Italy is a beautiful country, full of amazing places to be seen. We have visited Milan in spring time. What can be better than to discover Venice by late summer? As you surely all know, Venice is a city located basically on water.
No, it does not mean that it literally stands in the sea like the pile dwellings we have visited along Lake Constance. It is simply built on a total of 117 islands of the Venice Lagoon. On bigger islands there are real streets. But in between, you will find canals. On their shores you will find museums ...
... and governmental buildings.
And on the canals you can find boats that serve all types of purposes, including an ambulance ...
... and a postal car! Or postal boat to be more precise.
But the most famous Venetian boats are of course the gondolas, in which tourists can comfortably enjoy a ride on the waves.
Some of the canals are rather small. It almost feels as if the inhabitants of the buildings facing them could shake hands in the morning.
Other canals are bigger. The biggest one is Canale Grande, a real water highway.
Canale Grande, like any other highway, is very busy, so we need to manoeuvre carefully while still admiring the banks. Look on your right hand side, to this huge dome.
It is the basilica of Santa Maria de Salute (Virgin Mary of Health), founded by the city of Venice to thank God and his Mother for the end of a plague. The church is visible designed in baroque style.
Finally, we arrive to the biggest square in the city. It is facing the San Marco Basin.
And the square is called San Marco square, which can be further discovered from the statue of the Saint Mark's lion. Any ideas who is the saint patron of the city of Venice?
The most important buildings of the city include the Palace of the Doges, built in Venetian gothic style. Doge of Venice was the title of the most senior governmental official elected by the Republic of Venice, which lasted over a thousand years.
Just behind the palace, you will see the main church of the city, dedicated (how did you guess?) to Mark the Evangelist, aka San Marco. The tall red tower is the San Marco Campanille, being a bell tower.
The entrance to the San Marco basilica is supported by numerous columns. On top, you can see marvellous mosaics. Unfortunately it is forbidden to take pictures inside the basilica but you can have a glimpse of this amazing place here.
Above the entrance you can admire the Triumphal Quadriga or the Horses of Saint Mark. The four horses were made of bronze in the second century after Christ. They were (let's face it) stolen from Constantinople in 1204.
Would you like to see them closer? Then let's go up. From the top of the church you can admire the San Marco square.
As well as the Doge's Palace and the Basin.
Oh, what a thrill. It is me and the quadriga of Saint Mark. Alright, I need to confess - this is a contemporaneous copy. The two thousand year old original is behind us, in the basilica's museum (but no photos allowed ...).
I hope that you have enjoyed the time we have spent in the amazing city of Venice. I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that its uniqueness has deserved it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. After all, where else in the world, can you see a view like this?