Starting the week with Counting the Lions in Venice - Day 13
Good morning from Venice! Today I am up and at 'em early. Me and the gang scheduled a 2-hour tour counting lion images and statues in Venice for this morning.
The symbol of St. Mark is the winged lion, which became the symbol of Venice in 826AD when St. Mark became the city's patron saint.
Throughout Venice, the lion of St. Mark is everywhere, from public buildings and monuments—even lamp posts—all over the city. The lion's image has been reproduced not only in stone and bronze, but in a variety of materials, including gold, silver, wood, and glass. Products bearing the lion include leather goods and fine silk accessories like scarves. Architecture throughout the city bears the famous lion symbol. Doorknockers are designed with rings through lion noses and corbels in the shape of lion heads look out from under roofs.
Our private tour guide, Natascha met us at our hotel. Together, we walked towards San Marco Plaza and began spying the lions that are all over Venice. She imparted a great deal of historic information which I was loving but unfortunately did not excite the kids.
Venice is just so charming and when we turned the corner to Piazza San Marco, I was struck with the beauty of the buildings, particularly The Basilica of San Marco.
The view of the water, so vast and open with the boats and the view of the opposite side seeing St. George Church was truly breathtaking! Mom didn't join us this morning, so while I was there, texting her, we decided to get passes to the Basilica of San Marco and return tomorrow to tour it along with the Doge's Palace.
We continued along the waterfront away from Piazza San Marco and walked towards the Arsenale. The Venetian Arsenal was a complex of state-owned shipyards and armories in the Republic of Venice. The Arsenale was responsible for that the bulk of Venice's naval power during the middle part of the second millennium. In fact, I learned that they were able to build a ship a day here in the year 1000AD because of an elaborate "assembly line" which is incredible to imagine for this time in history.
The girls were troopers and so Natascha decided to leave us off from our tour at a playground next to the Venezia Giardini, where they jumped around and played for a while. Left on our own, we hopped on one of the vaporettos back to Rialto, where we are staying. This ride was a little adventure in itself!
And, of course, no excursion would be complete without a little gelato!
Hope your day is splendid!!
"A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him."
Brugge to Edinburgh