After class last week, my roommate Dona and I took a trip to Venice.
I want anyone traveling around Italy to know how easy and affordable traveling by train is; our train from Florence to Venice was €9…about the equivalent of only $11! We left Friday at noon and got back Saturday night around nine, so we only paid for one night in a campground just outside of the island. I also highly recommend these types of campgrounds; although our tent was small and the bathrooms did not have doors (haha), it was more than I expected from the €11 we paid for one night. 🙂 They had showers, laundry, 24-hour check in, and a small grocery store with a pizza restaurant located just inside the gate. We also felt totally safe.
Our train into Venice took us to the Santa Lucia train station on the main island, so we spent Friday afternoon getting used to the winding roads and consistently unmarked dead-end streets. Although these were confusing, getting lost in Venice was not terrible ;). Saturday, we visited all the attractions in the Piazza San Marco (“Saint Mark’s Square”), which include the Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Sale Monumentali della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Of course we also visited Saint Mark’s Basilica; so gorgeous!
My first time riding the train in Italy! They’re shaped cool.
First sight outside the Santa Lucia Train Station in Venice.
Gondolas! So black and elegant… way out of Dona and my price range.
In awe of my surroundings. 🙂
Trying out some of Venice’s most famous tourist items; what a beautiful mask!
The streets of Venice.
The next few images are from the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari… one of the most magnificent places I have EVER been. Inside are countless tombs and priceless sights, and it was only 1.50 Euro to get in! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!
Inside the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari; I had never seen statues like this… simply gruesome, terrible, and gorgeous.
The exterior of the choir stalls in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
LET IT BE KNOWN: This is one of my favorite pieces in all of Italy. A giant reliquary, made by Francesco Cabianca in 1711, with panels representing the Crucifixion, the Deposition, and the Pieta.
Close up of the main window to the interior of the reliquary made by Francesco Cabianca.
Tomb with sculptures and a painting in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
The infamous Rialto Bridge in Venice!
View of the Grand Canal from atop the Rialto Bridge.
Side exterior of the Basilica di San Marco.
Side exterior of the Basilica di San Marco.
One of the gilded mosaics in a lunette on the exterior of the Basilica di San Marco.
Another of the gilded mosaics in the lunette of a lateral portal on the exterior of the Basilica di San Marco.
Beautiful columns of the Basilica di San Marco.
Full view of the front exterior of the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, as seen from the Piazza San Marco.
The long arcade along the north side of the Piazza San Marco. The buildings on this side are known as the Procuratie Vecchie (early 16th century), formerly the homes and offices of the Procurators of Saint Mark, high officers of state in the days of the republic of Venice.
To the right of the Procuratie Vecchie is the astrological Clocktower with the archway into the Mercerie, leading back to the Rialto Bridge.
The Piazzetta di San Marco, a connecting square on the south side of the Piazza San Marco. You can see one of the large granite columns in the square, this one holding Saint Theodore on top; he is one of the patron saints of Venice.
Another breathtaking view from the Piazzetta di San Marco. Across the water, you can see the island of San Giorgio Maggiore and the brilliant white facade of Palladio’s church there. Sadly, We didn’t visit this part of the Island. 😦
Taking bus #5 back across the Ponte della Liberta (“Bridge of Freedom”), the only way in or out of Venice by land.
Dona and my lovely, itty-bitty tent! Just outside the island of Venice where overnight accommodations are MUCH cheaper.
Back in Venice! Visiting the Museo Correr in the Piazza San Marco; there was a special exhibit of Gustav Klimt’s work that we just had to see! I love him.
Part of Kilmt’s “Beethoven Frieze”; the first wall of the frieze depicting man’s search of happiness (1902).
Posing with the second wall of Klimt’s “Beethoven Frieze” (1902); this wall depicts a tempestuous world and is my favorite panel.
Amazingly long print in the Museo Correr.
View of the courtyard and the Doge’s Chapel within the Palazzo Ducale.
Posing next to the Giant’s Staircase in the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale, flanked at the top by statues of Mars and Neptune.
One of the many ornate and elaborate ceilings within the Palazzo Ducale.
View of the Bacino di San Marco from the window of the Palazzo Ducale.
I hate my phone for not getting a better picture of this wall! It’s simpley amazing, and mind you these ceilings are over thirty feet high. This “Paradise” mural is in the Hall of the Great Council, painted by Tintoretto around 1588.
Inside the Basilica di San Marco! THE ENTIRE interior is covered in gilded mosaic… simply beautiful.
Detail from the inner walls of the Basilica di San Marco.
Amazing mosaic mural within the Basilica di San Marco.
The other side of the arched ceiling of the previous mural.
The lighting was so poor! Most of the inside of the Basilica di San Marco wasn’t accessible to tourists. 😦
The original “Horses of Saint Mark” (1254).
SOOOOO many people!!! View from the Basilica di San Marco.
Posing on the upper register of the Basilica di San Marco!
One of the domed ceilings within the Basilica di San Marco.
Posing with some of the most amazing ceiling mosaics in the world! 🙂
Riding a water taxi back to the Santa Lucia Train Station… besides for the experience, I wouldn’t recommend it! It is very slow and very crowded.
View from the water taxi.
Leaving Venice on the train back to Florence. What an amazing experience!