Oh, my! The city of Venice is absolutely amazing! As the Quest (and six other cruise ships) sailed in and docked, the port area became a starting point for exploring the Grand Canal and particularly, St. Mark’s Square. Piazza San Marco is the center of so much in Venice. To travel there from the pier, we took a vaporetto (a water taxi).
St. Mark’s Basilica contains beautiful Byzantine architecture and mosaics that depict so much in the Christian religion. The Bell Tower and the Clock Tower hold prominent positions in Piazza San Marco. The bell on the Clock Tower is rung on the hour by being struck giant Moor statues.
Next to the Basilica is Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace. It was the home of the government and leadership. Connecting the palace with the old prisons was the Ponte del Sospin (Bridge of Sighs).
The most prominent bridge over the Grand Canal is the Rialto Bridge. It is unique in that it is lined with a double row of shops and has another row of steps outside the shops.
And shops there are… everywhere! It would be so easy to get lost in Venice, with its walkways winding here and there. Leaving a trail of ‘bread crumbs’ would be smart — if the pigeons wouldn’t gobble them up, that is!
The other way to get from place to place, other than walking, is via the waterways. Water taxis are reasonably priced, but if you are looking for the traditional gondola ride, those are certainly available, too. An evening gondola ride with an accompanying singer and accordionist is a very special treat to include in your plans for Venice.
Venice includes many churches and museums to add to your itinerary. To get an idea how the real Venetians live, however, you should visit the Jewish Ghetto. This area was settled by the many Jews who came to Venice from Spain and central Europe after 1492.
Venice is famous for many things – its canals, Murano glass, Burano laces, elaborate masks, and wonderful shopping.