Monday, June 28, 2010

Italy - Day 3: Venice

Built on over 100 islets, supported by millions of wooden stakes and linked by 400 bridges, Venice is the only city in the world which is built entirely on water. The greatest advantage of this, apart from the obvious aesthetic appeal, is the absence of cars. The biggest disadvantage is in fact that the city is prone to problems of flooding. The sense of precariousness, associated with the city for centuries, inevitably adds to the fascination for the visitors. There is always a feeling that once you turn your back on all this fragile but vibrant glory, the islands, once inhabited by refugees fleeing the hordes of Attila the Hun, will crumble and disappear like a mirage into water. 

The heart of Venice is the vast Piazza San Marco. Described by Napolean as the most elegant drawing room in Europe, this is the architectural showpiece of Venice.

St Mark's Square, Basilica and the Campanile

The Rio Canonica and Bridge of Sighs
(too bad it was closed for renovation during my visit. *Sigh*)

The Doge's Palace

There is so much to see when you walk along the back lanes in the town

Tagliatelle al nero di seppia (squid ink pasta)
(For those who are planning a visit to Venice, please make this as one of the must-try food in the list. Don't be influenced by the others who often describe this as being disgusting and yucky, you must try it yourself in so that you won't miss one of the most worth-eating food in Italy. It tastes heavenly...)

Pizza Funghi baked in a charcoal oven

Experiencing al fresco dining in Italy to see all walks of life in Venice

The ornate Torre dell'Orologio

The journey along the Grand Canal affords vistas unmatched anywhere in the world

Catching a gondolier in action

It can be rather romantic taking a gondola ride with your beloved (please ignore the umbrella)

Small bridges connecting the islets

The gondola will take you into the back alleys too see the filthy drains with unbearable stench

A picture paints a thousand words

A tour of Venice is best rounded off with a coffee break in the piazza. The most famous cafe here is Florian, the once fashionable haunt for high Venetian society.

 Caffe Quadri is the second oldest cafe in Venice after Florian

 Quadri serves the best Tiramisu in Venice

St Mark's Basilica

Mummy and her pigeons

I was impressed by the noble architecture of Doge's Palace

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