As I am writing this Venice blog and uploading my photos from a while back (Venice was one of the first places I ever travelled to!) I am thinking I will need to go back as soon as possible as I went when I had a really rubbish cheap camera which explains the really poor quality photos!! Sorry!!
I only spent a very short while in Venice, it was really just a whistle stop tour as part of our grand tour of Italy. One thing I will say about Venice and that is it must be seen to be believed! It really is unlike anywhere else in the World!
Whilst I was there, as well as consuming ridiculous amounts of amazingly tasty gelato, I also managed to have a snoop at the following:
St Marks Square
Otherwise known as Piazza San Marco, St Marks Square is the main public square of Venice. At the eastern end of the square is the great St Mark’s Basilica.
From the 11th century onwards the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold) due to its grand design and gold mosaics.
The interior is based on a Greek cross, with each arm divided into three naves with a dome of its own as well as the main dome. The marble floor is entirely designed in geometric patterns and animal designs. The lower part of the walls and pillars is covered with marble slabs. In typical Italian style it is very ornate!
St Mark’s Campanile
St Mark’s Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica and it is one of the most recognisable symbols of the city.
The tower is 98 metres tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark’s Square, near the front of the basilica. It is 12 metres wide on each side and 50 metres tall, above which is an open room surrounding the belfry, which houses five bells. The tower is capped by a spire, where on top sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel.
The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower was completed in 1499, above a high archway where the street known as the Merceria leads through shopping streets to the Rialto, (the commercial and financial centre).
The Clock Tower is an early Renaissance building and although both the tower and the clock date from the very end of the 15th century, the mechanism of the clock has been much altered since then. The lower two floors of the tower make a monumental archway into the main street of the city.
The Doge’s Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and is one of the main landmarks of Venice. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice. Today, it is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
Doge’s Palace has a LOT of history! Too much to detail in a blog – you can read more about it here.
Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is made of white limestone, has windows with stone bars, and passes over the Rio di Palazzo. It connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge’s name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.
The Rialto Bridge is one of four bridges which span the Grand Canal. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo.
The present stone bridge was finally completed in 1591 and is similar to the wooden bridge there before it. The bridge has defied critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.
You can’t visit Venice without going on a Gondola ride! It’s the best way to admire the city and get an up close look at some of the beautiful architecture! Plus it is fascinating to watch the guys steering the gondolas along the winding streets and under some VERY low bridges! It’s truly an art!
Venice is a lovely place with very interesting history – you can get some fantastically cheap deals to Venice these days and a long weekend is the perfect amount of time to spend here.
If that isn’t enough to persuade you to book up and go then just remember, Venice may not be around forever as it is slowly sinking year on year due to rising sea levels from climate change! Although the levels are only said to be rising around 1mm a year, don’t forget Venice is already prone to flooding during high tides….it’s quite daunting to hear the sirens going off to warn you of an incoming flood tide!!!