Saturday, June 24, 2006

Venice Views

People waiting to get in to see St. Mark's: this was taken from the inside out. We had arrived earlier in the day and only waited a short time. By the time we left the basilica, the line was around the square!

Mosaics, San Marco: St. Mark's Basilica was built originally in the 9th century but destroyed by a fire. It continued to be rebuilt starting around 1063 and remodeled extensively over the next centuries. There are over 40,000 sq ft of golden mosaics covering the domes, walls and floor, with the earliest dating from the 12th century. From 11:30 to 12:30 in the afternoon, they turned on the lights and it's completely dazzling!

Classic Venice: Tourists drifting along the canals in gondolas being serenaded by classic Italian songs like "Volare" and O Sole Mio."

St. Mark's Horses: These are the originals, The Quadriga, housed in a museum within the basilica. They are either Roman or Hellenistic, from the 3rd century BC and were stolen from the top of Hippodrome in Constantinople in 1204.

Torre dell'Orologio: The clock tower in St. Mark's Square. We climbed up the steps to get a close look at the amazing, golden mosaics. From there, it is possible to go out on balcony for a bird's eye view of the Square and a closer look at the the four horses, replicas of the gilded bronze originals, now inside the church for protection from the elements.

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