Piazza San Marco, Venice
In March I went to Venice on honeymoon armed with my camera. I am sharing a few of the photos I took, here on my blog. I start with a couple of the details of St Mark's Basilica the breath-taking church in the square. Note that the horses in the final pictures are the horses taken from below in the second photo. It's possible to go onto the veranda next to them to take photos of the square.
I think one of the things that strikes you about Venice is that it's so beautiful – absolutely everywhere. Next to the Basilica is the Doge's Palace (below, on the left). This photo shows the statues of the Lion of Venice and Saint Theodore. Before coming to Venice I knew about the canals, but I actually didn't realise that there are no roads AT ALL in Venice - it's all waterways. A city with no cars and it feels like being in a medieval fairy tale.
The building on the right is a row of cafes and shops with a covered walkway – these buildings surround most of the square.
The Doge's Palace was not only a residence for the ruler of Venice but also the seat of the Council that ran Venice and all the municipal goings on. The photos below show some of the opulence inside. It was designed to shout 'money and power' at anyone who entered and prove thoroughly intimidating.
One of the best parts of our trip was going on the “Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour." It's a tour behind the scenes of areas that are off limits usually to the public. We saw prison cells, torture rooms, inquisition sites and heard all the gory details about the intrigue and political cross-dealings that occurred in Venice. We of course also saw where Casanova had been imprisoned and heard how he and a fellow prisoner were the only people to ever escape the Palace. I would like to think that the figures in the mirror below were ghosts of monks...however it’s more likely they were people who were also on the tour....
Just around the corner from the Palace is the Bridge of Sighs. This is a covered bridge where prisoners were taken from the Doge’s Palace interrogation rooms to the New Prison (a wing of the Palace). The name was given by Lord Byron. Whilst most people queued up to take photos of the bridge, I preferred the view the prisoners would get - of the Venetian lagoon and the beautiful gondolas outside.
Also in the square is Museo Correr, a museum of Venetian history. It includes some stately apartments. Beautiful? Yes. Interesting? Erm no.... after the excitement of the secret tour I'm afraid it fell quite short - dusty, musty museum of pretty things rather than exciting Game Of Thrones-esque intrigue or the beauty of the architecture and canals of Venice itself.
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