Venice - Day 4

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September 23rd 2013
Published: November 10th 2017
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Palazzo DucalePalazzo DucalePalazzo Ducale

Come, Check out our wells!!
I thought I would start my day with a visit to Santa Maria Della Salute, a magnificent church on the Grand Canal, built in honour of the Virgin Mary for freeing the city of the black death. The exterior of the church is beautiful and once again the exterior was all I got to see. I had left my trusty shawl at home, and I was stopped by a beggar woman at the entrance because my shoulders were not covered, can you believe it? Told off by a beggar? Then she hit me up for a donation! Stuff that I say.

I moved on to Palazzo Ducale. Somehow I managed to miss it when I was in San Marco's piazza the other day. I don't know how because its right next to the Piazza. The palazzo was home to the Doges of Venice. It was built in the 1400's. In true Italian style it was grandiose. As I walked into the palazzo I entered a huge courtyard with two wells. The guide from the night tour had explained that only the very wealthy could afford enough room to have a well. This place had two, talk about showing off. But
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The Golden Staircase
that was only the start, I walked upstairs via "The Golden Staircase" so named because its ceiling had hundreds of small paintings surrounded by gold embossed frames. Upstairs were the rooms of the various councils which reigned over Venice until 1797, when Napoleon took over the place. The council rooms contained massive oil paintings on the walls and the ceiling. Seriously, what is it with Italians and ceilings?

From the palazzo I could walk across the bridge of sighs to the old gaol. This old gaol was the first building to be built with the specific purpose of holding prisoners. It was quite large and the cells despite their small doorways, were quite big. Although I didn't see any intell on how many prisoners were kept in each cell. And the exercise yard was tiny. I couldn't imagine it would have been a pleasant place to spend time. And the walk across the bridge of sighs for trial, must have been wholly depressing.

After the palazzo I decided to take to the streets of Venice again. Truly, it is a beautiful town, a little smelly at times but still beautiful. I did a spot of shopping before returning to the hotel to pack and prepare for the next league of my trip, Paris. At this point I have to say Kudos to the staff of Corte 1321. They knew I would be leaving early so they went to great pains to make sure I knew my way around the kitchen so I could have something to eat before I left. And thank god they did, but more on that later.


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