Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2016

St. Mark's Square

St. Mark's Square is a grand square with many historic buildings.

Campanile bell tower--you can ride an elevator to the top of the tower for €8. In 1902, the tower toppled and was rebuilt 10 years later.

On the day we visited, it rained for about 20 minutes and the square flooded.

Clock Tower

 At the top of the clock tower are 2 bronze Moors swinging their clappers at the top of each hour.

Winged Lion, the symbol of Venice, on the clock tower

Electronic clock that changes every 5 minutes

View of St. Mark's Square from St. Mark's Basilica.

Entry to St. Mark's Basilica is free but you have to wait in a long line to get in. Otherwise, you can reserve an entry time online and pay €2 or have a large bag that you can check and bypass the line. You cannot take any pictures inside. The inside of the church is lit from 11:30-12:30 every day and it's worth going at this time. Dress modestly--no bare knees or bare shoulders allowed.

You can visit the San Marco Museum for €5 to see the original bronze horses. These horses are replicas and overlook the square.

Tetrarch statue--at the corner of St. Mark's Basilica nearest the Doge's Palace. The Roman Empire for a time was ruled by a tetrarchy, a group of four rulers. The tetrarchy consisted of 2 Augusti (senior emperors) and 2 Caesars (junior emperors). 

Doge's Palace--home of the ruling duke (doge) and seat of the Venetian government for 400 years. Combo ticket, including admission to the Correr Museum, is €19. You can also take the "Secret Tour" of the Doge's Palace for €20 (entrance to Correr Museum not included). You will need to sign up beforehand but you get to see rooms not open to the public.

You'll need to tour the Doge's Palace in order to cross the Bridge of Sighs 

2016 09 15

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Other Way to San Marco Square

From Piazzale Roma, you can take the Vaparetto down the Grand Canal to San Marco Square or go counterclockwise around the island to San Marco Square.

It's less protected so the sea is a little rougher.

The underbelly of the island is also where the cruise ships dock.

Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore is situated on its own island across from San Marco Square.

Interior of the church

Painting of the Last Supper by Tintoretto

Stainless steel sculpture of a hand formed from characters of 8 different languages hangs beneath the cupola in the foreground of the altar.

View of San Marco Square from the church.

2016 09 15

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Random Restaurant for Dinner

We were wandering around Venice and came across a restaurant that had a set fish menu for €15 and  set meat menu for €19. I never found the name of the restaurant.

The first course for the fish menu was Spaghetti Nero di Seppia--Spaghetti with Squid Ink. I liked this. There were pieces of squid in it and it had a great taste of the sea.

Filetto di Orata Alla Griglia--Sea Bream. The sea bream was a firm fish, not flaky and not dry.

The meat menu started with Lasagna alls Bolognese.

Cotoletta alla Milanese. This was a breaded piece of pork. I liked the fish menu better.

2016 09 14

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Grand Canal Cruise

Download Rick Steves' tour of the Grand Canal: and follow along.

Hop on Vaparetto #1 and enjoy the 45-minute tour from Piazzale Roma to S. Zaccaria. We took it at the end of the day and the lighting was just right.

Leaving Piazzale Roma, you'll pass the Calatrava Bridge. This was built in 2008 and was quite controversial because of how modern it looked.

Ferrovia (train station), built in 1954.

Church of San Marcuola with its unfinished facade. It was erected in the 12th century.

Turkish Fondaco Exchange, now housing the Natural History Museum.

Casino where Richard Wagner died. The casino is now run by the state to avoid control by the mafia.

San Stae Church dedicated to Saint Eustachio.

Ca Pesaro--Baroque marble palace now housing the Gallery of Modern Art.

Ca d'Oro--one of the older palaces in the city and now a gallery.

Rialto Bridge--the oldest of 4 bridges spanning the Grand Canal. Shops line the bridge.

Palazzo Balbi--palace of early 18th century captain general with 2 obelisks. 

Ca Foscari--main building of the University of Venice.

Academia Bridge--wooden bridge leading to the Academia Gallery.

Peggy Guggenheim Museum

Salute Church

Customs House, now housing an art museum.

2016 09 14

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Osteria Al Duomo

In Murano, we had lunch at Osteria al Duomo.

Osteria al Duomo is located at Fondamenta Maschio 20-21.

We ate in the patio and bread was delivered when we sat down.

Insalata Mista (mixed salad)--€3.50. 

Spaghetti alle Vongole (clams)--€13. Venice is known for its clams. These were sweet and delicious.

Seppie in Nero Con Polenta--€12. This was cuttlefish in black ink with polenta.

Spinaci al Burro (Spinach in Butter)--€3.50.

2016 09 14

Monday, December 26, 2016


After we checked into our hotel, we took the Vaparetto to the island of Murano. We walked back to Piazzale Roma and hopped on a Vaparetto with our pass. We got off at Colonna in Murano. It was a 20-minute ride.

Murano is known for glass and there was a beautiful glass sculpture near the Murano clock tower. It's called "Comet Glass Star" by Simone Cenedese. Simone has a gallery and glass shop on the island.

It's fun to wander around Murano.

Santa Maria e San Donato, located near the Glass Museum, is one of the oldest churches in the Venetian lagoon. It was built in the 7th century.

Lighthouse on Murano.

As you walk around, you'll see groups of people peering into workshops.

In the workshops are glassblowers at work.

Murano is an island with several sections. Bridges connect the sections.

2016 09 14