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Friday, September 23, 2005

Day 12: Venice

Venice or Venezia is an island separated from the mainland. Actually its territory covers a few small islands nearby. Our hotel was in Mestre, a small town in the mainland. We took a motorboat for 25 minutes to reach Venice.

Chiesa del Redentore

San Giorgio Maggiore

Campanile (bell tower) at St Marks square (the campanile here and the one at San Giorgio Maggiore looks the same too)

Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs)

This is one of the famous bridge in Venice. The building on the left is the Palace, and on the right is the Jail. In the olden days, after a prisoner received his sentence at the palace, he would take the journey to the jail via this bridge which most likely he sighed thinking about his fate. That is why it was called Bridge of Sighs. Some famous residents of the jail were Casanova and Galileo Galilei.

Piazza San Marco
St Mark's Square is the center of Venice. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, museum surrounding the square. Basilica San Marco, Campanile and the Palace are here too. The movie "Italian Job" was shot in here.

Piazza San Marco

Basilica San Marco

Pigeons everywhere

The square was full of pigeons. It was the biggest flock of pigeons I had ever seen. They were so fortunate, tourists were feeding them non-stop!!

Palazzo Ducale (Palace)

Restaurants in front of the palace with the band playing some jazz

We took a break from our sightseeing and visited the glass-blowing and lace-making shops. It is what Venice is famous for.

The artist just finished showing us on how to "blow" a horse

This place is full of canals. Because of the landscape, flooding happens quite often. Luckily the water level was quite low that day. The street, I think alley was more appropriate, was very narrow. That was the reason why there was no public transportation here. No cars or bus would be able to go through. I think it was a wise decision to stay in the mainland, I didn't want to drag my suitcase along these alleys. And they all looked the same, that's why some people say it is easy to get lost here. But as I experienced it, it was not so bad after all, there were signs that point to the direction of Piazza San Marco. So if you get lost, just follow the sign.

Gondola ride is another famous attraction here. In the olden days, it was used as a mean of transportation, but nowadays, it is solely for tourism. The ride was not cheap, Euro 20 (SGD 40) for 40 minutes ride. I didn't give it a try, I think it was overrated.

A typical canal and alley


Some artworks

Canal Grande from Ponte Dell'Accademia

Zoom in to Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Vivaldi Museum (a museum dedicated to classical music)

Ponte di Rialto

We were warned that the food was very expensive at St Marks square. Cover charge, service charge, bread charge might be added to the bill. Set meal might be a better choice because the price had been fixed.

Venice was very romantic at night, especially at St Marks square. The pigeons were gone (so I didn't have to worry about the bird shit anymore), the night was alive with classical and jazz music from the restaurants and there were many vendors selling roses everywhere. Some couples even danced on the spot with the music from the restaurants.

The roses were getting cheaper as the day turned into night, from Euro 3 each to Euro 1. I got mine at Euro 1 hahah...

Sunset at the square

Piazza San Marco

Basilica San Marco

Palazzo Ducale

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