Monday, April 2, 2018

Must See In Venice, Italy - Preparing For Our Mediterranean Cruise


Venice and Rome are the reasons we chose this particular European cruise.  We are thrilled that we are getting a day and a half in Venice, the sixth port of our Mediterranean cruise.  We will dock in Venice at 3:00 pm on our first day here and leave the following day at 6:30 pm.  This means we have enough time to see all that we want to see here.  We have booked two excursions, one for each day.

Murano Glass and Burano Lace Excursion - On our first day at port, we will board a private motorboat that will take us through the Venice Lagoon and bring us to the floating islands of Murano and Burano. 

Murano - is 7 islands linked together by bridges.  My sister visited Italy and brought me back a Murano glass necklace which I love and would love to buy another one for myself and her.  I read that I will need to look for signs in the glass shop windows that say "Vetro Murano Artistico" so that I will be sure that I am buying authentic Murano glass and not imitations.   I know that I don't have to go to the island to find the beautiful glass necklaces but we will be so close to Murano when we are in Venice that I would probably regret not going, at least for a little visit.  On top of our list of things to do here is to watch some glass blowing, of course.   Besides for that, I will be on the lookout for some quirkiness in the lamp posts here and for the Comet Glass Star located at Campo Santo Stefano.  After that, I would be happy to just stroll around this island admiring the glass, watching the people going about their business and sampling some food.

Burano - is best known for producing beautiful lace.  We are looking forward to watching the lace making.  We also can't wait to see the colorful homes, especially the most colorful House of Bepi, and the leaning bell tower.  I never knew that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not the only leaning tower.  Apparently there is a Leaning Tower of Burano!  We will definitely want to have some of the fresh fish dishes Burano is famous for.  One local favorite is a dish called "risotto de go".   It sounds amazingly delicious.  I have to have it!  Not sure that Soko will want it though.  Bussalo and Esse, Burano's cookies, will be our desert choice.  It sounds like we will not have any trouble finding this typical cookie of Burano at any of the bakeries.  Piazza Galuppi may be the place to find the restaurant that has the risotto on their menu.  We can also find many shops here.   Did someone say shopping?  Yes, we will definitely want to explore this square.  Finally, we would like to see the Three Bridges (Tre Ponti).  It is a wooden bridge that connects three canals and three of the most colorful streets of Burano.

Venice Panorama Excursion - We will take a leisurely 2 1/2 hour ride in a private boat, on our second day here, that will take us through the Giudecca Canal and past many of Venice's significant landmarks.  We will pass city landmarks that include Venetian islands, the Armenian Monastery, the Arsenal dockyard, and the 16th century San Pietro di Castello church.  We will also sail past Murano so if I haven't taken enough pictures of this beautiful island, I will get another chance!

Having lots of time here gives us time to explore Venice on our own after our excursions.  After reading posts other bloggers have written about their time in Venice and after talking to friends who have been there, there are a couple of things I don't want to miss.

Rialto Bridge - is on every must see list as it is one of the world's most famous bridges.  Our trip to Venice would not be complete if we don't have at least one picture of us beside it.  We can't wait to cross the Grand Canal by way of this bridge but first we will have to check out the market that surrounds it.

Doge's Palace - was recommended by a friend who had it on her must see list. The palace is located in St. Mark's Square which is where we will find other sites on our list.  The palace is built in Venetian Gothic style and is one of the main landmarks of Venice. Inside we will find the Museo dell'Opera which is where the original 2 facades and capitals, that were replaced with replicas, are stored and the Doge's Apartments, Institutional Chamber, Old Prison, and New Prison which is linked to an interrogation room by a corridor that crosses the Bridge of Sighs.  The Bridge of Sighs was so named by Lord Byron who said that prisoners would sigh at their last view of Venice before their imprisonment. We can buy tickets in advance to enter the palace which we plan to do.  There is no option to buy entrance into Doge's Palace only.  A ticket will cost each of us 20.50 Euro and will get us entrance into the palace, Museo Correr, National Archaeological Museum and Marciana Library.

St. Mark's Basilica - a recommendation, a blogger's post and a top rating from Rick Steves makes it a must see for us.  The nickname for the basilica is Chiesa d'Oro (Church of Gold) because of its opulent design, gold ground mosaics and status as a symbol of wealth and power.  On the outside of the church we will be looking at the beautiful mosaics depicting the Life of Christ and culminating in the Last Judgement.  There is only one mosaic which dates back to the 1300's.  It is called the Deposition of Relic.  It shows the crowd leaving San Marco after the ceremonial appointing of a new doge.  All the others have had to be replaced over the years but the subjects are rarely changed.  Inside we will admire the marble floors and look for the design showing two cocks carrying a fox.  There are many ideas about what the symbolism here is.  One thing I don't want to miss seeing here is the Pala d'Oro, an altarpiece made up of 1,927 gems including pearls, emeralds, sapphires, garnet and rubies to name a few, on gold and silver enamel plaques.

Campanile - is the bell tower for St. Mark's Basilica and is the most recognizable landmark in the city.  The original tower was built between 887 and 912.  It was destroyed and rebuilt many times.  The last time being 1912 when it was reconstructed exactly the way it was before but also adding reinforcements inside to prevent future collapse and an elevator was installed.  The new tower was inaugurated on April 25, 1912 on St. Mark's feast day and exactly 1,000 years from the day the foundation was first allegedly laid.  There is a replica of the tower at the Venetian in Las Vegas and in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot Center in Florida as well as other places around the globe.  

Bridge of Sighs - We will be crossing over this bridge when we are in Doge's Palace but we have it on our list so that we won't forget to look at it from the outside of the building.

Liberia Acqua Alta - is a quirky bookshop.  The blogger's pictures show books everywhere and anywhere you would not expect them to be, like in toilet bowls!  We love finding quirkiness when we travel.  One of our favorites was the giant troll under a bridge that we found in Seattle.  

Caffe Florian - has the best hot chocolate says a blogger and the way it was described by her makes it seem very much worth it to find this shop.

Hopefully we will be able to get to all these amazing sites.  But any site we see will just be icing on the cake.  I know that we will just be happy to be in Venice. It will be a dream come true.

15 comments:

  1. I'm sure Venice will give you, what you expect.

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  3. Venice is one of my favourite cities in the world! I have been there 3 times, and you've definitely made a great list of places to visit. I did enjoy Venice itself more than Murano and Burano, but of those two islands I felt Burano was the nicest. I purchased two beautiful scarves there. I've shared 3 posts on Venice on my blog sharing my experiences there - if you type Venice in the search bar they will come up. You've definitely got a wonderful trip planned and I hope you enjoy this amazing city as much as we do! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Cathy. I hope you are having a lovely week!

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  4. Thank you SO much for your thoughts on Venice. I am going to your blog right now to see what you have to share about your visits there!!

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  5. This looks like an amazing trip! Can't wait to see follow up posts on Venice.

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    1. We will definitely be posting about our vacation! I am wondering myself, if our vacation will wind up looking anything like the itinerary we have planned.

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  6. Love that you are sharing all of this with everyone! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

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  7. I hope that if someone might be planning a similar vacation that my research might be helpful in their planning for it. I am looking at every blogger's posts on any of the areas we will be visiting. It really is giving me great ideas!

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  8. Venice is on our must visit list and this was a lovely list of places to go.

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    1. I hope you will be able to visit one day and I hope that you will use this post to help you plan your vacation.

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  9. What great information! Thank you for joining us on Friday Frenzy! Pinned. P~

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    1. Thanks so much for having me! (and for pinning!!)

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