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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

5 Responses to “Walkin’ the Walk and Peepin’ Out Windows in Venice”

  1. Lyn

    Great photos. I am sure that is the least amount of people I have seen in San Marco Piazza.

    Reply
    • CadyLuck Leedy

      Klees, we were up and out the door every morning by 6am. We would photograph until 9am, then go back to the hotel for breakfast and hang out until 1pm. Then we would head out again to explore and take more pictures until 9pm or so. We took about 1300 pictures in Venice alone. Amazing Venice!

      Reply

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