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Ahhh...Venice

By Dave

sunny

OK, OK, we've gotten a lot of flack for questioning the whole gondola ride thing, and all well deserved I must admit. Lynette and I don't know what we were thinking - we were idiots. We ended up doing it and it was INCREDIBLE! And well worth the price.

We booked the ride through our hotel with the first and only female gondolier, pictured here:

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Included in the price was a bottle of champagne which we were happy to polish off during the 50 minute journey. It quite added to the already romantic mood.

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We quickly found out that the best views of the city are from the water. We leisurely rode down the Grand Canal and along the narrow waterways taking it all in.

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Supposedly all the buildings of the well-to-do along the Grand Canal were painted up this way with elaborate murals back in the day. It must have been quite a sight. This one is the only one that we saw that has now been restored to its former glory:

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There are still amazing details everywhere you look.

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This old place is supposedly haunted. Everyone who has lived here has either died in the place of natural causes or committed scuicide. I guess this means they were all either so happy with the place that they wanted to live out their last days there or hated it so much they wanted to end it all. Its up for sale in case anyone is interested. You might get a good deal due to its gruesome history. Its quite beautiful.
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So we had an absolute fabulous time. it was definitely a highlight of our Italy chapter.
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Back on land:
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I thought this was a cool sign for a restaurant. It didn't even say the name of the place. I guess they just refer to it by saying, "Hey, let's go down to the place with the boat on it for dinner tonight."
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Here's a view from the window inside the Peggy Guggenheim museum. I got in trouble for taking this one. Photos are not allowed inside the museum. I thought this meant of the artwork, but to my surprise it apparently includes shots out the window. The museum houses some great artwork by such famous artists as Picasso, Pollock, Dali just to name a few. (But of course I don't have pictures of any of them.)
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The view at the San Marco square:
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View from the Rialto Bridge:

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Something I found interesting about the meals served in Italy is how they serve things in courses. After appetizers is the first course which is usually a big pasta dish. The second course is a meat dish which they don't serve until the first course is completely finished and removed from the table. Which was a bit sad because I often thought the meat would go superbly with the pasta. The salad course actually comes as the third course, and then dessert.

One of the great things about Venice is that there is absolutely no traffic on the roads, if you can even call them roads. No trucks, cars, motorbikes, not even bicycles. Everyone just walks everywhere. No dodging of traffic, no annoying honking or noxious fumes. Just leisurely and carefree strolling. And every night it seems that the locals are out mingling on the street or in the squares with the neighbors as the children play together. All this walking must be how they all stay so fit and beautiful even with such large and tastey meals.
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We loved Venice so much Lynette wanted to take part of it home with us.

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We are now in Paris, France and loving it. This is a great city. Yesterday we went to the Musee Dorsay art museum, and went to the top of the Arc de Triumph for a night time view of the city lights. Today its off to the Louve.
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-Dave and Lynette

Posted by schuckley 14:23 Archived in Italy Tagged round_the_world Comments (5)

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