We've had a bit of a hairy day with the internet and downloading videos, but everything seems to be running smoothly now. We leave for Parma tomorrow morning so I figured I'd better attempt to finish up with the pictures from Venice last weekend.
We switched hotels for our second night to a hotel in the Dorsoduro region as opposed to the San Marco region. We hadn't yet stayed in the Dorsoduro area, and we wanted to be able to explore around Accademia and see a side of Venice that was still fairly new to us. The hotel we stayed at was previously a house (as opposed to the common apartments, like our palace apartment), and it was located right on a canal, about half a block from the campo where we saw the bird eat the other bird. Sergio actually knew the people who owned the house, and he said they had originally tried to sell it but couldn't get anything near their asking price, so they just decided to turn it into a hotel. Because of this, the hotel was set up more like a bed and breakfast, and it even had a garden and a yard out back. This was super cool because A. It's very uncommon to have a yard or garden in a hotel in Venice. And B. It was really lovely to sit outside and eat our breakfast and talk with the other people staying in the hotel (of whom we met a family from Canada who had 2 girls who sang in the Calgary Girls Choir, and were touring all of Italy singing in the big basilicas. They had sung during mass in Saint Mark's Cathedral the previous night, and they sang for the Dalai Lama before they embarked on this adventure.)
Sergio was giving us directions to a restaurant from our hotel, and he said "there's a bridge right past the vegetable boat..." Sure enough, there it is, 30 feet away from our hotel.
Remember that big huge Santa Maria de La Salute church that has no bridge leading to it? It is sitting on approximately a million timbers (each about the width of a telephone pole) that were hand driven into the water/mud to support the massive building. La Salute is in the Dorsoduro region, so we were able to go by again and actually go inside the massive building. It is just as breathtaking inside as it is outside. It is very plain and simple inside, and the lesser ornate of the churches in Venice. In Italy, it is considered rude to enter a holy building with bare shoulders or clothing above your knees, so we had to make sure to cover up before we went in.
There were a TON of people sitting on the steps outside for some reason, and I just thought it was cute.
The last picture is of the back of the church, where you can see the clock and bell tower. You can also see where the plaster has fallen off, leaving the brick exposed.
This is probably the only church in Italy that I think the outside is more beautiful than the inside. I obviously haven't seen every single church in Italy, but the outside structure and detail on this church is so magnificently beautiful, and the story and meaning behind the building just makes it that much more beautiful. I really don't see how any other church could compare. The church is so massive and is, obviously, completely surrounded by water, that it's nearly impossible to get a good picture of the entire building. My pictures don't even begin to do it justice. To really take in the sheer immensity and grandeur, you have to be standing right there, at the base of the steps, looking up and trying to imagine how it's possible to see and absorb every detail, let alone how they built this beast in 1681, before any real advances in machines. And it's on water for crying out loud!
Tonight's post didn't even put a dent in my Venice pictures. It's a good thing I could talk about Venice for days! Fergie Ferg and the Black Eyed Peas just performed in Venice this week, so I just narrowly missed out on a celebrity sighting. Also, in other news, I'm sure you've heard that the running of the bulls in Spain was on Wednesday. This is one of my bucket list items, so if anyone wants to accompany me to a viewing (no running for me, thanks) next year, let me know! :) And in even more completely unrelated news...What do you think about the new blog design/layout? I'm still messing around with it a bit, but this new design allows me to change everything that had been bugging me about the old layout. Let me know your thoughts on improvement or if I should just switch back to the old blog.
Today my favorite thing about Italy is: Olive oil potato chips. They're really as good as they sound.