Thursday, April 06, 2017

VENICE & VERONA 2017: Overview via Facebook Posts

Now that you know Astrid and I took a trip away without much fanfare here, I'll start the onslaught of posts with this overview via the collages I put up on Facebook every day.  Gotta keep the social media thing going, you know!

Day 1, Friday, 24 March--Cannaregio District, Grand Canal and Campanile Tower

Before hopping on a vaporetto waterbus on the Grand Canal to Piazza San Marco in Venice, 
we walked around the Cannaregio district of our B&B.  We visited one church, the San Geramia.  
Can you tell we were in heaven...and this was only our first day!

[As an aside, see the NW district in yellow?  Squint to see the X spot, where our B&B was located.
Get used to this map because you'll see it again.]

One of Venice's most iconic landmarks is the Campanile Tower at the Piazza San Marco.
I had been to Venice for 2 days in a past life, so I had seen Piazza San Marco.
But it was a first for Astrid and a first for both of us to visit the Campanile to see the views.
(Once I get into those posts, I'll include links to everything.)

Day 2, Saturday, 25 March--The Murano and San Michele Islands

You can't think of Murano without thinking of it's glass.
But we both know a lot about blowing glass, etc, because it's a Dutch trade as well.
So we didn't go to visit a glass factory (as most tourists do) but ended up getting a personal tour
when we stopped in one store to buy a couple of glass gifts.  Win-Win.

Our main goal for the day in Murano was to visit the Basilica dei Santa Maria e Donato from the 12th century.
The floor from 1140 incorporates fragments of ancient glass from the island's foundries (left-center).
Glass really IS important in Murano.
For us, this was more important than any glass we could ever buy.

Can you imagine an island that is only a cemetery?
Because San Michele is on the way back to Venice from Murano, we stopped there.
It's a walled cemetery with a church from 1469 and contains graves from famous foreigners,
including Igor Stravinsky (composer) and Serei Diaghilev (founder of the Russian Ballet).
A bonus was seeing a coffin being transported back to the city after a service (bottom-right).  
As Astrid and I often say, we learn a lot about a country and culture from its cemeteries.

Day 3, Sunday, 26 March--Accademia Walk and Piazza San Marco Basilica

We walked 3 km+ from the famous Rialto Bridge, through the San Polo and Dorsoduro districts,
ending up at the Accademia Bridge, where we had the only rain of the trip, for maybe 30 minutes.
It gave everything a magical look for us because of the umbrellas.

We had so much fun people-watching along the way.

[After our walk we visited St. Mark's Basilica at the Piazza San Marco but I didn't show a collage on FB.]

Day 4, Monday, 27 March--Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano Islands

We chose this day to take the vaporetto to the farthest-out islands of the Venetian lagoon.
The draw of Torcello (population 60) is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, 
a basilica founded in AD 639, making it the oldest building in the lagoon.
We even climbed the bell tower!

Burano is known for its painted houses and lace...and its tilted church tower.
[The wee island of Mazzorbo is joined to Burano by a pedestrian bridge...which I didn't post on FB.]

Day 5, Tuesday, 28 March--San Giorgio and Salute Churches

On our first day in Venice, last Friday, we went to the top of the Campanile Tower at the Piazza San Marco,
where I took the pic of Palladio's church from 1559 on the San Giorgio Maggiore island (top--loft).
From THAT bell tower, we looked back to the Campanile in the Piazza (top-right).

From the San Giorgio tower you look across the canal to the Santa Maria della Salute church (top-left),
started in 1630 in Thanksgiving for the deliverance of the city from the plague.
Salute means health and salvation.
From the front of the Salute church you look across the canal to the Piazza San Marco (bottom-left).
You can see how close all these landmarks are in Venice!

Day 6, Wednesday, 29--Castello District Walk

As you know, Venice is the main island of 117 in the Venetian lagoon, comprising 106 sq. miles.
On this day we took the vaporetto around Castello, the most eastern district of the island,
to complete our circumnavigation of Venice.  
It included the Arsenal area with its naval dockyard.

Once we got off the vaporetto at the Arsenal stop, we walked around,
visiting more churches and people-watching.

Every evening, except this one, we stayed home at our B&B to recuperate from the day!
But we HAD to see Venice at night, so we hopped on a vaporetto and spent 2 hours on the Grand Canal,
from 7:30-9:30, stopping off at the Piazza San Marco before our return back.
So glad we did it!

Day 7, Thursday, 30 March--San Simeon Piccolo Crypt

We've decided it's Venice's best-kept secret:  the crypt in the San Simeon Piccolo church,
across the Grand Canal from the railway station.  We went to buy our train tickets for our ride to Verona
the next day and when we saw the church, we decided to visit it...our last for Venice.
Once inside, the attendant told us about the crypt down below, for which we paid only €2 each,
and for which we were given flashlights to navigate throughout.
OMG!  It was the whipped cream on top of our Venice experience 
(and was nowhere to be found in both of our travel books)! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Day 8, Friday, 31 March--Train to Verona and the San Zeno Basilica

After arriving by train in Verona (120 km from Venice), settling into our B&B and finding a place to eat,
we had time to walk by the Castelvecchio from 1355, looking back on the Porte Scaligero bridge
as part of the castle's defense (top row).  That was on our way to visit the Basilica San Zeno Maggiore,
built between 1120-1138.  Later I'll show you the inside.  Another OMG!

Day 9, Saturday, 1 April--Major Verona Sites

This was our first full day in Verona, chock-full of this, that and the other:
The Arena (the 3rd largest amphitheater in the world), Piazza Elbe with its stalls, statues and fountain (14th century), the Scaligeri Tombs lifted up against the sky (bottom-left), the Juliet Balcony, the Renaissance staircase from the Palazzo della Ragione (Palace of Reason), the hunchback beggar holding up the font in the Basilica di Sant'Anastasia, and a lift to the top of the Lamberti Tower to get the lay of the land, with the Duomo/Cathedral (center-right)
which we visited later.

Day 10, Sunday, 2 April--Roman Theater and Churches

A bit of a mishmash from another full day in Verona.
Besides spending time at the Roman Theater and the Archeological Museum 
(top row and bottom-right), we walked around and visited several churches.
Some of the finest inlaid woodwork in all of Italy is in the Santa Maria in Organo church (bottom-left).
We also had a fun surprise at the San Giorgio in Braida church when we arrived just before 4 p.m.
and watched people coming in for a children's first communion service, to which the Bishop was invited.
It was like a big party.  OMG!  I had tears in my eyes.

Day 11, Monday, 3 April--Verona Cemetery

We made the decision to "lie low" our last full day of vacation by going to the nearby cemetery.
You already know how much we LOVE cemeteries.

The next day we were up bright and early for our 9 a.m. flight back to Amsterdam.
What a fabulous trip and experience for both of us.
As we often say, we were "short of eyes."

And now, in the days to come, I'll add more flesh to this skeletal overview!


  1. Naturellement j'adore cette série Ginnie. Tes photos sont superbes et me rappellent de bien beaux souvenirs. Merci.

    1. You are so kind, Marie. Thank you. I love when you stop by here and comment.

  2. After seeing these collages again, it is almost mindblowing what we did and see in such a short time. I think we spend our time well. Short of eyes is an understatement. Thank you for putting in so much time keeping the memory alive. IHVJ

    1. No wonder we were always so tired at the end of each day, right??!! HA! Will there come a day when we can't do so much anymore? I hope not, but to be realistic, probably so. But who cares. We'll always still do what we can do. Thanks again for being my Partner in Crime!

  3. So wonderful! I am partial to Venice, of course, but Verona looks like I need to visit there, as well! Beautiful pictures taken with your special eye. Love this.

    1. It's so strange that I never knew this about you, Kirsten...your love of Venice. But now that I know, I will always see it through your eyes. [Now I need to get your email address!]

  4. I'm exhausted! In a good way. :) You too, I bet.

    One of my dreams, so thank you for the fabulous pictorial!

    1. Oh, yes, Ruth. We're always exhausted by late afternoon on these trips, which is why we have the good sense to just stop. During the evening we restore ourselves. The good thing about these trips (like Malta, too) is that we really do try to cover all the bases so that we don't have to go back again. We then feel ready to tackle another place. Since there are so many places, you can understand our strategy! Thanks for following the Journeys we take!

  5. Your photos remind me of the wonder in a child's eyes at Christmas. Your love of exploring new places shines through. The photos make me want to travel too.

    1. The Dutch use the expression "short of eyes," Marie, which is exactly like the wonder in a child's eyes at Christmas. Thank you for coming along to share the ride!

  6. OMG!!!!!! I now see truly how much we missed on our 3-day stay in Venice. Three days is not enough. I wanna go back, waaah!

    1. As I told my sister, Ruth, we really do try to cover all the bases, Marie, so that we don't have to go back again. We then feel ready to tackle another place. That's our strategy. What we DID miss is okay with us because we obviously can't see everything. But we did see what we wanted to see. Thanks for following along!

  7. my faves were the brightly coloured buildings, and the night shots, and the CRYPT was a tad creepy hahah... thank you for taking me on your skeleton tour of Italy :)

    1. It's always fun to see what the faves are, Elaine. Thanks for letting me know. As regards the crypt, it WAS a bit macabre. Not somewhere I'd want to be alone, for sure, especially if my flashlight stopped working!!!

  8. Just WOW! You two amaze me how much you can see and do in such a short period of time! It's been so many years ago when we were in thank you for taking me back again. Can't wait to see more!

    1. You are such a trooper, Robin, to come to all these posts and comment when I did NOT expect you to (after all you've been through). I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We DID see a lot, for sure, but as Astrid and I have said, we never need to go back again after covering all the bases ! HA!