DAY 1: Venice, Italy - city of art, city of masks, city of art, city of doges, city of canals, city of gondolas --all of Venice is a virtual museum! It is the number 1 Must See destination in the world. Venice was built upon a lagoon hundreds of years ago as people tried to escape the Huns who continually ravaged their villages. There are no cars or trucks in Venice --all travel is done on foot or in boats. A visit to Venice is a visit to a beautiful past.
VIDEO Explore Venice Italy with Kids! This amazing city on water will enchant and delight kids of all ages. With the help of the Romanelli family at Hotel Flora, we get a chance to see Venice like a local.
St. Mark's Basilica
DAY 2: St. Mark’s Basilica (a Christian church shaped like buildings the Romans designed) in Venice: in the 9th century, two Venetian merchants stole St. Mark's body from Alexandria --this is the Mark that was a disciple of Jesus. St. Mark found a permanent resting place in the church on this site. Beautiful mosaics decorated with gold and thousands of garnets, rubies, pearls and sapphires decorate the inside of the basilica. The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St. Mark pictured in the form of a winged lion is found on the outside of the Basilica --it is the symbol of the city of Venice. The Basilica is also known for its four life-size gilded copper horses. These horses really got around – in 1797 the French carried them off, but returned the horses to Venice a few years later.
DAY 3: Next to St. Mark’s Basilica is the pink and white Doge's Palace. It was once the center of Venetian government --home of the Doge which was like our President of England’s King. Most impressive is the the grand staircase with frescoes embellished with real gold. Perhaps the most impressive room in the palace is huge ballroom with its splashy The Triumph of Venice, filled with prancing horses and puffy clouds.
DAY 4: Carnivale
Carnivale in Venice is a really big deal! Carnivale is held just before the start of Lent in February. In our country, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a lot like Carnivale. In Venice it's the grown-ups who have most of the fun, with masked balls, costume parades. Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on masks and costumes.
DAY 5: Gondolas
The gondola is a flat-bottomed rowing boat especially adapted to conditions in the Venetian lagoon. Modern gondolas are handmade. In previous centuries gondolas could be many different colours, but a law from the 16th century requires gondolas to be painted black. There are just over four hundred gondolas in active service today, virtually all of them used for hire by tourists.