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Sailing Through History X -Venice, Italy part I

The Heart of Italian Culture and the Capital of Romance

The last day of our 12 day cruise was a flurry of activity. Trying to pack up all of our belongings along with all the souvenirs we had purchased was definitely a chore. By 4:00pm on that day, I was exhausted from packing and decided to take a break out on the balcony. That's when I noticed the change. Instead of miles of ocean, I was looking at the shores of the islands that comprise Venice, Italy. Venice, known as the "floating city" the "city of canals" and “the city of bridges" is in reality a city comprised of 117 small islands connected by canals and bridges in the Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The population of the area is estimated at 272,000 people. The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for the art of the Renaissance period and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

Venice is well known as one of the most romantic places in the world, with its beautiful buildings, churches, restaurants, shopping and music, it is made for walking or strolling along the canals and bridges connecting the islands. I knew we would be sailing up the Grand Canal to reach the ships berth in the center of the city, so I quickly grabbed my camera and Yolonda from her cabin and we both rushed up to the sun deck to get an open air view of the center of Venice as we sailed by. What can I say to describe the vision that is Venice Italy? Standing along the rail on the top deck of the ship, the sun was shining, the church bells were ringing, and I could hear the magical voice Andrea Bocelli singing in Italian over the ship's loud speakers on the deck. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The scenery was stunning, and the feeling of pleasure that overtook me was almost overwhelming. To have all of these elements of sight and sound coming together at once was unbelievable. I really wanted to cry, it was all so beautiful.





As we passed the Piazza San Marco, also known as Saint Mark's Square, the principal square of Venice, I thought about the great decision that I had made in choosing our hotel for our 3 day post cruise stay in Venice. The Bauer Hotel, located in Venice's most fashionable shopping district, is just steps away from St Mark's Square and features two terraces providing wonderful views of the Grand Canal. While the thought of leaving the Emerald Princess made me a little sad, I was excited at the thought of staying at a great hotel right in the middle of Venice.




As we continued sailing up the Grand Canal, I noticed several small boats cruising along side of the Emerald Princess, one or two were ferries carrying several passengers. The thing that was striking was that the people on the small boats were waving at us, yelling "Buon Giorno" or "good day" or "hello" in Italian. It was an amazing welcome to an amazing city! When we finally reached our berth in city center, Yolanda and I came down from the top deck and joined Mom and Reggie out on our balconies. We would be spending the night aboard ship and then disembarking from the ship in the morning. I resolved to enjoy my last night on the Emerald Princess and looked forward to our stay in Venice before heading home. I had a good feeling that the best was yet to come!

Next, two more days in Venice before traveling back to the States! To be continued.......

Posted by Gerriv 07:25

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