Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day Seven: Venice, Italy

When people ask which place was my 'favorite.' I really can't choose a favorite, I truly loved it all....but if I had to eat fish (ugh, I hate fish), or choose my favorite-Venice would definitely be in the running. We took a ferry over to the Island, or rather, Islands (it was take a ferry or swim). It's really interesting to be somewhere without any cars. There are tons of bridges because it's a bunch of little islands hanging out together, minus the typical sand, and palm trees most islands offer-Venice offers beautiful buildings instead.

It's a busy place, it's a hot, and muggy place, and it's completely different from anywhere else in Europe...or anywhere I've ever been. I love that boats, and gondolas are the source of transportation through the canals. The shopping is great, and the gelatos are even better! I used to collect mask, so this was my place, as several friends that went before me predicted.

We took a quick tour of the main square, including a visit to a famous Venetian Glass factory where we got to see glass heated, blown, and shaped.

This was better than the diamond stop, but still-it was ultimately about the free bathrooms because this is the city you can find the $2.25 restroom stops (it's so hot, it's not that big of an issues, but still...). There were also Italian musicians playing all the traditional Italian songs on the piazzas with little cafe tables overlooking the bustling squares. There are pigeons...lots, and lots of pigeons everywhere. You can feed them by hand, they'll be happy to hop around on your shoulders, head, whatever, but why? Birds=Yuck! We went inside St. Mark's Basilica.

No pictures are allowed inside, but it's pretty incredible. The ceiling is completely covered with tiny gold, and bronze tiles. It's hard to really describe the churches in Europe, it's incredible to see the details, the moldings, the paintings, and mosaics. It's amazing to think of the craftsmanship that went into creating these masterpieces. Of all I saw that was made by man, the churches are the thing that absolutely took my breath away. After shopping down the narrow streets, and people watching, we ended our day in Venice with a gondola ride, and serenade.

It was neat to wind through the big, and small canals via gondola. Our boat ducked under bridges, and wound around through these colorful little houses. I can't even imagine what life would be like here with the water tapping at your front door, but I imagine they visit places and think the same thought in return. Venice is fabulous!