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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Venice, Veneto, Italy

Oct 23, 2014 - Venice - Day 7 - Last Walk About

# 6 - The iron prow head called "fero da prora" or "dol fin" is needed to balance the weight of the gondolier. The S shape of the prow head represents the twists and turns of the Grand Canal. The 6 teeth or prongs represent to 6 sections of Venice. The tooth that juts out backwards represents the island of Giudecca. The first female gondolier began work in 2010.

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Oct 23, 2014 - Venice - Day 7 - Peggy Guggenheim Museum

I had read a book about Peggy Guggenheim prior to leaving for Europe. She was a member of a "poor" branch of the Guggenheim family and only had a "small" inheritance. She wanted to leave a legacy and decided since not many people were collecting current works of art that would be her gift. She operated an art gallery for awhile in England and finally ended up in Venice and did not want to leave. She supported several artists with outright monthly stipends, several of those are represented in her museum. Most of this collection runs from...

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Oct 22, 2014 - Venice - Day 6 - Venetian Palace and Correr Museum

Theodoro Correr was an avid collector. He officially began his collection in 1830. This was not long after Venice fell to Napoleon and many Venetians were selling a lot of their possessions. The museum also benefitted from outright donations from prominent families. When he died he also left the family home, Palazzo Correr to house the collection which he bequeathed to the public. It opened as a museum in 1836. Eventually it moved to the Napoleon wing of the Piazza San Marco (across from the Basilica) in 1920. The Napoleon wing of the...

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Oct 21, 2014 - Venice - Day 5 - New Bridge and Jewish Ghetto

I had heard the famous bridge architect, Calatrava, had designed a bridge in Venice so I wanted to make sure I saw it. I had asked our guide where it was and while not knowing who designed it she did know of the new bridge. She said it had a people mover that never did work correctly. When I saw the bridge I realized we had different definitions of the word "people mover". I think of that term as the belt driven "sidewalks" in airports but this is a pod that moves handicapped people across the bridge, since it was designed without handicap...

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Oct 19, 2014 - Venice - Day 3 - Accademia Gallery

The Accademia Gallery was originally the Scula della Carita. The building dates to 1343 with the fa├žade completed in 1441 by Bartolommeo. The Scuolas of Venice, of which Scula della Carita was the first (established in around 1250), were charitable/religious fraternities open to all citizens. They were historically associated with a hospital or church. In this case the Church of Santa Maria della Carita. They also typically collected/protected art and promoted music. Around the time Napoleon took over Venice these types of organizations...

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Oct 19, 2014 - Venice - Day 3 - Doges' Palace

At its peak Venice was one of the most powerful cities in the world. It originally became important because of its salt trade. It was able to become a middle-man trader between east and west and became established in banking. It charged taxes on all ships coming into its convenient port and became rich. At one time it had the highest volume of trade anywhere in the world flowing through its port and had the most powerful navy. Marco Polo was from Venice and was indicative of the aggressive, exploratory nature of Venetians. Venice also had...

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Oct 19, 2014 - Venice - Day 3 - Saint Mark's Square, Campanile

Our tour of the Ducal (Doges') Palace was not until 10:00 so I got up and out early to go see Saint Mark's Square before the crowds. I could meet the rest of the group under the column of the winged lion (see previous postings). I had decided not to go up in the Campanile because I thought I would have to walk up but I ran into the two sisters in the group and they were thinking about going up and found out there was an elevator so we convinced ourselves to go. It opened at 9:00 am and there wasn't much of a line so we waited about 10...

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Oct 18, 2014 - Venice - Day 2 - St. Mark's Basilicia and Square

After lunch we walked over to Saint Mark's Basilica. The closer we got the more crowded it got. There is a lot to see in the area. The Doge's Palace, which we will visit tomorrow connects directly to the right side of Saint Mark's Basilica. There is the bell tower or Campanile (300 foot tall), to the front right of St. Mark's if you are facing St. Mark's. The Clock Tower to the front left of Saint Mark's. The Clock is fascinating. It is a 24 hour blue and gold clock face with a zodiac around it. I couldn't figure out how to read it....

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Oct 18, 2014 - Venice - Day 2 - AM Walk, Frari Church and Rialto area

I am really excited about being in Venice. Our field trip doesn't start until 9 am so I got up and out early myself to see Venice wake up. I have posted several pictures that show behind the scenes services necessary for the comfort of the public but probably never noticed. Frari Church was built by Franciscans about 1230. The current church was consecrated in 1492. It sits on a white limestone foundation and is made of brick not stone. There is a lot of original in situ art from prominent Gothic and Renaissance Italian artists and it is...

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Oct 18, 2014 - Venice - Day 2 - Gondola Ride

There were 19 in the group. We divided into four groups of five or four in each gondola. It was absolutely wonderful! I liked being that close to the water until we got out into the Grand Canal and were subjected to the waves of the vaporettos. But even that was exciting. I was disappointed because the gondoliers do not sing. I had seen groups of gondolas together where one guy was in one of the gondoliers and serenaded the entire group. My guess is that was some kind of celebration. Birthday, anniversary, wedding or something. We walked to...

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Oct 17, 2014 - Venice - Day 1 - A ride down the Grand Canal

We left Florence on the 10:25 train to Venice and got to Venice about 12:40. About half way through the trip we realized the train car was getting warm. For some reason the air conditioning wasn't working. Train personnel worked on it for awhile but never got it going and the windows do not open. It was miserable. We immediately took the vaporetto to our stop at the Accademia Gallery (which we will visit later). We went directly to lunch, which was at a restaurant near the vaporetto stop. Finally something other than pasta - fish and...

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Oct 16, 2014 - A Beautiful Day in Bled

Last day! Thursday, Oct. 16. What a luxury to sleep in today since our first tour begins at 9:15! Waking up to the beautiful castle and lake view from our hotel window was a nice bonus too. Again, another beautiful day. Our tour today begins at the 11th century Bled castle, the oldest in Slovenia and perched on a steep cliff high above the lake. It is a true medieval fortress with huge towers, ramparts, moats and a terrace. It's a steep drive up to the castle parking area and then an even steeper walk to the entrance itself. We are...

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