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A WEEKEND IN VENICE

I wanted to make a surprise to my wife for our wedding anniversary and so I made the required arrangements for us to spend a weekend in Venice, in Italy, that is considered to be one of the most romantic cities of Europe.

I planned our visit to the city using my Sygic gps navigation, which helped me a lot!

Venice that is entirety classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site is located in the region of Veneto, from which it is the capital, in the northeaster area of Italy and is the birthplace of the explorer Marco Polo, the adventurer and writer Giacomo Casanova, the painter Tintoretto and the composer Antonio Vivaldi.

The city is built in a group of more than 100 islands in a lagoon (the Venice Lagoon) and in a mainland, in the mouth of Po and Piave Rivers, in the Adriatic Sea; the islands are separated by canals and linked by more than 400 bridges. The canals play the role of roads in the old center of Venice where people moves walking or using boats. The major water-traffic corridor of the city is known as the Grand Canal, one of the main touristic attractions of Venice.

The architecture of the city presents to the visitors a large variety of styles Venetian Gothic that combines elements of Byzantine, Ottoman and Phoenician architecture, Renaissance and Baroque.

During our stay at Venice we took a ride along the canals in a gondola, the typical and classical boat of the city, and we crossed the famous Rialto Bridge, the oldest across the Grand Canal, former a wood bridge, and that was rebuilt in stone in the later 16th century, and the Bridge of Sighs, constructed in the earlier 17th century in limestone, which was the last view of the city that the saw prior to their imprisonment; the name of the bridge came from sighs of the convicts when they went to jail.

We went to “Piazza San Marco” (St. Mark, to St. Markge’s Palace.

The “Piazza San Marco” is the main iconic place of Venice and the principal square of the city. At the square, besides St. MarkProcuratie Vecchia), who were in charge of the fabrication and administration of the Basilica, the Museum Correr and the famous “Caffè Florian”, a coffee house built in the 18th century that is oldest still functioning.

St. Mark’s Basilica, which official name is “Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco”, dated from the 11th century and built in the Italo-Byzantine style, is known as the “Chiesa d’Oro” (Church of Gold) due to the luxurious design and gold ground mosaics. It is supposed that the body of the Apostle St. Mark was discovered in a pillar of the church.

At the exterior of the Basilica we could admire the statues of Theological and Cardinal Virtues, four Warrior Saints, Constantine, Demetrius, George, Theodosius and St Mark, the Horses of St. Mark and the sculpture of the Four Tetrarchs (Roman Emperors).

In the interior of the Church we saw the mosaics made with gold glass tesserae (tesserae are individual tiles, known as abaciscus, that have a cube shape and that are used to create a mosaic), the presbytery and the treasury, a collection of Byzantine objects in metalwork.

The Doge’s Palace was built in the 12th century in a Venetian Gothic style to be the residence of the Doge, the ruler of the Republic of Venice and that is today a museum.

We have seen the ceremonial staircase at the courtyard, constructed with Istrian stone and red Verona marble, hold by two gigantic statues of Mars and Neptune, the Apartments of the Doges, such as the Scarlet Chamber, the “Scudo” Room, the Erizzo Room, the Corner Room’s and the Equerries Room, and other rooms known as the Institutional Chambers (Square Atrium, Four Doors Room, the Council Chamber and the Senate Chamber, among others).

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