Well, everyone has always told me how beautiful and magical Venice it.....turns out they were right!
From the moment you step out of the train station and onto a public transport boat, to the moment you step back on that boat to go to the airport, Venice is magical.
There is, indeed, water everywhere. You are either walking beside it, walking over it, or boating through it. Venice by day is full of day-trippers---mostly from cruise ships. By evening the crowds thin out a little, and it's easier to get around. It's a beautiful city to walk around in, for sure.
We started with mass at San Marco---thanks Ginnie for the advice on where to go to get in for church services! I was taken aback by how very GOLD it is----the mosaics are incredible---and very, very gold. Gold. We eventually had the chance to climb the stairs to the loggia and got a closer look-----gold. Fabulous.
San Marco has only been Venice's cathedral since the 1800's---prior to that it was the "chapel" for the Doge's Palace, which is connected to the church. The residence next door to the cathedral was occupied by the Patriarch of Venice (the bishop)---and 3 of those Patiarchs ended up being Pope. Pius X, John Paul I, and John XXIII. Impressive.
The symbol of the Evangelist Mark is everywhere----lions, lions, and more lions. In 828, two merchants from Venice stole Mark's body from Alexandria and brought it to Venice, where it lies under the main altar. Or so they say. There is a rumor that the merchants goofed and stole Alexander the Great instead. Oops.
I loved every minute of Venice and would go back in a heartbeat----what a beautiful city!
1. Gondolas tied up at sunset looking towards San Giorgio
2. The "Bridge of Sighs" in the prison of the Doge's Palace
3. The view that caused all the sighing....
4. Gondolas waiting outside the.....wait for it....Hard Rock Cafe
5. Ceiling mosaic, San Marco
6. Tomb of St. Mark, under the high altar
7. San Marco, from inside loggia
8. View from the loggia of San Marco
9. Gondolas on their way to a traffic jam...