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BLC 21 Challenge: Best vacation ever

Saturday, February 23, 2013

You can't drive a car in Venice. You can move by foot or by water, but at the edge of the city you will find a train station and a parking lot. From there, you can take a vaporetto, the Venetian equivalent of a "subway" or a "metro"--or a water taxi--precisely like a large city cab, or spring for the more costly and majestic gondola. Or walk!

I've been to Venice three times and I live frugally so that I can return to the city known as the "Queen of the Adriatic" or "La Seremissima" or the "City of Canals". It is without a doubt one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Start looking around for the symbol of Venice: The winged lion. They are everywhere!

Do you want a coffee? Looking for Starbucks? Italy is the only country I know where you will only find small, local coffee shops.
It will be 400 years old in 2020: Caffe Florian, where Casanova, Goethe, and other famous figures have sipped coffee. And so have I!

Right on Saint Mark's Square, it's a ideal spot to people watch:

and make sure you look at the proud horses, the symbols of Saint Mark's. They proudly rule over the entrance:

Don't forget to check the clock! It looks as if it's now Virgo O'Clock!

Maybe you'd like to get away from the crowds and go over to the more artistic part of town: Nothing like the traditional Academy for historical art or Peggy Guggenheim's museum for more contemporary art. Avanti!

Peggy was one of the many "characters" who chose to live in Venice forever! I would too if I could afford it. Every visitor must go to the Doge's Palace for art and history:

But if you were to have offended the Doge, you'd walk through the famous "Bridge of Sighs" to get to the less lovely prison:

I traversed the Bridge of Sighs, but I knew that I was just passing by!

Take a vaporetto out to one of the many outlying islands: The wild Torcello and Burano or the glass-making center, Murano Island:

The houses on Murano are brightly colored.

Do you notice how the water shimmers in Venice? The marriage of sky and sea gives us there beautiful effects, nicely captured by artists: Here is Canneletto's painting of one of Venice's many magnificent churches, Santa Maria della Salute!

To go from the more pious to the everyday, I love the way Venetians take their dogs into the little bars for a snack:

The dog owners are very conscientious and Venice provides little bags and recepticles so you can clean up after your dog.

This is our hotel room! It looks quite magnificent but did not cost much.

Let's open the hotel curtains and look at the view! Fantastic!

Here I am making friends with The Opera Cat, who lives around La Fenice Opera Theatre. Opera lovers always bring some cat treats! The roaming cats of Venice all are quite plump. Italians love cats and dogs! They are a no-kill country with a smooth TNR program. At least the cat has maintained his dignity, even if I've lost mine.

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