Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Venice…a land of islands, cathedrals, waterways and much history. The city structures date back a few thousand years in many cases. The water has caused some structures to shift and need additional support via wooden poles below the water's surface. Venice has 120 islands and 170 churches. In addition to the many foot bridges, boats and gondolas are common modes of transit between islands.

I had always wondered if seeing this city would be as amazing in person as I thought it was in photos. Now, I, along with the rest of the group would agree today was well spent exploring Venice. We started out touring parts of the city with a Venetian tour guide and then all went our own directions for a few hours.

Below are just a few of the sites from today.

The view of St. Mark's Square and the clock tower as we came in on the Water Taxi to Venice.
St. Mark's Cathedral
Riikka gave us final instructions as we started our day in Venice. One important reminder was to make sure we kept our belongings close as pick pocketers tend to be active in the large tourist crowds.
On our tour it seemed every time we turned a corner a different
church appeared. Everyone of them was unique in its own way.
St. Maria's church was one built to appear larger than it really is.
It was rare to come across a quiet street.

Terry and Sandra Jaspers, Kevin and Terry Jaspers and ReaJean Gee set off on their gondola ride.
The Rialto Bridge is in the background. Originally the Venetians built this bridge to connect
the people of Venice to the city's original trade center area.
Gary and Amy Cammack also enjoyed a bit of time away from the crowded streets in their gondola.

This is a view of the Grand Canal, the main water way that weaves through Venice.
A few in the group came back to tour the inside of St. Mark's Cathedral and it is stunning. The gold plated glass tiles almost make the inside glow. Mosaic murals lined the ceiling and some of the walls in the church. Photography is limited to a few areas within St. Marks Cathedral and even if more photos could be take, they would not do the beauty justice.

Even the floor of the cathedral is beautiful mosaic.
St. Giorgio's Cathedral and island can view to the south of Venice.
Your eyes really are not deceiving you! The tower in the background is really leaning a bit to the left. Many of the towers on the island are leaning due to the shifting that has been happening in Venice. We were told by our tour guide that the city is sinking by a millimeter per year. Some people like to say the water level is rising by a millimeter. Either way, the buildings are faced with a challenge due to the changes.
Another leaning tower in the background.
The Jesuits built this church bordering the water in Venice.