Travels in Italy: Veneto – Verona (May 26, 2015)

Verona, Italy (2015)

Verona, Italy (2015)

Map of Veneto region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Images

Map of Veneto region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Images

Attractions:

  • Piazza Erbe
  • Casa di Giuletta

Verona, historically, is a city built on the site of an ancient Roman forum. The Piazza Erbe at the center is named for the city’s herb market. Today, lots of vendors sell their wares and fresh produce at the piazza.

Piazza Erbe in Verona, Italy (2015)

Piazza Erbe in Verona, Italy (2015)

A visit to Verona is not complete without a looksee at Casa di Giuletta (Juliet’s House).

Casa di Giuletta in Verona, Italy (2015)

Casa di Giuletta in Verona, Italy (2015)

Giuletta at the Casa di Giuletta in Verona, Italy (2015)

Giuletta at the Casa di Giuletta in Verona, Italy (2015)

Guided by a tunnel doodled with the names of lovers and couples, one enters a courtyard with a bronze statue of Juliet worn to a polish around her arms and breasts from her many visitors (or admirers, I should say) and the balcony supposedly where Romeo visited her on his night excursions. Continue reading

Travels in Italy: Veneto – Islands of Murano and Burano (May 25, 2015)

Murano

Murano, Italy (2015)

Murano, Italy (2015)

Murano is an island northeast of Venice. It is known for its glassmaking industry dating from 1291. Here one can watch a glassmaking demonstration by one of its artisans. Just be wary that they will show you to the showroom to woo you with their exquisite products. Continue reading

Travels in Italy: Veneto – Venice (May 24-25, 2015)

Entering Venice, Italy (2015)

Entering Venice, Italy (2015)

Map of Veneto region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Images

Map of Veneto region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Images

Attractions:

  • Grand Canal
  • Gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs to the Grand Canal
  • Mark’s Basilica and Square
  • Doge’s Palace
  • Lido Island

Called the “Queen of the Adriatic,” the city of Venice is made up of 118 islands joined by a sprawling network of 450 canals. Located on a lagoon, the main transportation of this city is by boats. On May 24th, we traveled down the Grand Canal in private motor boats courtesy of our tour director.  As it happened, it was the day of a boat competition. Teams of four or five; young and old; women and men skillfully maneuvered their sleek boats past us. This sight coupled with the old buildings on either side of the canal banks made it an experience to remember.

Boat racing along the Venetian canal

Boat racing along the Venetian canal

Venetian Canal

Venetian Canal

Historical building along the Venetian canal

Historical building along the Venetian canal

Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy (2015)

Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy (2015)

Our tour director then instructed the boat captains to dock the boats at San Marco. Here we mingled with the tourists while we waited our turn for the gondola ride. It was worth the wait!

The gondolier took us under the Bridge of Sighs that connected the Doge’s Palace to the prison and guided us into the heart of Venice’s canal system. Ancient buildings flanked each side like sentinels welcoming our passage. Then, behind us in one of the gondolas, a man began to sing an Italian serenade accompanied by an accordion player.

Immersed in the beautiful Venetian song, one can enjoy the sights and sounds of Venice.

Gondola ride

Gondola ride

Later we were taken by a ferry to the island of Lido, where we would stay for two nights. We stayed at the Hotel Grande Albergo Ausonia and Hungaria, whose architecture was influenced by the art nouveau style with its flora and fauna motifs. Although the hotel rooms were old, it was fairly comfortable. Continue reading