Walkin’ the Walk and Peepin’ Out Windows in Venice

Early Morning Streets of Venice

Early Morning Streets of Venice

The Boats are Still Asleep!

The Boats are Still Asleep!

The Streets are Very Quiet!

The Streets are Very Quiet!

Only the Angels Watch on High!

Only the Angels Watch on High!

St Mark's is Getting a Facelift!

St Mark’s is Getting a Facelift!

St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

This morning we are on a mission through the quiet streets to take pictures and then head over to St Mark’s Square, (Piazza San Marco) the grand square surrounded by the historic buildings of the Doge’s Palace, Campanile Bell Tower, and St Mark’s Basilica, before the crowds commence. Over two football fields long, this is the only square in Venice to be called a “piazza.” With your back to St Mark’s, to the right are the “old offices,” (16th century Renaissance) to the left “new office’s.” (17th century high renaissance) At the opposite end is the Correr Museum and Nepoleon’s Wing. The Clock Tower built in 1696 marks the entry to the main shopping area (Mercerie) and connects St Mark’s Square with the Rialto Bridge area.

The Clock Tower, St Mark's Square

The Clock Tower, St Mark’s Square

The Campanile Bell Tower, St Mark's Square

The Campanile Bell Tower, St Mark’s Square

The Bottom of the Campanile

The Bottom of the Campanile

Another View of the Campanile

Another View of the Campanile

The Doge’s Palace was the seat of the Venetian government and home of the ruling duke or doge. For over 400 years this was the most powerful half-acre in Europe! The doge lived with his family on the first floor, near the halls of power.

The Main Stairway of the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy

The Main Stairway of the Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy

Inside Courtyard Doge's Palace

Inside Courtyard Doge’s Palace

Inside Courtyard Doge's Palace

Inside Courtyard Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy

Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy

View from the Doge's Palace

View from the Doge’s Palace

View from the Doge's Palace

View from the Doge’s Palace

I think the best spot in the entire complex is the Bridge of Sighs, a corridor built in 1614 to link the Doge’s Palace to the structure intended to house the New Prisons. The Bridge contains two separate corridors that run next to each other, both enclosed and covered on all sides except for the stone windows. Through these windows the prisoners supposedly sighed, taking their last look at freedom as they were led off to their cells.

View from the Bridge of Sighs, Venice,

View from the Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

View from the Bridge of Sighs, Venice,

View from the Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

The Prison Windows, Venice, Italy

The Prison Windows, Venice, Italy

Prison Door, Venice, Italy

Prison Door, Venice, Italy

Walk to the Prison, on Bridge of Sighs

Walk to the Prison, on Bridge of Sighs

The Prison from the Courtyard of the Doge's Palace

The Prison from the Courtyard of the Doge’s Palace

Relics of St Mark the Evangelist, were stolen by Venetian merchants in 828 from Alexandria and brought to Venice. The church is filled with loot from returning sea captains, providing an architectural trophy chest. The inside of the church glows with gold mosaics and colored marble. Upstairs you can get a great view of the Piazza and see the bronze horses (outside) and inside, in their own room, the original bronze horses. No one knows the exact age of the horses, but these well traveled horses were taken to Constantinople (Istanbul) by Constantine, to Venice by the crusaders, to Paris by Napoleon, and back to Venice when Napoleon fell, and finally to a room of their own inside from the acidic air. Whew, I bet they are glad to get some rest!

The Gold Stairway to the Museum above St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Gold Stairway to the Museum above St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

Giant Steps to the Rooftop to See the Horses, St Mark's Basilica

Giant Steps to the Rooftop to See the Horses, St Mark’s Basilica

The Outside Horses, St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Outside Horses, St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Outside Horses, St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Outside Horses, St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Original Inside Horses, St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Original Inside Horses, St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Walkway around St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The Walkway around St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

The View from St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

The View from St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

Another View from St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

Another View from St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

A View of the San Marco Column and the San Theodore Column

A View of the San Marco Column and the San Theodore Column

We attended Mass at St Mark’s and be warned; if you are not appropriately dressed, shoulders covered and no shorts or short skirts, an attendant, who admits you, will be glad to sell you a paper purple stole to cover yourself up with, otherwise you will not be attending Mass. Going out of the church you walk a plank literally, to the outside of the church. I couldn’t figure out if this was to keep the marble intact, from so many people treading on it, or to avoid the low stairways. Always a  mystery ! Enjoy!

Inside St Mark's Basilica, Venice, Italy

Inside St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

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Dawn at the Rialto Bridge Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Mercato di Frutta et Verdera

Rialto Mercato di Frutta et Verdera

Early Morning in the Streets of Venice. Italy

Early Morning in the Streets of Venice. Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, venice, Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Walking to the Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

The Pink Lights! Venice, Italy

The Pink Lights! Venice, Italy

Early Morning, Venice, Italy

Early Morning, Venice, Italy

We are walking through the deserted streets to get an early view of the Rialto Bridge without a ton of tourists in the way and to go to the Rialto Market. For over 700 years the Rialto Market has been the place for fresh, seasonal, local food.  The Rialto area of Venice was one of the first areas to be developed. Trading of all kinds took place here along the water’s edge, where Venetians and merchants bought and sold exotic imported goods, just unloaded from the ships. In the 16th century, following a massive fire, a complex of squares and porticoes was constructed at the west end of the Rialto Bridge, with areas dedicated to different products. This area is still noted in the names of local lanes and squares. Erberia, (fruit and vegetable market) Nananzeria, (oranges) Speziali, (spices) and Pescaria, (fish) are just a few.  Also, there are now food stores around the market selling gourmet foodstuffs, oils, wine, pasta, and regional specialties. The locals still get up early and shop at the market! Follow suite or you will be in the frenzy of tourists! Enjoy!

 

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Walk Over Rialto Bridge to the Market, Venice, Italy

Walk Over Rialto Bridge to the Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Early Morning, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Getting Ready to Open at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Getting Ready to Open at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Getting Ready to Open at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Getting Ready to Open at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

Fish!

Fish!

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes and Spices!

The Spices at Rialto Market

The Spices at Rialto Market

The Meat Market at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

The Meat Market at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

The Meat Market at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

The Meat Market at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

The Specialty Markets at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

One of the Specialty Markets at the Rialto Market, Venice, Italy

 

 

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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Roads

My favorite road in the world!  The road to La Foce, home of Iris Orego and her beautiful house and gardens outside Montepulciano, Italy ! Enjoy!

The Road to La Foce, Italy

The Road to La Foce, Italy

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Venice, A New Day!

A New Day in Venice, Italy

A New Day in Venice, Italy

9am. Up early, eat breakfast, out the door we go. We couldn’t wait to explore Venice! Oh, woe is me! We are bumper to bumper, head to head, squeezed together! The cruise ships are in and hordes of people are in groups of twenty to thirty! At the top of the bridge way, the group stops and takes pictures and the group behind them, waiting on the stairs, practically rear ends them! We need to re-think our picture taking times! I can’t see anything, but the back of someone’s head! Back to the hotel to re-group.

The Masses are Arriving!

The Masses are Arriving!

New day! 6am. We are up and out. The streets are empty! Yeah! We can take lovely pictures. What is that man doing? It’s a UPS man delivering goods. What a job that is!  Pulling and pushing the dollies up all those stairs and bridges! What’s that in the boats? Fluffy white bundles of laundry, pick up and delivery of sheets and more sheets! What a job that would be! The men row up to little doors along the water. The doors open and out comes the bundled dirty laundry and in goes the fresh! The vegetable man is in another boat, delivering fruits and vegetables in the same fashion. Wow, it pays to be up early and see all the action! 9 am, done with pictures for this morning.  Back to the hotel to eat breakfast.  Good morning, good morning, lovely day! We’ll rest up after breakfast and head out again after 1pm when the cruisers are done. Perfect day!

Delivery!

Delivery Day!

Another Dock! Another Delivery!

Another Dock, Another Delivery!

Vegetables and Fruits!

Vegetables and Fruits!

Quiet Walkways!

Ah, Quiet Walkways!

Quiet Here Too!

Quiet Here Too!

Peaceful Here!

Peaceful Here!

NoBody Up Here!

All Tucked in Here!

Shh!

Shh!

 

Parked and Waiting!

Parked and Waiting!

What’s down this way? Oh, it dead ends at the water! Re-tracing our steps. Have we been in this area before? There certainly are a lot of little walkways! We need to drop breadcrumbs, we never go the same way twice! Look up! Oh, I see it! The Rialto Bridge is this way!

Always Look Up!

Always Look Up!

Look Up Again!

Look Up Again!

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

Rialto Bridge, Early Early Morning!  Venice, Italy

St Marks Square that way. As long as we can find these markings we will be able to find our way back, I think! Look at all these shops! 

Fancy!

Fancy Pants!

Need a Mask?

Need a Mask?

Gloves Anyone?

Gloves Anyone?

How About a Hat?

How About a Hat?

Tea and Milk!

Tea and Milk!

Candy!

Candy!

One sells just gloves!  One sells just hats! Wow, that certainly is skimpy underwear! A little bar here. A juice shop there. Oh, another little church. Oh, look at this small shrine!

Shrine, Venice, Italy

 A Shrine in Venice, Italy

Oh What a Lovely Balcony!

Oh! What a Lovely Balcony!

1pm. Where are we?  Are we on this map? I need to sit down. I guess it’s time for some vino! How about here?

Very Quiet Here!

Very Quiet Here!

This Looks Like a Perfect Spot!

This Looks Like a Perfect Spot!

Or This Place!

Or This Place!

Or Here!

Or Here!

How About This One?

How About This One?

Let’s just try them all! Another perfect day in Venice!

Ok This One!

Ok This One!

6pm. Repeat the above! Oh, I need to sit down! Time for vino! How about this restaurant?

This One Looks Great!

This One Looks Great!

Maybe This One? We Haven't Been Here!

Maybe This One? We Haven’t Been Here Yet!

 

Our Favorite!

Our Favorite!

Our Favorite! Rosa Rossa! Enjoy!

We're Not Going to Starve in Italy!!

We’re Not Going to Starve in Italy!!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

Fray in archaic terms means to scare or frighten away. This is graffiti on a wall in Venice painted by Gorilla Spam. I think the intention is to scare away the tourists or at least show the tourists how they look to others. My interpretation; this is what tourists look like to the Venitians. Fat ladies hurriedly shopping for Gucci and Prada; map tucked in shorts and looking frayed, as in strained.  Another definition of frayed! Enjoy another day in Venice!

Frayed in Venice!

Frayed in Venice!

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Venice: A Palette of Light

The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

The Vaporetto on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

The Vaporetto on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Traffic Jam on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Traffic Jam on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Just Cruizin' the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Just Cruizin’ the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

For Stage 2 of the AIT Tour, (Austria, Italy, Turkey) there couldn’t be an easier way, for us, to get to Venice, Italy from Vienna, Austria. Thanks to the Austrian Rail System, a train takes you from Vienna’s Meidling Station to the Villach, Austria train station, where a very cushy, comfortable bus awaits to take you to Venice. There was even a concierge car on the train to help you arrange hotels, cars, sights, whatever the case may be!  Arriving in Mestra I was concerned with the industrial look of the area around the Mestra Train Station, where we were supposed to get off the bus. However, the bus driver told us to stay on and he took us all the way to the docks; to the vaporetto that would take us on to Venice. So on the first day we had traveled by train, bus, and boat! We got off the vaporetto and walked to the right entering St Mark’s Square to the left.

One of Many Vaporetto Stops on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

One of Many Vaporetto Stops on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

It was early evening and the square was filling with guests, listening to the fine music coming from the restaurants in St Mark’s piazza.

Music in the Night, Venice, Italy

Music in the Night, Venice, Italy

St Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

St Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

We walked on to our hotel to the tune of the clickety-clack coming from our suitcases on cobble stones. Now, I have to tell you I was shocked to discover that there was water in between the buildings with lots of stairs, small bridges, narrow sidewalks and more stairs over strips of water that slapped against the buildings. For some reason I had it in my head that the water would just be on the Grand Canal. Oh no, there is water everywhere here. The large buildings do not sit on land; they sit on water and a lot of the first floors of the buildings are under water. Will they sink eventually? Just how long can the support beams from the water’s floor hold up the buildings? Just a thought, but I couldn’t get over it!

The Small Waterways Between the Buildings, Venice, Italy

The Small Waterways Between the Buildings, Venice, Italy

The Waterways of Venice, Italy

The Waterways of Venice, Italy

The Waterways of Venice, Italy

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

The Waterways of Venice, Italy

The Waterways of Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

Small Waterways, Venice, Italy

We came to a wrought iron gate and pushed it open entering a small courtyard and there in the corner was our boutique hotel, the Locanda Orseolo. The small lobby was elegant and inviting. There was the breakfast room to the right, which overlooked the water. We could watch the gondolas float by! After talking to our hosts, who made us so welcome, we were off to our room on the 4th floor. That would be 8 flights of stairs! Stairs, landing, turn, stairs,  Floor 1. Stairs, landing, turn, stairs, Floor 2. You get the picture.  No elevators in these old buildings! And I was limping before I even got here! Barbara, one of the hostesses, took one look at me and offered to change our room the next day to the first floor! I was so thankful!

LuiGIGI and Barbara, our Hosts at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

LuiGIGI and Barbara, our Hosts at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

The Courtyard to Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

The Courtyard to Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Room 1, Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Room 1, Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

Room 2, Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

So we have fantastic pictures of lively murals on the walls of two rooms here at Locanda Orseolo! All the staff were very friendly; suggesting restaurants, concerts, shopping and sights to explore. Nothing was too much for them.  The breakfast room was ideal, we could enjoy the other guests and watch the world go by outside the open window! The breakfast crepes and omelets were made to order and the buffet offered a large spread of meats, breads, cheeses, desserts and juices. Coffee was made to order.  It’s another day in this beautiful city! Enjoy!

Raspberry/Banana Crepe at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, italy

Raspberry/Banana Crepe at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, Italy

The Breakfast Window, at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, italy

The Breakfast Window, at Locanda Orseolo, Venice, italy

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Travel Theme: Orange

We are arriving just as the sun is setting in Venice, Italy. The beautiful, soft, terra cotta orange of Venice!

Evening Shadows of Terra Cotta Orange in Vienna, Italy

Evening Shadows of Terra Cotta Orange in Venice, Italy

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Travel Themes: Horizon

Venice is the most magical of places on earth! Won’t you join me in Venice on the AIT Tour? (Austria, Italy, Turkey)  We’re exploring Venice the next few days! Enjoy! Look for other Travel Themes here.

A Look at the Horizon in Venice, Italy

A Look at the Horizon in Venice, Italy

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A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Arches

Arches, arches everywhere! Duck your head! We’re in Venice! Won’t you join me? The story begins with arches! Enjoy the photo challenge!

Arches of Venice, Italy

Arches of Venice, Italy

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One Word Photo Challenge: Lavender

There was the most incredible buzz of bees in this lavender! Enjoying the Challenge!

The Lavender of Suzette, France

The Lavender of Suzette, France

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