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Venice and Verona

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Verona

Maybe you're thinking "Where have I heard about Verona?"  Yes, Verona is the site of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  And it is also the location of the second largest Roman Arena.  Built in 72AD, this one is still in use!  So we thought we'd better go around and have a look. 

 

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Gladiators are still a common site in some parts of Italy.

 


Venice

On arriving in Venice, we took the water bus down the Grand Canal to our flat.  We were squished onto that boat like a bunch of sardines and virtually everyone around us was speaking English.  I was not so sure we had made the right decision, spending 6 days here!  Thankfully, I was wrong! We apologize to our visitors in advance for all the pictures!

 

 

The Grand Canal (aka "Main Street")

 

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A lovely map of Venice, courtesy of the Vatican Museum Map Room.   Of course that means that this one is a little old, though not so much has changed!  The loop of water that makes the shape of a puzzle connector piece on the left side of the island is the Grand Canal. 

 

 

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In the continuing series of "European History Behind Scaffolding" we present San Giorgio Maggiore at the base of the Grand Canal.

ZE2G6629.jpg Yep, the FedEx delivery boat.  ZE2G6618.jpg

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A Gondola Ride

 

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The family snapshot  taken by the gondolier.                     The 1st attempt at the snapshot - oops.  (Click to see the video)

 

 

The Rialto Bridge

One of only 4 bridges across the Grand Canal.  Why do you need more than four bridges?  If you need to get across the canal somewhere between the bridges, you either take a water bus (they seem to stop on alternating sides pretty consistently), a Gondola ferry service (strategically positioned between bridges), or a water taxi.

 

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Murano

 

This is the famous glass blowing island.  All the glass blowers we moved out of Venice more than 500 years ago, because they posed a fire hazard.  Plus their were secrets of glass blowing that needed to be guarded.  We watched the experts in a glass blowing exhibition.  It was quite impressive!

 

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And there we have a beautiful multicolored glass vase.  It took less than 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This horse took less than 5 minutes from blob to horse.  Amazing! 

 

 

Burano

 

Burano is famous for it's many colored houses. 

 

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The photography project for the day was reflections - and we captured many good ones.  Here are a couple of my favorites from Burano. 

Left is Tasha, right is Anika. 

 

Here is another one, though this is of the Piazza Santa Maria del Giglio in front of our flat: IMG_5893a.jpg

 

When you look at the transit map, Burano is just a few stops over from Murano, so off we went.

ZE2G6009.jpg It wasn't until we took the direct ferry home that we realized just how far away it really was from the center of Venice!  That boat took us well over an hour!  The sun was setting as we left Burano, it was downright cold when we finally reached our stop! 

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In the Neighborhoods

 

ZE2G5972.jpgZE2G6443.jpg The Market Barge.

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San Marco Square

 

San Marco is the patron saint of Venice.  In fact, he is so revered that some 700 years ago the Venetians snuck down into Egypt and stole his bones.  Apparently it was not the first time they tried to do this, but it was the first time they were successful!  They hid the bones individually in lard, which is so reviled by Muslims as it is made from pork that the vats were never inspected.

 

In the time of the Doges, when Venice was the undisputed master of trade in the Mediterranean, all ships entering Venice were required to bring a treasure for the cathedral of San Marco. 

 

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The photo assignment for the day: framing.  The one on the left was taken by Yannis (modeled after a Pop Photo article and a postcard for sale).  (The kids' entries are below in The Doges Palace)

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Yannis really took a liking to the distinctive lamps around San Marco, here are four of his favorites.

 

The Pigeons of San Marco Square

 

An experience that is a bit hard to describe - though we all agree that it was the most fun we've had for 1 Euro.  The photos capture some of the experience, but a video probably serves it a little better.  If you're interested and you have high speed connection, click here: to see some of the action (via a 3.3MB video file). 

 

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ZE2G6179.jpg Anika says that "A bird in the hair is worth two in a bush."

 

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Anika was looking forward to this opportunity since we watched a video on Venice in the spring...from her expressions, we think it was worth the wait.

 

 

The Doges Palace

 

In Venice's heyday, the place was ruled by a patrician democracy, and they chose a Doge, who served for life.  This palace is the seat of government as well a the Doges home.  Unfortunately, there is no photography permitted inside the palace. 

 

ZE2G6245.jpg  ZE2G6220.jpg  The staircase of giants, where the doge was crowned.

ZE2G6217.jpg One very excited tourist

 

ZE2G6074.jpg  The bridge of sighs.  This is the bridge that prisoners were taken across once they had had been convicted.  The name stems from the sighs they would make as they took one last look through the windows at the beauty of Venice.

 

Photography assignment of the day:  Framing (and/or silhouettes). 

 

ZE2G6214.jpg two pupils hard at work and some of the resulting photos:

 

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Tasha                                                              Anika

 

 

A Day at the Park in Venice

 

There are piazzas all throughout Venice, but the land is so scarce, that there isn't much in the ways of parks with grass and trees.  The Venetians set aside a large area at the south east end for gardens and playgrounds, so we just had to go check it out.

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A water bus stop.  This one is San Elena, where we had a picnic at a playground.

 

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Perhaps the coolest playground apparatus ever! 

 

 

 

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Big Foot - Italian style

 

 

From Venice we headed towards Florence, and ended up in Rome!   (The driving was good!)

 

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Last modified: 06/13/08