After our Basilica/breakfast excursion, we headed back over the Rialto to… well, really, for no reason at all, if I remember correctly.
(I wanted all of the masks but I had to remember that I do have space and budget limitations).
The heat made these watermelon-in-water cups look fantastically refreshing, prompting Justin and I to buy fresh juices (lemonade for him and mixed melon for me).
Unfortunately Europe hasn’t learned of the magic of adding sugar to their lemonade.
These fish made me happy because, in Sarajevo, we don’t really have fish- or if we do, it’s expensive and not worth the 25 km when I can get a sandwich for 3.
And then this girl is just everyone’s spirit animal.
I ended up buying Griffin a present (one-half of a metaphor he’s going to receive), and after dropping it off in the hotel we headed back to the Plaza to tackle the Doge’s Palace. On the way we found the first type of cannoli they sell in Venice. Though not my favorite type of cannoli, any type of dough stuffed with sugar and cream is really quite fine by me.
(I had the benefit of a taller person taking photos of me, and poor Justin had the reality of a shorter person taking photos of his chin. At least he has a cute chin).
Everytime we saw sugar, I had to stop…
Like with these incredibly real-looking marzipan fruits. (I quickly began to realize my mistake in wearing high-waisted shorts on a day where I literally just ate everything).
My sister had the wonderful opportunity to be in Venice during Carnival, and after seeing the beautiful costumes, it’s definitely something I want to do one day.
Squad rolling through:
After paying an admission to enter Doge’s (the line isn’t long), we found ourselves in a quiet, relatively-tourist free niche that dripped with Corinthian columns.
This was the primary government space of Venice and the primary residence of the Doge, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. It attaches to the Basilica, which used to serve as the Doge’s private chapel, until it became open to the public.
The floors are filled with permanent art, art galleries, exhibitions, and the like. The first gallery was one commemorating the wars of the 20th century. Though I’ve had quite enough war exhibitions for one summer (I live in one), it was interesting and is at least worth a browse.
The breeze coming in from the ocean is nice, too, especially when the room itself is sweltering.
When you leave that exhibition and move to the external hallway overlooking the Square, you find life-size dioramas of the war, complete with walk-throughs and sound effects.
Walking through the trench warfare segment, gunshots and explosion sounds are triggered.
Afterwards, you find a stairway and climb upwards, entering the old government rooms.
Accompanied by interactive artwork.
As you climb the stairs, you’re reminded of exactly how ornate old Europe was, and how much time it took to create these buildings. It also harkens back to a time of patronage of arts and appreciation of highly skilled workers and Guilds.
It doesn’t make you an expert, but for a book that offers insight into the world of Renaissance artists, I highly recommend The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biography of Michelangelo that is outstanding.
The steps are so worn from time that they slope softly down in the center. Looking up, you know that everything was either painted in oils in panels and installed in the ceiling before being covered in gilt and gold moldings, or that they were individually frescoed, a process that involves pre-sketching onto a paper surface, applying wet plaster onto the surface, and painting the sketch into the plaster accurately before it dries. If it dries and you aren’t done, you have to start all over (this is why Michelangelo completed the Sistine in four years- he had to sketch everything first and work in small chunks of space at a time).
If the ceilings aren’t covered in art, the walls certainly are, by such masters as Tintoretto.
Unfortunately I couldn’t fit the entire Palace into one blog post, so you get to see the dungeons tomorrow.