Europe 2001: Venice, Italy

by - 4/01/2016

We spent the day in Venice, and got to visit the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark's Basillica, and the Murano glass factory. 

The piazza was large and full of birds and cafes. There were people selling bags of feed so you could feed the birds, which many people were doing. Our tour guide, Rosa, told us not to buy the food because the birds were pests. That didn't stop me and my friends from buying one later, though. The piazza, on one end, had these screens alternating scenes of waterfalls and fire. I took pictures of both below:

After the piazza, we went over to the basilica, which was something like I had never seen before. The architecture was very different, unlike any other cathedrals I had seen, and I was really taken aback by the amount of blue that was used in it. Part of it was under restoration, but it didn't really take away from the beauty.

My husband at age 17, on the far left. lol
We later went to the Bridge of Sighs, whose name comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. this bridge would be the last thing that they saw. Also, it was in the Madonna music video for Like a Virgin. lol

We hopped on a ferry that took us to the Murano Glass Factory.

Once inside, we were given a demonstration of glass blowing, which was really interesting. I remember the man shaping the molten glass into a long form, with a very, um...suggestive shape. I know that everyone in the room was thinking it, because all of a sudden my friend said, "What is he making?!" and everyone laughed. 

After the demo, we were able to go into their shop and purchase all kinds of glass pieces. The jewelry, which was made out of glass beads, was very popular, and my sister and brother in law purchased this beautiful green sculpture that looked a bit like seaweed. The man told us that they wrap it up really well so it won't break when we brought it home. He demonstrated that the glass itself was very strong by taking a vase and slamming it, REALLY hard, onto the table repeatedly. We almost had heart attacks. I purchased a small red vase with gold gilding. The red color was more expensive because, in order to get the red color, gold needed to be used. I thought it was really interesting. 

At the exit, there was a life-sized horse, made entirely out of glass. It looks like it had been broken once or twice, as it was pieced together. Either that, or separate pieces needed to be used and pieced together in order to build it. I think that makes more sense, because I could not imagine trying to blow and shape a life-sized horse out of glass. lol

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