07/08 - Friday.
I arrived at Venice a little after 7:30am... when I left the train station I immediately saw that there were no streets outside, but rivers. I fell in love instantly.
I saw a white bridge that crossed the river so reach the cute old houses on the other side. I returned through the bridge to get a ship (the Vaporetto, that how they are called. They are like the city"s buses) to go all way through Il Canal Grande (the name of the main river). I saw all Venetian architecture that I had only seen before in movies and TV documentaries.
The Vaporetto dropped me at the left side of the river and I wondered how I was supposed to go to the right side, because that is where I assumed the cathedral was. Then I stopped and looked at the tourists, they were all going the opposite way, through some souvenir stands.
I thought "well, I will buy something" and started checking out the souvenirs. Mostly there were white lacy. Lots and lots of white lacy. Clothes, hairclip, umbrellas, belts and everything you can think of.
I bought a golden Gôndola to put on my room when I go back home.
I walked forward a bit more and turned to the left and that was when I saw the San Marco"s cathedral and its square. That cathedral must be one of the biggest in Europe, there are lots of round towers that reminded me of Alladim"s palace in the middle east. There were small details and adornments built around the year 1250.
This cathedral is famous for keeping what people suppose to be Saint Matthew"s corpse. If that is true or not I cannot say, I know there is a tomb with that name in there. I read in a book that the mosaics are 13,910.76 feet long and they were made around XII century. Some of them were out there later and some of the painters are famous like Ticiano and Tintoretto.
I was sad because cameras are not allowed inside the cathedral. I wanted to spend hours there filming all that golden beauty. I hid my camera and filmed around thirty seconds of it, but I was scared that someone might see so I turned it off. The ceiling and the walls shine like gold.
In the center there is main dome, the Domo da Ascensão, beautiful, made of gold in a Byzantine art style.
When I walked out of the cathedral, still sort of blind, I was a huge line to enter the Palazzo Ducale (Doge"s Palace). When I saw it from outside I did not think it would be a great thing. It looked like a plain government building. But then I walked inside and my stomach sank. That was really a palace!
When I entered I saw the art gallery, some pieces of columns and various minuscule doors and rooms. They were so small that I had bent forward to get through (and I am really small).
After a small door I arrived at the internal garden. There is where I saw the beautiful Foscari"s Arch, La Escadaria dei Giganti and Porta della Carta.
I saw some huge iron gates opened and I decided to check it in there (I am a very curious girl), I climbed a huge staircase that had a ceiling made out of golden details (if that is really gold I cannot tell).
When I entered the royal rooms I understood the differences between a castle and a palace. A palace is much more artistic, glamorous and there are lots of gold and painting everywhere, on the walls and ceilings.
Each room was a surprise, in many I barely walked inside and my breath was completely taken away. On the first room I thought I would never see anything more beautiful in my life and when I entered the second room I was proven wrong. That palace was an artistic experience.
The first room was Sala del Collegio, then Sala Del Senato, Anticollegio, Sala Delle Quattro Porte, Sala del Consiglio de Dieci, Sala della Bussola (there was a big compass on the wall, with antic earth globes, a roman clock and the Signs Clock, where the number are placed by the Signs), There were several rooms and in the end the last one: Sala Del Maggior Consiglio that hás the biggest painting in the world, The Paradise (1590) by Tintoretto. There are even seats in case you want to sit down and look at the painting for several hours.
From there I wanted to the Bridge of Sighs where the most impressive prisons of Venice lie. These prisons are famous because it was from there that Casanova escaped. The name of the bridge was given by Lord Byron (Yeah, the romantic writer) because he said when he passed near it he could hear the sighs of the prisoners.
Nowadays the bridge has a romantic meaning. They say if you pass under it in a gondola with your loved one, if you kiss him or her, it is like sealing a promise.
I wanted to go inside the prisons, but I had to book it the day before, and the secret itinerary was fool for the day. Apparently you walk inside the secret rooms and torture chambers and lots of rooms that are not open to the visitors.
I left the palace floating around like a feather. I climbed up the Campanario, the bell tower fro where you can see all Venice. I was a little scared that the bells might start ringing so I left quickly.
So, I decided to take a peaceful walk around Venice. I started behind the San Marco?s square, where the streets are really tiny. There were the gondolas and the men guiding it. If only I had someone there with me to take a ride?
Around the streets and bridges are many artists. Some painting, other playing instruments. I saw a sad musician playing the cello while a gondola passed by him. It was like he was playing for himself instead of the people around him. I loved his song.
I continued my walk and arrived in another square and from it I saw a bridge to cross Il Canal Grande. I went to the other side and saw the Academia de Belas Artes, but I could not enter.
I saw another musician, an exotic one. He was playing with crystal glasses and it amazed me that he could play a very beautiful music with those simple cups.
Lunch was amazing, I spent 38 euros (The most expensive until now had been 20) to eat a tipical lasagna as the first dish (here they devide the meal in three dishes; the first is a pasta, second is meat and third is a salad. You can get desert if you can handle it). I tried squid (I didn?t know what that thing was!) and I enjoyed it, but I still pity the poor animal. I eat a salad and finished with mint ice cream (I almost could not eat it all!) I wasn?t hungry until next day on breakfast.
I lost all the calories I consumed in a walk back to the train station, passing by bridges, small streets and mini-rivers. I wished I had stayed in Venice at night, but it is a place to go in couples and since I was by myself I thought it would be better if I went to the hotel and slept (it may be Venice but I am not walking alone in the dark).
People go work in ships; there are taxi-ship, police-ship, and ambulance-ship. I found people selling tickets for my favorite opera: Turandot, but I couldn?t made it to the theatre because there would be time enough to go back to the hotel and change (I was a mess because I walked around all day in shorts and T-shirt.) I was very frustrated because of that. I mean, there was my favorite opera and I couldn?t watch it
Well, tomorrow I live for Turin and my day in Venice is over. I wish I could come back again someday; there are so many things left to see.
Venice is paradise.