|Sailing into Venice|
|San Giorgio Maggiore|
|Basilica San Marco|
The building has a façade with five portals decorated with mosaics; the only original mosaic being the one located in the doorway at the far left that depicts St. Mark’s body arriving in Venice.
On the loggia above the arches are the replicas of the famous bronze horses, the originals are now away from the elements.
|Bronze horses of the Basilica San Marco|
In the Piazza San Marco are two of the best known cafes in the world – Florians and Quadri. In better weather it is the done thing to sit outside and enjoy the musicians playing as patrons sit and sip their coffees and teas. Not cheap of course but this is San Marco, the most beautiful open space in the world.
|Piazza San Marco|
All along the banks of the Grand Canal are the grand palaces and they represent some of the finest architecture of the Republic. Yes, some are a little faded now but they are still fabulous to look at and admire. Maybe no longer the grand homes of the wealthy as many are now converted to banks and museums, but it does not really matter as the fabric of the buildings remain the same.
See their tall arches that combine with the Gothic arches creating a style known as Venetian Gothic.
Always a great favourite building is the Ca’D’Oro which when built had a fantastic façade covered in gold leaf. All of this is now gone but it still looks magnificent.
In closing this blog I would like to touch on the subject of Carnival. Today this colourful celebration is held just before Lent each year and just lasts for 10 days. This is the time when the locals say ‘farewell to the flesh’ and people parade through the streets wearing colourful masks. I have a favourite mask shop that I go to who in fact is now the oldest established mask maker in Venice. Sergio has a shop close by the Rialto Bridge. His little shop is a treasure trove of traditional masks made in the old method and without gaudy feathers. These masks are popular with our passengers and really make a lasting memory of our visit.