Blog / Random thoughts and musings.


Venice: St. Mark’s Square and Belltower

The Procuratie Vecchie at St. Mark’s Square, government offices built in the 16th century.

After our tour of the Doge’s Palace we explored St. Mark’s Square for a while, including taking a ride to the top of the Campanile (belltower) for some amazing views of Venice (a photo of the belltower can be seen in the blog entry on the Doge’s Palace). The original belltower built over 1,000 years ago, unexpectedly collapsed in 1904, and was re-built as an exact replica of the original in 1912 (though somehow I doubt the original had an elevator!).

St. Mark’s Square viewed from the top of the belltower.

There’s also the time-honored tradition of feeding the pigeons in the square, which Kathie thoroughly enjoyed. As if the tourists don’t feed them enough, Venice feeds them every morning (very early) which is probably quite a sight since there are thousands of them.

Crazy bird lady.

When evening arrived we had our pre-arranged sunset gondola serenade. We knew going in that the gondola rides in Venice are purely for tourists, and overly expensive, but it seemed silly to go all the way there and not give it a try. We were all loaded up 6-per-gondola, into a little flotilla of 9 gondolas, where one (supposedly in the center) had the serenader who sang and played an accordian, amplified with a microphone and speaker. The ride was very peaceful as it goes through the side canals and you see a lot of the residences. The end of the ride passes into the Grand Canal and all the gondolas spread out so they are no longer one long line but rather a large grouping. It makes quite a sight, no wonder so many pictures of our group were taken. The gondola ride wasn’t really that spectacular — it’s tough to be romantic when there are 4 other people in the boat with you. Plus we’d seen most of the same views from walking around Venice and taking the vaporetto through the Grand Canal several times. It is a nice experience to do once, but not something we’d care to repeat.

Our gondola flotilla along the Grand Canal

Mike enjoying the view from the front of our gondola

1 Comment

  1. Kelly Kane
    July 1, 2007

    Mike you took some really amazing photos on your trip, nice job!! Glad to hear you enjoyed the well deserved trip!