Venice has always been touted as the most beautiful city in the world, and the only one that can truly be described as unique. Each building is a work of art, and is particularly magnificent when reflected on the canals that wind through the city. Its scenery is fascinating and breathtaking at first sight and it is a place unlike any other, that no other can compare to, or ever be like.
Call it touristy if you want, but there is nothing more romantic than floating down one of the many canals in Venice on a gondola with an Italian gentleman (called a Gondolier) singing one of those famous Italian songs. A bit of trivia: Gondoliers use a highly efficient rowing style known as “voga alla veneziana”. They use a single oar, which would push the boat in a circle if an ordinary rowing stroke was used. Therefore, the blade is kept in the water as it is drawn back to its starting position after the initial push. This allows the blade to act as a sort of rudder, and is used to correct the direction of the boat. Gondoliers row standing upright, which allows them to see obstacles easily. That is certainly nice to know to avoid any sinking episodes! Taking a tour on a gondola is actually a great way to see all the different canals of Venice and hear all the fun tales of the city.
While in Venice, there are certain things that one should not miss. In the heart of Venice, in the popular piazza, St. Mark’s square, is St. Mark’s Basilica. The church was built in honor of Saint Mark the evangelist, whose remains were stolen from their home in Alexandria, Egypt, and hidden in barrels of pork by Venetians, intent on bringing him to rest in Venice. You can also see the famous Doge’s Palace, residence of the doge (leader), the seat of government and the palace of justice.
Considered to be the main street of Venice, the 2-mile-long Grand Canal is one of the city’s most popular and highly photographed attractions. It is there that you will see the famous Rialto Bridge which is made of marble. Another famous bridge is the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge’s palace to dungeons, and was used to transport prisoners from the courtroom to the prisons. Legend has it that the Bridge of Sighs was named for the sighs prisoners would make as they took one last look at the outside world through the bridge’s windows as they made their way to prison for good. On a lighter note, they also say if two lovers kiss on a gondola under the bridge, they’ll be granted eternal bliss. For artsy folks there is the Peggy Guggenheim collection museum and a visit to nearby Murano for the famous glass blowing.
My most incredible travel moment was sailing away from Venice listening to the Italian song, “Time to Say Goodbye.” Well, it is time to say hello again soon to this awesome city!
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