Approach to Venice
We were a bit disappointed when we went to the open deck and looked out to lots of fog. As we approached Venice the fog started to lift. The sun was coming up higher and the beautiful city of Venice emerged from the fog. Well, that added a bit of mystery to Venice. We took the ferry to St. Mark’s Square.
St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)
First we looked around St. Mark's Square. First thing we saw was the Doge's Palace. Many delicately carved columns and arches adorned the front of the Palace. Each column had different carvings on top. We will be visiting the palace tomorrow. So more on that later. Next to the palace is the St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica of San Marco). The church is richly decorated with marble and mosaics. The four bronze horses was set on top of the main entrance. Next to the Basilica is the Clock Tower with the twelve zodiac signs. Across is the Bell Tower (Campanile). The square is large and is rectangular in shape. There are some cafes and shops around the square.
From St. Mark's Square we walked through narrow streets to the Rialto Bridge. Along the way we saw small canals and gondolas in the waterway. There are many souvenir shops from here to Rialto Bridge. These shops sell Murano glass accessories, venetian masks, and other common souvenirs. The Rialto Bridge is a tall white bridge over the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge is big enough to have shops over the bridge. Under the bridge there are gondolas for hire. We did not do the gondola rides. After crossing the bridge was the S. Giacomo which had an interesting clock. We turned back and spent some time browsing the souvenir shops.
Overnight at Venice
We went back to the cruise ship for dinner and came back out to the square at night for a couple of hours. At night the square was all lit up and was very beautiful. We took night photos of the square. I took a picture with the moon rising directly behind the cross on top of the church as if the cross was glowing which was awesome.
We returned to the cruise ship for the last night on the cruise. The next day we disembarked the cruise ship in the morning. We took our luggages to a hotel 5 min from St. Mark’s Square. Very small room and very small bed. Furnitures are antique look alike. The metal room key has a large tassel on it.
St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica San Marco)
Inside the St. Mark's Basilica I only remembered very intricate marble mosaic on the floor. There were gilded wall paintings of the saints. Inside I went to the back where I saw exhibits of the history and artifacts from the church. The four bronze horses outside are replica. The original bronze horses were moved inside and can be viewed here. We went up to the balcony that overlooks the St. Mark's Square.
Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
A fine palace with lots of painting, ceiling fresco, marble statues. The many decorated rooms with fine carved furniture. Some rooms are where the royalties met to discuss state affairs. Huge paintings of royal weddings and coronations, and war victories adorned the walls. There were some royal jewelry on display. The prison area next to the court is a stark contrast to the opulent palace.
We did not go to Murano Island to see the glass factories. I was afraid I would buy some expensive but useless glass stuff which I had to hand carry home.
For the remainder of the day we roamed around town through the many narrow streets and browsed the many souvenir shops.
Tasty pizza, tiramisu and cappuccino concluded our wonderful trip and then we returned home the next day.