The Magic of Venice

This city is abundant with art and architecture.  Millions of people arrive daily to take in it’s atmosphere and wander its narrow streets. Hopefully, there will soon be a ban on those mega cruise ships that are destroying the lagoon!
Venice at night
The Grand Canal from The Rialto Bridge
Surprisingly, although there are no cars and everything is delivered via boat, there are surprisingly few accidents. How they navigate around is crazy!
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Venice
Venice
The Grand Canal at The Rialto Bridge
The gondoliers are a special bunch.  Did you know they must know the city’s history? They don’t just serenade you! Whether via gondola or vaporetto (water taxi) be sure to explore the city from the water.  You will see it from a completely different perspective than just walking around.
Gondola
Gondola rides
The city’s history is fascinating and the Grand Canal is lined with more than 170 13th – 18th centuries old Palazzos.  These buildings appear to sit on the water but their construction goes way back when they were constructed on pilings set into layers of sand and clay. (See my blog on Venice from 2017)
Pier
The smaller side waterways are called Rio’s and are crossed by over 400 small bridges. Over time the canals were deepened and widened to accommodate traffic.
Rio
There are only a few ‘Canals’ in the city: The Grand Canal- a giant “S” curve that winds its way through the center of the city; the Cannaragio Canal and Guidecca Canal.  The Grand Canal has four bridges that cross it: The Rialto Bridge; The Ponte degli Scalzi; the Ponte dell’ Accademia and the Ponte della Costituzione. Who can believe the Rialto bridge has stood for 400 years.
Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge
Venice
Ponte degli Scalzi
Accademia Bridge
Ponte dell’ Accademia
Venice is an amazing city in every way. Every piazza features another magnificent church. These are works of amazing art and extraordinary masterpieces of architecture.  We will explore these in another blog. Stay tuned!
Did you miss my recent trip to Asiago? As always, if you are traveling to Italy I am glad to recommend experienced Travel Agents who can make you trip memorable and tailored to your needs and desires. Of course, if you are traveling with a larger party and would like a photographer to document your adventures so you can just enjoy your trip, I’m your girl!

Carnevale di Venezia

Carnevale Di Venezia is probably one of the most famous carnivals in the world! Beautiful costumes and Venetian masks create a magical atmosphere.

The Venice Carnival is an annual festival like Mardi Gras held each year in Venice, Italy and is famous for the elaborate masks and costumes. The Carnival ends with the celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, the day before Ash Wednesday.  This year it runs from Saturday, January 27th thru Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.

This tradition started way back in 1162 to celebrate a victory of the Venice Republic. It became an official celebration during the Renaissance.  After a long drought the Carnival was reborn in 1979.

Carnival
Carnevale masks

 

Masks were always an important part of the Venetian festival.  They vary greatly in design and can be made from porcelain, glass, leather, gesso and gold leaf.  Many are hand painted and employ feathers and jewels!

Venice at night
The Grand Canal from The Rialto Bridge

 

Did you miss the blog on Asiago located high in the mountains above Venice and Vicenza? Here is a link: Asiago

Asiago

Asiago is a small town in the northeastern Province of Vicenza located high in the mountains in the foothills of the Alps.  Best known for its Asiago cheese of course which is a Protected Designation of Origin cheese.

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This town was the site of a major battle in 1916 in WWI between the Austrian-Hungarians and the Italian forces. The Battle of Asiago was designed to knock the Italians out of the war and was the scene of the offensive’s heaviest fighting. Inside the memorial lie over 60,000 soldiers.  Several relics surrounded the Memorial on the terraces.

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WWI Memorial- a monument and museum

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Skiing? Did anyone says skiing?  This town is also a major ski resort.

The scenery is stunning and the townspeople welcoming. A nice change from the bigger cities.  Asiago is located in a large green plain in the heart of the Veneto region and reaches up to 2,350 meters above sea level and was completely rebuilt after WWI.

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The Dome of Saint Matthew is built using traditional pink marble, also local and stands opposite the City Hall.

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The City Hall is constructed with white and red local marble in the classical style.  When the bells ring you can hear them all over town.

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The Gardens of the Carli Square and the bronze statue in the Fountain of Faun is devoted to a mythological creature astride a deer. The central statue is a faun, the divinity of flocks and fields, with pointed ears, horns and goat feet.  He is surrounded by forest animals. It stands beside the Catholic Church of San Matteo.

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The Church of Saint Rocco dates back to the XVI century and was destroyed during the Great War. It is in the Romanesque style with frescoes on the ceiling and walls of the interior.

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Tourists roamed the streets and were enjoying the cafes and squares on the sunny Sunday I visited. The buildings are very Austrian looking due to its close proximity and influence from Germany, Austrian and Hungary.

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We saw a multitude of walking paths.  Oh I so wanted to take a hike but – alas- not the right shoes for the occasion!

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Of course, you know I took home CHEESE!!!!  Stay tuned for more from my recent trip to the Veneto region including Vicenza, Verona and Venice.

Looking for more Italy?  There are blogs on many different areas.  Here are links: Amalfi Coast; Puglia, including Lecce, Matera, Alberobello, Borgo Egnazia; Florence; Venice (stay tuned for some new Venice ones also); Tuscany including Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Lucca, Pienza, Pisa, Arezzo. Montalcino, Montefioralle, Greve and Montechiello.  Whew!  That’s alot of trips to Italy in the last few years!

Can’t wait to return!!!!

 

 

 

 

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