Oh Bella’Italia, how you have conspired to steal my heart and hypnotize my soul and of a zillion others as well. Whether it is the awe-inspiring and alluring Venice with its exquisite waterfront palazzos, marble palaces and the enchanting gondola rides or the cradle of renaissance and treasure house of world’s most impressive artistic masterpieces, the magnetic and romantic Florence or the eternal city Rome, which is indeed an exhilarating spectacle adorned with Byzantine mosaics and Baroque facades and architectural magnificence which needs no introduction, I am still clueless as to what it is about you which draws me to you like a moth to a flame as cliché as it sounds! Or maybe it is all of it. When I started to write down my travel experiences with this stunning country, I found myself wishing desperately if I could go back in time or to go again which would be even better!
We started off with Venice, a city unlike any other, a city that inspires poetry and passion. Water shimmers everywhere with canals where streets should be. Gliding through the Grand Canal experiencing the world-famous gondola ride against the backdrop of the majestic Venetian palaces and the quintessential buildings felt like cruising through a dreamy painting.
We took a boat ride over the Giudecca canal to the Piazza San Marco also known as St.Marks’ square which was referred to as the ‘finest drawing room in Europe’ by Napolean for its constant carnival atmosphere! There we came across the legendary Venetian gothic style Doge’s palace, the prison Prigioni and of course the Bridge of Sighs connecting the two. Legend has it that the bridge earned its name from the fact that prisoners who walked on it, on the way to their prison cells or the execution chamber, would sigh as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows. But apart from the disturbing fable, this is a lovely spot with lot of photo ops and you can even watch the gondolas go by.
The centerpiece of the Piazza is of course the St. Mark’s Basilica, nicknamed as Church of Gold for its grandiose design, gold ground mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power.
The basilica has a separate campanile – a bell tower – that stands 98.6 meters tall (323 ft) and is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. An elevator will whisk you up to the top for spectacular views across the city and the lagoon.
Some more memories captured in the wonderland of Venice ❤
Some spells are simply too hard to break and the magic cast by the charm of Venice was no different. However, our next destination was the fabulous Florence, the birthplace of the famed and revered artists Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo, so we left Venice with the prospects of having something amazing to look forward to again. The second part of my Italy travelogue series will be featuring these fantastic sights of Florence and ah, not to forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the world’s must see monuments and so touristy and fun, so hope you stay tuned 🙂