-Piazza San Marco-
-St Mark’s Basilica-
At the crack of dawn we were up and on a boat with our things that took us to ACTUAL Venice. On a sidenote: I am sporting the first signs of a cold. Thank You FOOLISH CAMPSITE. *groans*
Our train from Venice to Milan was scheduled to leave in the next fours hours of us landing in ACTUAL Venice, so Amipa and I stored our bags at the train station and headed out (without Sesame *rolls eyes*) to absorb basically all of Venice in 3 hours.
And like the bosses we were, we made it to the train station, after stopping for a slight sweet snack, with minutes to spare!! We hopped the train to Milan, and then transferred straight to the airport for a 5 hour wait in our terminal. At this point, after the night at the campsite, I was ready to be back in my room with unlimited access to my shower.
First day of November and we were on a 6-hour train to Venice!! I’ve always wanted to go to Venice since I was in my single digit years, so as you can IMAGINE, I was over the top (yet slightly tired) with excitement.
“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”
― Truman Capote
Since the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the city has held an unrivaled place in the Western imagination and has been endlessly described in prose and verse. The luminous spectacle of ornate marbled and frescoed palaces, bell towers, and domes reflected in the sparkling waters of the lagoon under a blue Adriatic sky has been painted, photographed, and filmed to such an extent that it is difficult to distinguish the real city from its romantic representations.
Venice (Venesia, [veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges, of which there are 400. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers.
The situation of the city on islands has limited modern suburban spread beyond the historic centre; its framework of canals and narrow streets has prevented the intrusion of automobiles; and its unmatched wealth of fine buildings and monuments dating from the period of commercial dominance has ensured a keen and almost universal desire for sensitive conservation. This concern for conservation is now extended not just to the city’s monuments but to the very city itself, as rising water levels and subsidence of the land upon which Venice is built threaten the continued existence of the city in its present form.
It still remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.
We finally arrived……except…..we weren’t in Venice. We were across the river from Venice and APPARENTLY staying at a campsite?!
WHAT THE CUSS SESAME?! Let me tell you this was the WORST night ever. The room smelled like mildew and there were mosquitoes bigger than my eyes. If my excitement needed toning down, this definitely did the trick. Cue a sleepless night….
I love St Peter’s church. It grieves me to think that after a few days I shall see it no more. It has a peculiar smell from the quantity of incense burned in it. The music that is heard in it is always good and the eye is always charmed. It is an ornament of the earth.
-RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Journals, April 7, 1833
From: ‘When in Rome’ Copyright © 1998 by Robert J Hutchinson, p. 66
Il secondo giorno.
We hit the bakery, and upon request, one of the other members of the trip was the navigator for the day. Completely fine with me. Now I had more time to enjoy my surroundings and snap those little spots you would otherwise miss in search of the ‘normal sights’.
All the metro talks seemed to disappear with a good night’s sleep. *chuckles*
And we eventually got to the Vatican because our navigator got us lost.
Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11th 1929. These were ratified on June 7th 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State distinct from the Holy See is universally recognized under international law. The Pontifical Military Corps, except for the Swiss Guard, was disbanded by will of Pope Paul VI, as expressed in a letter of September 14th 1970. The Gendarme Corps of Vatican City State is responsible for all police activities and answers to the State Authority. It is a civil, not a military, organization.
Not as easy as it looks. (sorry, that was petty). The Vatican tour was 35€ and the line was madddddddd long. So the impatient split from the patient and we headed into St. Peter’s Basilica. Ohhhhhh the architecture in that place. W H E W!
The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Built of concrete and sand, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!
Il primo giorno.
Day 1 into our trip and we slept in. As much as sleeping in is what a vacation is for, we were running on limited days. Explorations had to begin ASAP. It’s not everyday you wake up in the center of Rome.
There was a sweeeeeeeeet bakery behind our hostel that had THE BEST bread. Not to mention it was adjacent to a fresh fruit market. DOUBLE WHAMMY!
With breakfast in hand, we started our journey towards the Colosseum. We had decided walking would be the logical thing to do since all the ‘ruins’ we wanted to see were a stone throw away from the other. SO WE PLANNED TO WALK. [ remember this. ]
On the way to the Colosseum, we made various stops are places of worship, for gelato and take pictures. Typical tourists we were. And then we arrived!
The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus. The Colosseum’s original Latin name was Amphitheatrum Flavium, often anglicized as Flavian Amphitheater. The building was constructed by emperors of the Flavian dynasty, following the reign of Nero.
Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. In recent years the Colosseum has become a symbol of the international campaign against capital punishment, which was abolished in Italy in 1948. Several anti–death penalty demonstrations took place in front of the Colosseum in 2000. Since that time, as a gesture against the death penalty, the local authorities of Rome change the color of the Colosseum’s night time illumination from white to gold whenever a person condemned to the death penalty anywhere in the world gets their sentence commuted or is released, or if a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty.
Most recently, the Colosseum was illuminated in gold in November 2012 following the abolishment of capital punishment in the American state of Connecticut in April 2012.
From the Colosseum we walked to the Pantheon. to gelato and the Trevi Fountain, which was PACKED with people. That didn’t deter us, however, from making it to the front and throwing in our wishes. Which meant there was only one thing left to do……EAT.
Yes. We enjoyed an authentic Italian dinner with all the trimmings while watching the sun set. There was a request to see the Spanish stairs, and we were 10 minutes away walking, so we journeyed forth. That’s when the complaining started. And to make it even better, from the requester of this extra part of the day!
IMAGINE THAT IRONY.
Nonetheless, we reached our destination, and unfortunately our prize fountain was under intense construction. We did get to enjoy the view from the top of the stairs and the strange man who gave us roses, thinking the three of us were somehow a romantic unit. *cackles*
Sleep on the brain, we headed back to our hostel. The Vatican was the goal for Day 2, and they were discussing taking the metro. I was tempted to let them and enjoy my stroll there….