After a very comfortable train ride, we arrived in Venice, (Population: 268,993 ). The New York Times described it as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man" and, also as being "one of Europe's most romantic cities". Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals".




 From the railway station, we took a water bus (as at left), to the beautiful Rialto Bridge, which arches over one of the major canals. We had been advised to get off at the Rialto stop, but didn't know there were two stops, one on either side of the canal. Of course we ended up on the wrong side and had to drag our bags up the steps on one side and down the steps on the other side of this long pedestrian bridge. Fortunately our hotel was only about a five minute walk from the bridge!






Below is a photo of the bridge - so beautiful, as are just about all structures in this incredible city.






At right is our hotel, the Malibran, very comfortable accommodation with an excellent restaurant.










As might be expected, there are a plethora of shops selling just about anything Italian. Here are a few street shots.


Below is a window sign advertising various Italian dishes with the English translation in italics. As can be seen, while the pork chop translated fine, the T-Bone steak translation is rather literal!





How about "Bras-R-Us"?



The following sign didn't seem correct as it didn't indicate a specific time.Regardless, we sensed the Venetian shops were open ALL the time!

Venetian Glass products are world renowned. A factory tour was available, but this would have taken up half a day, and we just didn't have the time. Here are some store window displays of these beautiful products.

An incredible chess set


A bottle and vase - note the intricate designs!


And finally, a turtle made of famous MURANO glass - for only about $267!


As mentioned earlier, Venice is also noted as "The City of Masks" worn during the annual Carnival of Venice. The idea was that the well-to-do could cavort with the masses without fear of being recognized!

Here are a few photos of these intriguing fashions.






Venice is also noted for it's gondolas. We were cautioned that a ride in one was a bit pricey and upon investigation, this was confirmed. A one hour ride was at least 70 Euros; with music as sung by the gondolier, 100 Euros. Instead, I serenaded Judy with one of her Andrea Bocelli favourites as we strolled along the canals taking pictures.






To see more about this incredible city, just click here to get to page 2!

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