation

Beautiful Gold Mosaics over the door...just a taste of what was to come

note the size of the people at the bottom

the beautiful gold mosaics are only lit from 11:30-12:30 during which their glittery beauty is on display

beautiful mosaics are on the floor as well

lunch at the Florian

me and my sweetie

Danny taking a break on one of the many bridges

stopping for a little gelato

The oldest paper store in Italy

our coffee stop

We were certain we were drinking decaf when they served it with the Hag pouch!

the view toward La Salute

La Salute

these red chandeliers were scattered throughout

beautiful mosaics on the floor

The size of the cruise ships compared to the buildings is quite jaw dropping

That's a cruise ship to the right of La Salute

I tried to take this picture as straight as I could to show that this tower is actually leaning

there were stacks of platforms everywhere, preparing for the tide rise that occurs beginning in October. They put these out as walkways for people so they aren't wading through the water to go everywhere.

This guy (bald head) was belting out a song for these gondola riders.

stopping for a cookie snack

in our "neighborhood" as the Howards would say

our supper spot

when closed, the roll down door has this adorable bird painted on it.

interesting artwork inside

tortellini with prosciutto and cream





Today is our last day in Venice. Danny and I woke up early and walked to the train station to meet Frank and Sheron. They were coming in on the night train from Linz after spending an extra day with Frank's brother, Pat. We walked back to the hotel and since the Lensings room wasn't ready, we left them in ours and the Howard's room to shower and freshen up while we went downstairs with the Howards to eat breakfast. After breakfast, we gathered up Frank and Sheron and set out to show them Venice. We took the Vaporetto to Piazzo San Marco and were so afraid that the crowds we saw along the shoreline might be the line to get into the Basilica. What we actually saw were people trying to get a glimpse of the Ponte dei Sospiri (the bridge of sighs). This tiny, beautiful little white bridge is the bridge between the law courts to the dungeons, where the prisoners took their last glimpse of freedom and supposedly let out a sigh. We were able to squeeze across the Pont Della Paglia bridge and catch our own glimpse of the bridge of sighs before moving on into Piazza San Marco. From there we did enter a line to go into the Basilica Di San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica) but the line moved quickly. This Basilica is known for it's gold mosaics and we knew if we could be there between 11:30 -12:30, the lights would be turned on during that time and we could see them in all of their glory. I was absolutely delighted that we made it! The interior was gorgeous and glittery! The five domed Basilica was originally built in the 11th century and is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture. The interior is elaborately decorated with 40,000 square feet of gold mosaic murals and the golden altarpiece, Pala d'Oro is inlaid with precious gems and also dates to the 11th century. We walked around the square under the portico and ate lunch at the very touristy Caffe Florian, an historic cafe built in 1720 that looks out on the square. There was live orchestral music playing also which only added to the ambiance. I didn't like my sandwich, but everyone else enjoyed theirs. We left St. Mark's Square to go to our favorite gelato stop from yesterday, La Boutique del Gelato. From there, we walked some more, crossing bridges and squares until everyone was ready for another sit down spot and we sat down for coffee. Coffee is espresso here and is very very strong in a tiny little cup. Brian and I like cappuccino but it is frowned on after 12. The Italians believe the milk in it hurts the digestive process. I think they're nuts. We decided to be a little bit rebellious and order it anyway and if there was a frown, it was a tiny one and ignored. I have to order cafe Hag (pronounce "awg" which is a brand of decaffeinated that is really quite good.  They will also give you the Hag if you order cafe decaffinato. I was convinced that I would not be able to enjoy a cup of Italian coffee and I am happy to say that that is not the case. After resting a bit and enjoying our coffee and refreshements we headed off in search of La Salute. Along the way, Sara Beth wanted to take some "couple" pictures on one of the bridge. I was the designated photographer for the Howards and Lensings. While the Lensings were getting into position, an oriental couple asked me if I would take a picture of them and handed me their camera. Brian was watching me trying to balance their camera and my camera to take the Lensing's picture and took the couple's camera from me. I thought he was taking it to hold it, but instead he took a picture of the Lensings with it because he thought it was THEIR camera. The other couple who were standing near the Lensings were all laughing with us as we explained to Brian what his mistake was. While we were walking, Sara Beth also found the oldest paper printing shop in Italy and the youngest bookbinder of Venice located right next door. I think that was probably the highlight of her whole day! We found La Salute and it's located at the mouth of the Grand Canal and is an example of Venetian Baroque built from 1631-1681. It was built to mark the end of the plague epidemic that killed so many Venetians. There are beautiful paintings inside by Titian, Tintoretto, and Palma the Younger. Only a few are available for the general public, the others require the payment of a small fee. Sara Beth and Brian paid the fee to see the others and said it was worth the 3 euro. The gang was getting tired so Danny gave them directions of how to go back on the Vaporetto in the direction of the hotel. Danny and I chose to walk the two miles back to the hotel, going a different direction so we could see more of Venice since it was our last day. It was a leisurely walk back and including a few stops took us about an hour. We ate dinner tonight at a delightful pizza/pasta place and had more gelato afterward. The food which we had been warned would not be good has actually been quite tasty. Either that, or we do not have a very refined palate! Tomorrow we board the train for Florence!

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