Due to the coronovirus, all the trips have to be cancelled during the winter. I am happy that I could have a wonderful trip this summer after Europe reopens from June.
Venice is famous for its numerous islands and bridges. It is always the on the top of the recommendation list for touristes. It has a long history. At the period of Venice Republic, it was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages. The lagoon and the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This time I finally could see this beautiful city with my own eyes. I have recorded some my travel experience on Youtube as well and I will always remember it.
I arrived at the Santa Lucia train station in the main island of Venice in the early morning of July 21st 2020. This is the first view of the city when I got out of the station hall. The whole city was so quiet this moment, without any disruption. It is the moment to experience what is the real Venice.
At the first sight, I was astonished by the wide river and so many boats put in order at the quay. When I just came, I did not know why there were so many orange colored shacks on the quay. Actually, they were the waiting room or bus stop for the water bus. In Venice, the public transportation is the vaporetto, or you could call it the water bus. People wait for the water bus in the shacks on the quay.
When I crossed the city area, I was amazed to find that there are so many small rivers in the city and I had to cross so many small bridges one by one. The bottom of all the buildings is immersed in the water and the buildings are seperated by the rivers. It was quite difficult to find the correct road in these complicated waterways.
After 30 minutes’ walk in the labyrinth, I finally found the landmark of Venice, the Rialto bridge. It is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal. The first bridge was built in 1180, made of wooden but it was broken in 1444. The current stone bridge was designed by Antonio da Ponte, constructed in 1588 and completed in 1591. The story of Shakespear’s comedy The merchant of Venice happened here.
When I walked on the top of the Rialto bridge, the beautiful view of the Grand Canal could be seen. The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with multicolored old buildings dating from the 13th to the 18th century. The Grand Canal starts from the Santa Lucia train station and is the major route of transportation in Venice.
This is the clocktower with the archway leading to the Rialto bridge. There is a shopping street connecting the bridge and the St Mark square.
From the Rialto bridge southwards, I could get to the famous Saint Mark’s Square in just 10 minutes. Napoleon has called the square “the drawing room of Europe”. The very tall building is the St Mark’s Campanile, the bell tower with height of 98.6 meter which was built in the end of 15 century.
This is the St Mark’s Basilica viewed from Piazza San Marco. It is the typical Italo-Byzantine architecture. It was built in 828 to house the corpse of St Mark, the writer of the second gospel. Previously, it was the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city’s cathedral only since 1807. On the top of dome in the central axle, I could see some sculptures. They are the Venice’s patron apostle St. Mark with angels. Underneath the sculptures, there is a dazzling golden winged lion.
This is another side of the St Mark’s Basilica. There are two stone lions standing here to protect this city. In Venice, you could always find many lions with or without wings. They are the symbol of the city.
Adjacent to the St Mark’s basilica, it is the Doge’s Palace. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the ruler of the former Venice Republic. The old Byzantine style palace was built in 814 but it was destroyed in a fire. What we have seen here was the gothic palace built in 1340.
This is one of the famous painting in the palace. The painting which is done by Giovan Battista Tiepolo in 1740 is seen as a symbol of the wealth and power of the Republic of Venice based on their control of the sea.
这是宫殿中的著名画作之一，海神向威尼斯献礼。乔凡·巴蒂斯塔·提埃波罗（Giovan Battista Tiepolo）在1740年完成的这幅画被视为拥有制海权的威尼斯共和国的财富和力量的象征。
At the other side of the Doge’s Palace, it is the bridge of Sigh connecting the new prison and the interrogation rooms in the palace. The bridge made of white limestone was built in 1600, designed by Antonio Contino. It is named of sigh because when the prisoners passed through the bridge, they would confess their crime in their heart and sigh silently. It is heard that if a couple kisses under the bridge, they will enjoy an eternal love.
This is the far view of Church of San Giorgio Maggiore from the dock Saint Mark. Many blue gandolas anchor here. The rental of gandola is quite expensive, one person 80 euros. Here is the end point of the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal will run into the Adriatic Sea. The San Giorgio Maggiore church is the classical Renaissance style built between 1566 and 1610.
这里是从圣马可码头遥望San Giorgio Maggiore教堂的景色。许多蓝色的刚多拉停泊在这里。刚多拉的租金是相当昂贵，一个人要80欧元。这里是大运河的终点。大运河从此处将汇入亚得里亚海。San Giorgio Maggiore教堂是建于1566年至1610年之间的古典文艺复兴风格建筑。
This is the dock of Saint Mark. The doge’s palace is just at the dock. In the morning, only a few gondolas are sailing. Most of them were waiting in the quay.
This is another unique building in the Castello district. The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards and armories. It was built around 1104, during the Venice’s republican era. It became the largest industrial complex in Europe before the Industrial Revolution. The arsenal had the mass production capacity to ensure the supermacy of the Republic in the Mediterranean. Nowadays, this area was owned by the Italien government and forbidden for entry.
This is the main gate of the Venetian Arsenal. We could see the stone lion of Saint Mark above the main gate. The building is the Byzantine-style.
After I visited the famous landmarks, I had plenty time to idle along the rivers and streets. There are numerous small arch bridges, colorful houses, and difform boats. It was easy to take the picturesque photos in each corner of Venice.
Here is the view of back street with the small bridge Cappello. I could see clearly the baroque styled balcony of the residence and the ups and downs of the steps of the middle ages.
This is a very common and unremarkable house. When I passed through it, I only noticed it due to one plaque on the wall that shows it was the old residence of the great explorer Marco Polo who had travelled to China at that time.
In the whole morning, I kept on walking relentlessly and finally felt tired. Then I bought one ticket of water bus and travelled to other small islands near the main island. The ticket is 20 euro for 1 day’s trip in Venice. It means that I could take the water bus for unlimited times in the following 24 hours.
I have recorded my expereince of travel on the boat in Youtube.
In the afternoon, I firstly went to the island Murano.It is renown for its long tradition of glass-making. Its reputation as a center for glassmaking could be traced to the period of republic since the authority feared that the fire would destruct the city’s mostly wooden buildings, and ordered glassmakers to move their furnaces to Murano in 1291.
There are many stores on the island selling this kind of locally crafted souvenirs made of glasses. There is a museum of glass as well on the island to introduce the history of the island.
Afterwards, I took the water bus to the Burano island. This island was a bit far, 1 hour’s trip from the main island. It was at the northern end of the lagoon, known for its brightly coloured houses. This picture is taken at the canal area including many stores and restaurants. The houses in this island are different with the houses in the main islands. These houses are low, only 1st floor’s height. The houses are painted following a specific system. If someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that house.
After 4 hours’ trip in the islands, I returned to the main island. This is the connection point from the lagoon outside to the canal inside. I took the water bus line 1 to visit the whole Grand Canal. I really enjoyed this feeling of chasing winds and waves in the boat. This is definitely my best memory in Venice.
On the boat, I had seen many beautiful palaces. This yellow color building is the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti. Its color combination was quite spectacular. The palace was built in 1565 in Venetian Gothic style.
When the water bus passed through this island, I could observe this church in close distance. The Santa Maria della Salute is a Roman Catholic church. In the summer of 1630, a wave of the plague assaulted Venice and this church was built and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the protector of the Republic to escape from the disease. There are many delicate sculptures of Saints on the wall and eave of the church.
当水上巴士经过这个小岛时，我可以近距离观察这座教堂。Santa Maria della Salute是罗马天主教堂。1630年夏天，瘟疫浪潮席卷整个威尼斯，为了躲避灾难建立这座教堂是献给共和国的保护者圣母玛利亚。教堂的墙壁和屋檐上有许多精美的圣徒雕塑。
The dome of the Santa Maria della Salute was an important symbol for the Venetian skyline. The view of the skyline is extraodinary under the sunset glow.
Santa Maria della Salute教堂圆顶是威尼斯天际线的重要标志。在夕阳的辉光下，天水之间的景色无与伦比。
At night, I returned to the Saint Mark square again. It was ablaze with lights. There are some open-air restaurants in the square. The atmosphere was comforting and romantic. It was a great place to relax.
The food in Venice is as reputable as its city. This is the Venetian seafood pasta made of shrimp, clam, spaghetti, parsley, tomato, and olive oil.
This is the Venetian seafood pizza. They are superb in both color and taste. Italian food is really delicous.
The second day, I travelled in the west part of the main island. I crossed this bridge from the place I lived. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and was moved into place in 2007. It was the only modern bridge in Venice, built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Italian constitution in 2008.
There are not famous landmarks in the Santa Croce district so usually touristes would not come to this area. I walked alone in these peaceful streets. This is the view of Venice different with what we have known in the tourist video.
This is the Santa Maria dei Carmini church, a Roman Catholic church at the S.Margherita river bank. The church was originally built in 1286. It was rebuilt during the renaissance period.
这是 Santa Maria dei Carmini教堂，是S.Margherita河岸边的罗马天主教教堂。该教堂始建于1286年。在文艺复兴时期进行了重建。
I continued to walk eastwards until I arrived at the bank of Grand Canal. This was the view from the water bus stop Ca’ Rezzonico. The palace Ca’ Rezzonico was just beside me. It was a 18th century baroque and rococo architecture with collections of paintings of Francesco Guardi and Giambattista Tiepolo.
我继续向东走，直到大运河岸边。这是从Ca’Rezzonico的水上巴士站看到的风景。雷佐尼科宫就在我旁边。这是一栋18世纪的巴洛克式和洛可可式建筑，其中包括Francesco Guardi和Giambattista Tiepolo的绘画作品。
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was a painter from the Republic of Venice who painted in the Rococo style. The Triumph of Zephyr and Flora is one of his master piece stored in Ca’ Rezzonico. The painting depicts the god of the spring winds, Zephyr, and the goddess of all that blooms, Flora.
Venice is a city of arts as well. Most of its art work could be found in the Gallerie dell’Accademia, a museum gallery of pre-19th-century art.
This painting Saint Mark’s Body Brought to Venice is painted by Tintoretto. It was produced between 1562 and 1566, stored in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. It depicted the story of the merchants of venice bringing Saint Mark’s Body from sea. The painting is notable for its striking, deep perspective background lines. The contrast between the red sky, white building, and black clouds is impressive.
When I left the Gallerie dell’Accademia, I noticed this bridge Ponte dell’Accademia straddling the Grand Canal. It was a wooden bridge designed by Eugenio Miozzi and opened in 1933.
This bridge is not beautiful but you could take the most beautiful pictures of Venice on this bridge. This is the eastbound view on the bridge. The best thing in Venice is that you could never see any cars so the pictures taken are always so good.
This is the westbound view on the bridge. On this bridge, I think I had forgotten how the time has elapsed. It seems that the only thing vividly engraved in my memeory was the picturesque scene of the Grand Canal.
There are only 4 bridges in Venice to span the Grand Canal. This is the last one Ponte degli Scalzi. It was a stone arch bridge, designed by Eugenio Miozzi completed in 1934. Usually when you walk on this bridge towards the north, it means your trip in Venice has ended. This bridge connects to the Santa Lucia train station. Here I would reluctantly bid farewell to Venice. I will always memorize this fantanstic trip and every corner of this romantic city. Venice is definitely the best place I have ever travelled.
威尼斯只有4座横跨大运河的桥。这是最后的一座桥Ponte degli Scalzi。这是一座石拱桥，由Eugenio Miozzi设计，于1934年完工。通常，当你沿着这座桥向北行走时，这意味着在威尼斯的旅行即将结束。这座桥北连桑塔露西亚火车站。在这里，我恋恋不舍地向威尼斯告别。我将永远记住这次非凡的旅行以及这座浪漫城市的每个角落。威尼斯绝对是我行走过的最令人神往的地方!