Monday, 1 October 2012

Not really canals, are they?


Let's start with a bit of controversy, eh? Having spent a day going around Venice it has occurred to me that what are referred to as canals, are not really canals. The land is human-made not the waterway and there are no locks. Never mind, despite the lack of hills, Venice does warrant a  day's exploration.
Copied from the Rialto cinema in Manchester
We did the tourist thing of wandering down the alleys and over bridges -looking for the Rialto bridge, Piazza San Marco and the Doge's palace, avoiding the mask-selling souvenir stands etc. - and then seeing it all again from a vaporetto (boat-bus) on the so-called Grand Canal.

Bridge of Sighs
Piazza San Marco on three sides is quite elegant, slightly marred by the sheer numbers of people there, most of whom seemed to be queuing to go inside the rather ugly Basilica San Marco, which spoils the fourth side of the piazza. The facade of the basilica looks shabby and has a rather ridiculous over ornate hodge-podge collection of statues etc stuck on everywhere - reminded me of a fireplace mantle overloaded with cheap souvenirs brought back by the owner's grandchildren.  By comparison the Doge's palace looked restrained and tidy. No idea what the Basilica looked like on the inside, as I was not prepared to wait in the long queue.

Doge's palace

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