Originally emailed, June 14, 2006.
There we were, wandering about. Here are a few stolen pics. Check out the giant painting. Can you see the piece of ceiling? The whole thing was painted, gilded and framed. This was one of the audience chambers. Here is a link that shows the interiors! Check it out - virtual tour:
Nice clock. What does it mean? I don't know. Not mentioned on the audio guide. Is it the year of the bull or something? Clearly those are astrological symbols, but what does it mean?!
Also, how do you tell time on this clock?
Exterior views. They graciously allowed us to take pics of exterior views.
Now for the items of warcraft. Suits of armor, spears, wooden horses, swords. It was all there.
Should you meet up with it, do not pet this horse!
Eric was thrilled. No Madonna con Bambinos! Sharp pokey things instead.
The epigraph reads: Francisco Mavroceno Peloponnesiaco Adhvc Viventi Senatvs. He was a great general for Venice.
A view out the window, looking onto the end of the Grand Canal.
Clock on the inner courtyard wall. I took this shot from the Grand Ballroom window. Couldn't shoot inside, but with this height, my exterior shots were much improved!
By the way, here's the courtyard fountain, filled with coins, from above.
This is a statue of a man taming a dragon (possibly the dethroned saint Theodore), one of two granite pillars at the base of the Doge's palace (dated from the 12th century), opening onto the canal in one direction and Piazza San Marco in the other. It was upon these two pillars that many a criminal (and some were falsely accused) ended their lives via hanging, generally after having been tortured first. Nice, huh?
Detail of the Basilica. We didn't pay the cash to walk to the top of it, we just got to walk around inside and ooh and ahh over the mosaic marble floors (that I wasn't allowed to photograph) and such.
Ponte dei Sospri: the Bridge of Sighs. It was through the palace and over this bridge to the prisons went those that displeased the Doge and the Council of Ten. The "sighs" is a reference to the lamentations of the prisoners as they were taken to face torture and possible death. It was a sad place. Eric is standing in front of one of the few windows, through which the prisoners would have their last view of Venice.
A delightfully creepy view out the ancient metal barred windows.
Do you feel claustrophobic yet?
It's nice to know they had capacity ratings on their rooms. Perhaps it was for fire code?
This was a larger room; sleeps four!
Outside again and it's a gondola with gondolier! Iconic Venetian imagery.
And that was the end of our first full day in Venice.
That's right - ONE day.
See the other links in this single day: Part one, two, three and the gratuitous gondola shot. Out of chronological order, here are a few shots from our first day in Florence,