Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dueling Orchestras!!!!

And finally, one of THE coolest things about Venice was the dueling orchestras in St. Mark's Square at night. It was AWESOME!!!!!!!

There are restaurants in the Square, and they have chairs set out. You can see the chairs of the main two restaurants in this picture. Notice the awnings? The orchestras, (made up of 6 people, usually), perform beneath the awnings. One orchestra performs 3 or 4 pieces, and then they take a bow, and then the other orchestra performs 3 or 4 pieces. They go back and forth, and it is awesome!!!

This is the orchestra from the red restaurant. They were funny and entertaining as they performed. They played "classical" music, but it was more peasant-like and folk-like than the other group.

I took this picture solely for the hat the lady is wearing!!! It was quite a hat!

Here's the orchestra from the red restaurant playing a piece. (Sorry about the shaky camera).

And here is the orchestra from the yellow restaurant. They were more refined and usually played music from a truly classical repertoire. We stood behind the chairs and just walked from the yellow restaurant to the red restaurant and back. It was sooooo fun!!!!

This is another group that played across the Square.

Here they are playing!

And this group played in a different part of the Square, too.

Laura and I LOVED the dueling orchestras!!!!!! And we loved Venice!!!! We both want to go back!!! :-)

It's a bird, it's a plane...

It's the world's largest sailboat!!!!

Laura and I had no idea that we were seeing the largest sailboat in the world, but the moment one of these pictures came up when I was showing Jordan my pictures, he said, "I think that's the world's largest sailboat!"

Do an image search for the world's largest sailboat, called the Maltese Falcon, and you'll see this boat! It's pretty cool!

It's hidden in the reflection.

Random Venice

Here are some random pictures from Venice.

We both had lasagna bolognese at this restaurant. (Laura enjoyed it more than I did). But it was a nice little place on the top of a bridge.

When we were finished, we went outside and took some pictures.

Then, without being asked, the guy whom I think was the owner of the restaurant came out and offered to take a picture of both of us!!!! That was so nice!

Then, he had us stand by the restaurant so we could have a picture with the restaurant and the flag, too. All the people we met in Italy were really, really nice. We didn't meet a mean one! The only one who was a bit annoyed with us was the lady on the train who messed up our ticket, but another really nice Italian who spoke English helped us out then, too. It was really nice to feel welcome in a foreign country. Our first taxi driver told us that Italians love their tourists, and he was definitely right!!!

In Venice we stayed at a little place called Casa Cosmo. It was awesome!!! It's a tiny place with only five rooms, but we really, really enjoyed it! I completely recommend it to anyone going to Venice! It was very quiet, and yet it was really close to some of the main attractions, too. Each morning, a member of the Cosmo family brought us our breakfast. The packages on the bottom left of the tray had toast inside!

Our second night in Venice, we ate at Trattoria Pizzeria Nono Risorto. Laura ordered a pizza that came with bacon on it. - How about that bacon?!!!

And I got some pasta. (I wasn't too bold when it came to deciphering a menu or trying something new).
A pretty view

I think this was a hotel. It seemed pretty fancy!

Laura and I went shopping in a department store called Coin. (Coin has 2 distinct syllables; it's not how we say coin). And I just had to pause by the Clinique counter and get this photo for Lou!

I took this picture because of the Brasil factor, and this guy saw me with the camera, and he stopped and posed for me. I guess he's the owner. (It's too bad that some lady walked into the view of the camera at that moment!)

A FedEx boat!

A construction boat

Laura and I loved Venice!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Frari Church

Then we walked over to the Frari Church. It has a limestone foundation, and the rest of it is made from brick. The inside was nice, too, but, as usual, we couldn't take pictures inside. The nice thing about the inside was that there were a number of really good pieces of art, and they were in their original setting. In other words, the art was made to go in the church, not in museums.

It's a Gothic style church. - The pointed arches add to that.


On our second morning in Venice, we went back to St. Mark's Square to go up the Campanile - the bell tower. Here is the structure from the outside.

The angel at the top of the tower always faces into the wind. (And see the winged lion on the tower, too?! I told you - they were everywhere!!!)

And here are views from the top. It was gorgeous!!!

Here's a good look at the onion domes on top of St. Mark's Basilica.

The Doge's Palace
A look at the Square

Some of the bells

It was fun to see Venice from this vantage point!!!