October 24th
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Venice is even more amazing than the postcards you’ve seen.  The real place is like a postcard in every direction.  For about 400 years (beginning in the 1300’s) much of the wealth of the world was concentrated in Venice, and the results are spectacular.

Some images from Venice:

Rialto Bridge Empty gondola Grand Canal Palaces on the grand canal Venice canal Ben and Alonna Piazza San Marco Doge's Palace Venice

Church Facades

At the peak there were over 200 places of worship on the tiny island of Venice.  For minor churches, the standard approach seems to have been to build a large warehouse-like building, put a gorgeous facade on the front, fill it with priceless art and call it a church.  They’re sprinkled all over Venice, and contribute to the “wow what’s that, it’s not even in the guidebook” feel everywhere you go in Venice.  These are in addition to more architecturally interesting churches like Basilica San Marco, Santa Maria della Salute, and Basilica dei Frari.

Venice church 1 Venice church 2 Venice church 3 Venice church 4

Basilica San Marco

The most important church in Venice is the Basilica San Marco, which is free to enter.  The interior of the church is mind-blowing.  The walls and ceilings are covered in tile mosaics that make generous use of gold tiles, and the floors are intricately tiled with impossibly complex patterns.  Pictures are forbidden, of course, but I’m not sure pictures can really capture it.  We took a few anyway.

Basilica San Marco cieling Basilica San Marco Basilica San Marco floor

We paid a little extra to visit the Basilica treasury, which mostly contained hands, legs, teeth, and miscellaneous bone fragments of various saints that were brought back during the crusades.  I couldn’t find the full story on these body parts anywhere.  It definitely felt like looking into the very different mindset of the crusaders.  Basilica dei Frari also had a wonderful collection of hands, teeth, and femurs.

So that’s Venice as we saw it in our 2 days there.

6 Comments

  1. Sandra Capri
    10/24/2009

    wow!!! I’m so jealous! What a spectacular place!!

  2. Clay
    10/24/2009

    sweet. Venice looks and sounds very interesting.

  3. Robin
    10/24/2009

    My highschool girlfriends just went to Sienna this fall and loved it. Glad you are enjoying Italy.

  4. Robin Scott
    10/24/2009

    Venice is AWESOME. I especially like the photo of the two of you.

    ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY.

    Love, Mom S

  5. Eric Lipari
    11/04/2009

    Wanna go back so bad now! Great updates.
    Any funny pigeon stories in Piazza San Marco?

  6. 11/05/2009

    Eric, yeah, I saw someone kick a pigeon like a football. It was awesome. But no dive bombing, thankfully.