Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roman Holiday: Venice: San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore

Our last morning in Venice! Our agenda for the morning: visit San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore, check out of hotel, and figure out how to get to the end of Stage Three of the Giro in Valdobbiadene. Let the adventure begin!

We queued up first thing, to see the amazing Basilica San Marco. It sits in Piazza San Marco adjacent to the Palazzo Ducal. I honestly don't think that words can describe the exterior or interior of St. Mark's Cathedral. The exterior porticos and interior ceilings are decorated with elaborate golden mosaics! It's awe taking!

The Doge's Palace (We didn't go in, I'm sure it's nice inside too):

An interesting spot where St. Mark's and the Doge's Palace meet:

Detail on the corner of the Doge's Palace:

More architectural detail:

As we waited in line I spotted these unusual brown figures. I just noticed that they are described in my Berlitz Pocket Guide to Venice: "...note the four curious dark brown figures of the Tetrarchs (also known as the Four Moors), variously said to represent either Diocletian and associates, or four Saracen robbers who tried to loot the basilica's treasury through the wall behind them." A fortuitous shot indeed!

The portico around the Doge's Palace:

I have been to Venice now twice, and both times I have photographed this hotel on the waterfront. It's one of my favorites:

Approaching San Giorgio Maggiore:

The best way to see Venice, actually see all of the island, is from the Bell Tower at San Giorgio Maggiore. It is unreal. There was a sign in the elevator up to the the top of the Bell Tower that noted that the elevator's capacity was 8 occupants and someone had added (a European no doubt) that it was 8 occupants or 6 Americans. Sad but true.

There is a weird trick of the eye going on that makes it appear that the Vaporetto above the Statue's head is sinking. I am pretty sure it isn't, but I could be wrong.

This bridge was a mob scene, harder to pass than than any canal or church. I am not positive, but I think people are ogling the advertisement?

A courtyard near our hotel:

Goodbye Venice! Goodbye ugly lamp that I have walked by for the last three days! I will miss you, well, maybe not the lamp...

We're off to catch a Vaporetto  to the train station, to take a train to Valdobbiadene, where we're told we can catch a bus into town to see the end of the race...

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