Things Are Looking Up in Venice

Our two main sightseeing goals for today were St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace.

I can share some historical context—St. Mark’s was built in the 11th century; the palace of the Doge (Duke) was the seat of power for all of Europe for 400 years—but as it turned out, today was really all about ceilings.

Truly, we spent more time today looking up than looking around. While the walls of the two sites (and the nearby Correr Museum) were decorated, the ceilings stole the show. Especially in the Doge’s Palace, where virtually every ceiling in every room was a gilded masterpiece by Tintoretto or some other master.

See the photo above in which Molly stands with arms raised? That’s the Hall of the Grand Council (which can hold 2.600 people). The far wall is Tintoretto’s “monsterpiece,” Paradise, the largest oil painting in the world. Truly, one could spend an entire day (or more) studying and interpreting the countless paintings; for us, it was almost overwhelming.

The visit to the Doge’s Palace also gave us an insider’s look from the Bridge of Sighs (the bridge that leads from the palace to the prison, where prisoners got one last glimpse of Venice and sighed with regret). Molly had my phone at the time, and I found this photo later, composed and shot all by her; I think we have a budding photographer in the family.

Cassie and Carol made a quick stop at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of modern art…

…while Molly and I enjoyed the gelato of the day (despite cold and rainy weather) and saw the outside (and inside, where we warmed up) of the Santa Maria della Salute Church.

It’s our last night in Venice, so of course we had to have one more meal of cicchetti, the small bites that are so popular here.

So long, Venice. Next stop, Tuscany!

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