Doge, Campanile,& St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice

Day 7 – Venice, Italy

Breakfast was served in our room, with rolls, bread, and hot chocolate. Today our tour began at Doge’s Palace. Pictures were not allowed on the inside. It reminded us of a smaller version of the Palace of Versailles, with heavily decorated walls and ceilings in every room.

There was a neat Map room, with a large globe in the center and different maps painted on the walls. This Palace was connected to the basilica, and different from most kingdoms in that it could be entered, or easily ambushed, because it was located at street level. Unlike the palaces and castles built high on a hill or surrounded by moats. It was said that the rulers of Venice trusted its people.

The famous Bridge of Sighs links the Palace to the Prison. It was named for the prisoners, who got one last look at the city, with a sigh, before beginning their sentence.

We wandered through the streets, getting lost and then finding our way again, snapping pictures and having fun. St. Mark’s Square was packed with people and pigeons. Vendors sold food for 1 euro so that visitors could hold out food in their hands, and be swarmed with pigeons. They landed right on their hands, and sometimes shoulders and heads. We laughed at the pigeons that would hop right over each other’s backs to get to the food.

Then we joined the short line for a ride up to the Campanile Bell Tower. It was super windy at the top, and just as we arrived, the bells began ringing. Almost every one at the top covered their ears, but I was amused. I took a video of the ringing bells. The views were spectacular. Terra cotta rooftops covered the city.

We were exhausted at this point, so we stopped back at the hotel to rest a little while. Because shorts are not allowed in the Basilica, we changed our clothes and headed for St. Mark’s. It reminded me a lot of Notre Dame on the inside.

After a short visit, we sat in the square and people watched for about an hour. It was fascinating to observe tourists from all over the world. A few American tourists joined us on the steps, and chatted about their church group tour. The remainder of the night consisted of dinner, souvenirs, and finally, bed.