Friday, April 20, 2007

April 15th - breakfast at the hotel, did some shopping on Murano and saw a bit of a glass blowing demonstration. The glass artists here are amazing. They are family trained, with over 15 years of experience before they are considered ready to actually work. The guy we watched made a little horse in front of us in about 10 seconds, forming the head and legs with small, precise motions of his tools. He seemed to have total control over the hot glass.

Then we took a vaporetto (basically a water bus) to St. Mark's square. St. Mark's was already a zoo of people lined up too see the sites. We walked across the square and went into the Correr Museum, a less popular site with no line. It was an OK museum, nothing spectacular compared to the other things we had seen on our trip.

Then we walked over to the Rialto Bridge and took a vaporetto to the train station. From there we took a vaporetto that went the full length of the Grand Canal for sightseeing. It's a very cool looking city from the water. It was helpful to have our guide book to point out some of the interesting buildings along the route.

Then we went back to St. Mark's square and the Doge's Palace. It's a very cool Gothic palace for the head of state from the days of the Venetian Republic. I didn't know very much about the Venetian Republic before this trip so it was fascinating site with lots to read and learn. The building also contained chambers where their grand council and smaller councils met, an armoury with great collection of period weapons/armour and some prisons, as well as some great art.

Because it was Sunday, St. Mark's Bascilica closed early so we didn't get to see that, which is OK since I've seen enough churchs for one trip. After that, we just wandered around for a while. Venice is so tourist oriented that it is a little less interesting to me than some of the other places we've visited.

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