Sunday, January 10, 2010

Visions of Venice

One of my favorite travel books is still Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad. I especially loved his descriptions of Italy...and Venice. I loved the part when Twain threatened to jump overboard or throw the gondolier overboard if he didn't stop singing. Give it a read, or reread, for entertaining writing and a humorous view of Europe as it was 100 years ago.

I love the contrast of this fellow in his Baroque clothes texting on his mobile phone:
A few of the major attractions in Venice, this: St. Mark's Basilica.

The Doge's Palace:

Beautiful craftsmanship at the Doge's Palace:

A canvas curtain at St. Mark's Square:

An outdoor cafe along the Grand Canal:

It was interesting watching the activities of everyday life in Venice...garbage being emptied from wire carts into a barge, deliveries of copy paper, clothing, food, and jugs of wine:

Cold and hungry, we popped into this cafe across from the Doge's Palace. We were stunned to see the price of a coffee or cup of tea was €9.80 or US$14!!!!! We asked the waiter if there wasn't a typo on our menu. He seemed embarrassed to tell us that was the correct price. What would you have done? We thanked him and left without ordering.

And, just because this story is so hard to believe, here's proof:

Between the rain, snow and high tides, there was some flooding during our stay:

Beautiful sights from some of the shop windows in Venice:

Another canal:

The view from our beautiful hotel (Palazzo Bembo) included the famed Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal:

And lastly, a couple of odd photos I really like. This one was taken just as our gondola took a little roll.

And this was the reflection of a restaurant's lights across the Grand Canal; I love the colors.

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