Friday, July 6, 2012

Venetian Itinerary

Venice has always been one of my favorite cities. It's the Atlantis of Europe. It's emerald green water canals and narrow alleyways make it one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
This is actually the second time I've been to Venice. I visited the city my senior year as part of a choir trip over spring break. This time was different.

We toured a lot more, and I learned more about the history of Venice. I saw San Marco square, the Doge Palace, the Jewish ghetto and San Marco Basilica.
Doge Palace
Girl in the Jewish Ghetto

Local venetian
Fun Facts:

The city is a hodge podge. Not many things in Venice are original. A lot of what is there was plundered, stolen, or bought from other areas.

The lion is a promienent symbol of Venice

Venice had its own government, and at once, was independent.

Gondoliers go to school and training for 2 years. It cost about 50,000 Euro to buy a boat. The tradition is commonly passed down in the family for generations.

Many residents have private owned boats they use to navigate the canals.

There is one casino in Venice.

Venice is known for two artisan items, masks and glass. 

After we completed our tours, we had some free time. I chose to take a water taxi and go to Murono. This island of glass was absolutely stunning. Glass factories were everywhere.
Water taxi ride
Murano glass shop
A lot of the glass though is not functional. In fact, most pieces are artisan, decorative items, like sailboats, animals and other novelties.

After Murono, I realized a life dream: I took a gondola ride. Surprisingly, it took us a while to find one, but we located a boat just in time for dinner. Our gondolier was friendly and knowledgeable. He told us interesting facts as he rowed down the canals.

Our gondolier
It was really cool to see the city from this perspective and to be so close to the water. It was also extremely relaxing. The boat could have easily rocked me to sleep. There was no time for an Italian siesta though because we had to book it to dinner.

At dinner that night we had lasagna, veal, potatoes and terrimissu.

We only spent 3 days in Venice, which wasn't long enough. I hope I'll get to revisit someday.

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