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Romancing the Queen of the Adriatic Part 2

Posted by Elizabeth D’Costa on 13th, September 2012

In this Part 2 of my series on Venice- Romancing the ‘Queen of the Adriatic’, we will discover some of the places and attractions of this city along with a few things you must add on your list of ‘unique’ Venetian experiences. ABOUT VENICE The city of Venice is divided into 6 ‘sestieres’ or districts and every house is part of a unique house numbering system that differs between the six districts. Some of the places to visit and things to do while in Venice include: 1. ST MARK’S SQUARE Visit the largest square in the city with some main attractions within it. The Piazzatta San Marco (St Mark’s Square) lies between the Doge’s Palace and the Library and is known for the two columns built to pay homage to Venice’s two patron saints- St Mark and St Theodore of Amasea. Being the largest square, it is the main meeting place of the citizens. The Square was a place where criminal executions took place until the 18th century. The buildings bordering the square are 12-16th century constructions that served as offices and apartments to the administrators and governing people of Venice. Today they have been converted to famous cafes and the Correr Museum.

Venice Attractions | Holidays In Venice Italy

Holiday In Venice The St Marks Basilica, commissioned in 1071, was built in the Venetian- Byzantine style architecture. Its Campanile (bell tower) stands at a staggering height of 323 feet. It was originally built in the 9th century but collapsed in 1902 before being rebuilt again in 1912. It affords a bird’s eye view of Venice from the top. Entry into the basilica may require waiting in a queue. Dress appropriately as sleeveless dresses and shorts are not allowed. No photography is permitted within and no one is allowed to carry large bags or rucksacks in. The Doge’s Palace in St Mark’s Square was completed in the 15th century and is an example of Venetian Gothic style architecture. The ‘Secret Itineraries’ in Doge’s Palace takes you through the secret rooms of the palace including torture chambers and prison cells The St Mark’s National Library, Correr Museum and Museum of Archeology are also located within the Square.

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Torre dell’Orologio is the famous clock tower built in between 1496-1506. It has a set of steep, narrow steps that take you up the tower where you can witness the workings of the 18th century clock that is a remake of the original. Initially wound manually the clock has been replaced by an electronic mechanism. The roof of the tower reveals an impressive sight of the basilica, Piazza San Marco and the Palace. 2. CANAL GRANDE The Grand Canal is Venice’s main water thoroughfare which meanders through Venice starting from the St Mark Basin to a lagoon close to the Santa Lucia rail station. Measuring 3800 meters in length and 100-300 feet in width, the canal is lined with beautiful buildings and palazzos that are examples of Venetian-Gothic and Venetian- Byzantine forms of architecture. The 16th- 17th century Baroque style buildings present, formed part of the Renaissance and Classical styles of architecture. The vaporetti offer the best view of the sights along the Grand Canal and educate you on how Venice

and its people have worked through the centuries. Watch the Regata Storica that takes place on the Grand Canal on the first Sunday of September. It is a boat race that follows a 14th century tradition. A spectacular boat parade led by the grandest of all boats- The Serenissima, precedes the Regata Storica. The festival is also a form of protest that had been undertaken to stop the waterways from being taken over by motor boats.

Venice Attractions | Holidays In Venice Italy

Southern Italy Travel

3. TAKE A RIDE ON THE GONDOLA A picturesque ride in the iconic gondolas is an experience many would cherish. However, this 900 year old tradition comes as an expensive deal and if the Gondoliers offer to reduce the price, you may end up getting a shorter ride and missing out on some of the beautiful sights. Make sure you settle the price issue before starting out or you may have the gondolier running after you demanding to be paid in full! Gondolas can seat about 6 passengers. They are well decorated and some have their own personal crooner available at a higher price. However, since an audition is not possible, you can only hope that you get someone with a pleasing voice! If you want to go off the beaten path, a better alternative is to buy a Row Venice package that entitles 2-4 people to a two hour lesson where you are taken through the canals and into the lagoon and taught how to row like a Venetian. It is informative and gets you a good workout. You see a lot of Venice at a reasonable price. The traghetti which are cheaper ferries are also a good alternative

since they were gondole (plural of gondola) in their hay days until they were stripped down to be used as municipal ferries. Join us in Part 3 of Romancing the Queen of the Adriatic

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