(Venice) is built on 118 small islands and seems to float on the waters of the lagoon…In this unreal space, where there is no notion of the concept of terra firma. – Unesco
Caro signs everywhere welcomed me.
This winged lion is the symbol of Venice. He is usually depicted as above with a paw on an open book with the words “Pax Tibi Marce,” or “Peace to you, Mark.”
The local legend states that these words were spoken to the distressed apostle Mark by an angel, assuring him peace during a stormy night he spent on the island. Eventually, St. Mark’s body was rescued from a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt by two traders in a pork barrel, which was not searched while exiting the Muslim country. Now he is the city’s patron saint and the lion symbol is everywhere.
Another lion adorns the clock tower. A small part of St. Mark’s Square is also visible Rick says to imagine this square magine this square full of water, with gondolas floating where people now sip cappuccinos. That happens every so often at very high tides (acqua alta).
Rick Steves quipped that, “The architectural style of St. Mark’s has been called ‘Early Ransack.'” He goes on to describe the unique combination of exterior mixes Eastern and Western styles pillaged from around the world,
combining Roman-style arches over the doorways, golden Byzantine mosaics, a roof ringed with pointed French Gothic pinnacles, and Muslim-shaped onion domes on the roof.
The brick is covered with marble from everywhere – columns from Alexandria, capitals from Sicily, and carvings from Constantinople. The columns flanking the doorways show the facade’s variety—purple, green, gray, white, yellow, some speckled, some striped horizontally, some vertically, some fluted, all topped with a variety of different capitals.
Each church we visit manages to stun with a new kind of opulence. At St. Marks Basilica, the sky is gold with the walls and ceilings of the 8,000 square meter church covered entirely in gilded mosaics.
A large canal with alleys visible between buildings that only smaller boats and gondolas can enter.
The unique back and forward stroke of the gondoliers is interesting to watch. I wonder about gondolier school, races, and why no women? (There’s one!)
Dock party: Venice style.
The Venice equivalent of a Welcome mat.
We were lucky to go during the Venice Biennale and saw exhibitions from around the world.