Where We Be
Venice, Italy
Our best decision before coming to Venice was
buying a 7-day vaporetto pass online that let us
ride Venice's public ferries (vaporettos) as
much as we wanted. Our favorite moments were
spent riding the ferries, enjoying the Grand
Canal at different times of day and night,
exploring Venice Lagoon, and journeying to the
glass-blowing island of Murano. We hopped on
and off all over the city, which allowed us to see
a great deal of Venice in just a few short days.

We did our best to see the cultural highlights of
this powerhouse city but only scratched the
surface. There's so much art here, so much to
see and do, that you could easily fill up a month.
Our top recommendation: "Musica a Palazzo,"
an Italian opera performance in a centuries-old
palazzo right on the Grand Canal. The intimate
setting, combined with the gorgeous voices,
makes for an unforgettable Venice experience.
The Grand Canal is especially magical at sunset
Here we are on vaporetto #1, approaching the stop for San Marco Square. You can see the Campanile (bell tower) to the left,
the Doge's Palace (the big white building) to the right, and, in between and partially hidden, the dome of St. Mark's Cathedral.
Gondoliers row their passengers up and down the Grand Canal as the buildings glow at sunset
Two sides of Venice: on the left an endless jumble of gondolas on the Grand Canal, and on the right a serene and empty side canal
This is the famous Rialto Bridge, one of only a handful of bridges crossing the Grand Canal
Gondoliers poling along the Grand Canal add their own element of magic to Venice
Masquerade balls are a tradition in Venice, and masks like these make for fun window displays
The wooden Accademia Bridge was only meant to be a temporary bridge but the citizens of Venice liked it so much they kept it!
An ornate staircase in the courtyard of the Doge's Palace leads up to a wealth of fine art
We love Italian window displays! Whether it's Murano glass or stylish clothing or gourmet food, the Italians have a way of enticing you to enter their stores.
The flowers in this window box are a reminder of the simple pleasures of traveling in springtime in Italy
Lovely picture of my mom and Robin, both wearing their sweaters in the European fashion
My mom and dad joined us for our last day in Venice, which is the starting and ending point for our shared cruise to Greece and Turkey
We visited the nearby island of Murano, famed for its glass blowing. It makes for a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of Venice proper.
There's nothing more magical than Venice at night! We took several rides by
vaporetto in the late evenings and at night. Simply delightful!
From San Giorgio Maggiore's bell tower you get a fine view of Venice -- here we're looking across the Venice Lagoon just to the right of St. Mark's Square
The Winged Lion is THE symbol of Venice -- you see it everywhere once you start looking for it
A "traghetto" lets you ride across the Grand Canal for 1 euro in places where there is no bridge to cross. Traditionally you cross the canal standing up!
I took this picture from our open bedroom window, looking straight down on a delivery man delivering soft drinks and bottled water by boat
We sipped wine at a waterfront restaurant on quiet Giudecca, across the lagoon from
the main part of Venice (that's the Campanile and the Doge's Palace in the distance)
Tantalizing glimpses down side canals
offer endless opportunities to explore
Yes, this pair of shoes really does retail for 850 euros -- $1200 US! Ah, the joys of window shopping in Venice!
This is St. Mark's Cathedral, covered from top to bottom with mismatched marble columns and a plethora of statues and frou-frou -- yet somehow it all comes
together into a marvelous one-of-a-kind monument. Standing next to it is the Campanile, which came crashing down in the early 1900s but was quickly rebuilt.
We stayed at the Locanda Silva hotel, smack-dab in the middle of Venice but on a quiet side canal -- what a great location
The dark side of Venice: secret boxes into which
you could insert a note accusing your enemy of
wrongdoing, often resulting in their being brought
before the Council of Forty for judgment
The Doge's Palace was the ultimate seat of power for several centuries. Venice was the mightiest power in the world, ruling the seas, stealing tons of
booty from Constantinople (Istanbul), and putting it all on display in the Doge's Palace and surrounding buildings to wow its own citizenry and the world.
One of the best things we did in Venice was attend "Musica a Palazzo"  --
an up-close-and-personal opera performance at a palace right on the
Grand Canal. We moved from room to room during "Rigoletto."