Monday, July 2, 2012

Campanile, Piazza San Marco, Venice

While my family napped, I headed back to Piazza San Marco to take in other must see sights. My first objective was the Campanile, or bell tower.

Campanile, rebuilt in 1912 after an unfortunate collapse

Though the line was a little long, it moved quickly, just as our neighbors back in the UK had told us. I was able to get up to the top by elevator, so no hard climbing was involved. At only 8 euros, it wasn't a bad price for the view. Upstairs it was spectacular.

Venice from above

The basilica was a little difficult to photograph from there, though I always find it fascinating to see where people can go on the roofs of churches.

The clock and the church, a la Batman villain's lair

The roof of San Marco

The other end of the piazza was pretty easy to see, though the presence of advertising spoils it a bit.

No crowds on a hot afternoon!

Plenty of other notable building were easily spotted from above.

Santa Maria della Salute

We went to this church later in the day, though we were there too late to go inside and just admired it from below. The next day, we were able to get inside, so look forward to a blog post about it soon!

This next picture shows one of the outlying islands that make up the city of Venice.

San Giorgio Maggiore (name of the island and the church!)

I also saw the part of the piazza by the water.

The other part of Piazza San Marco

The columns that greet weary sailors and tourists

The columns have a lion (the symbol of the Evangelist Mark, for whom the piazza is named) and St. George standing on a vanquished dragon (St. George is very popular in Venice).

I was also able to see my next destination, the Doges' Palace.

Palazzo Ducale is the local name for it

Inside the tower are the bells, which ring on the hour. They didn't ring while I was up there, though I did hope to get lucky.

Waiting to ring

Jacob would have loved these stairs!

Also, there was a cryptic sign about Galileo, though I suppose if I knew any Italian it would not be cryptic.

Can you guess what it's about (other than something in 1609)?

The campanile was the place where Galileo demonstrated his telescope to Doge Leonardo Dona and other Venetian statesmen. The doge doesn't seem to get any credit in the sign. Is he the "dell'uomo"? Google translate gave me this: "Galileo Galilee through his telescope from here August 21, 1609 widened the horizons of man the fourth centenary." The plaque went up in 2009, so it's pretty recent. And no mention of the doge, who was an even more distant memory in 2009 than Galileo.

After a quick elevator ride back to the ground, I headed over to the Doges' Palace for a tour.

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