Jun 22, 2017

Our second full day in Venice ~ part 1

Tuesday June 6th started with our visit to the Doge’s Place.  We had no idea what to expect nor how long we would be there.  It did take the full morning.  We had pre purchased museum passes for 25 Euros each.  This covered the entrance fee to the Doges Palace which is 20 Euros plus covered the entrance to many other museums that we did visit.  The reason we pre purchased it was to avoid having to line up to buy tickets and the line was long.  The other trick I had read was to go to a less busy museum and activate our passes.  In our case we went to the Museo Correr ticket office to turn in our voucher to get our passes.  That is why I had climbed those stairs I had shown in the last post twice.  But having activated our pass on Monday we could go to the head of the line and enter the palace immediately.  You can only use the pass once to enter a museum.  However had we known that we were going to the Museo Correr on Monday afternoon I could have avoided one climb.

The Palazzo Ducale / Doge’s Palace with the San Marco Campanile / Bell Tower to the left with three of the five domes of the Basilica di San Marco peeking up behind. This photo was taken across the water from the top of yet another bell tower that I will tell you about in a few days.

The following was taken off the internet….

One of Europe’s most beautiful and easily recognizable buildings, the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) was not only the center of government during the Venetian Republic but also the residence of the Doge. The Doge’s first palace was a wretched gloomy wooden fortress with massive defensive towers, and after several fires, the castle was converted into a Byzantine-style palace. The one you see today was built mainly in the 14th century, and the façade overlooking the Piazzetta dates from the first half of the 15th century. Although the palace is now a museum, unlike most museums, these paintings were created especially to decorate the Doge’s Palace, not added later. Its art works, interesting history, and iconic beauty make it one of Venice’s major attractions for tourists.

The Porta della Carta, the palace’s main entrance, is the link between the Doge’s Palace & St. Marks Basilica created by the brothers Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon in the mid-1400s. It is considered one of the two most perfect examples of Venetian Gothic.  The previous sentence was taken from the internet.  I just can’t imagine people climbing up this staircase in all their finery.  We were not allowed on this staircase.

The Doges Palace was the seat of Venice’s government for nearly seven centuries.  Doges were elected for life from within Venice’s aristocracy.

The splendor was overwhelming.  So much detail.

In all of the museums we visited each room had information as to what you were seeing, often in several languages.  Here in the Doges Palace the information was on large info boards.  Most other museums it was on a card that you could carry with you in that particular room as you strolled about.  It was a bit crowed at times but much better that paying for a guide or having to pay for a tape with earphones.  Each painting was also identified.

The rooms were enormous and opulent.  The fellow in the burgundy shirt is reading an information board.  This photo is by me.

It seemed that each room outdid the previous.  We were able to see private rooms that had only been open to the public for two years.  The men in the white cloaks in the paintings were previous doges.

The photos on the ceilings were incredible.  One could easily spend a full day here.

Everything was large.

Gold and more gold.  Photo by me.

The majority of the paintings anywhere we went in Venice were of a religious nature.  Photo by me.

This is the Grand Council Hall ( 1419 ).  We went through two floors  in the palace and saw all the government offices, many personal rooms, all decorated with gold and painting after painting.

The painting above between the two doors and above the Doge’s throne is called Paradiso/Paradise, painted by Jacopo Tintoretto between 1588 and 1592.  It is the longest canvas painting in the world.  We were allowed to sit on the original benches around the room and take it all in.  By now we were getting a bit weary.  So much to see and so very much to try and absorb.  After a while the paintings just start to blend together and the grandeur becomes commonplace.  We did continue but a bit more quickly through the various council chambers, the weapons display from over the centuries and the maps of the times.  We took a bit more time in the prison area. We actually walked along the corridors of the prison and saw the graphics left by some of the prisoners.  I think we were both too weary to take any more photos.  It was very moving and sad.  Of course those that had money could buy food and eventually buy their way out of prison.  There were the elite cells and those for the poor.

The famous Bridge of Sighs.

….one of the most famed of all Venetian icons, Ponte dei Sospiri – the Bridge of Sighs. The graceful curve and delicate stone tracery of the enclosed Baroque arch bridge connecting the Doge’s Palace with the first floor of the prison belies its grim story. It was through the stone grillwork of this bridge that prisoners caught their last glimpse of Venice as they were taken before the judges for sentencing, thence to prison or worse. The sentences given by Venetian judges were known to be as unmerciful as the laws of the Republic…taken from the internet.

Photo by me.

What the prisoners looked through….

…for their last view of Venice.  The last two photos by me.

This is a great link to get an idea of the Doges Palace without being overwhemled.  After several hours at the Doges Palace we took a vaporetto/water bus over to the district of Cannaregio and the Ghetto.  The plan was to stop for lunch but we walked for another two hours before we finally stopped.  I believe that I told Colin that he could carry on without me but I had to stop for some food.

Campo del Ghetto Nuovo & the Ghetto.  Here we are walking through the original Ghetto where gates were closed at night so the Jewish community was locked in.  The history of this area is fascinating and worth your time to Google should you be traveling to Venice.

During the 16th to 18th centuries upper storeys were added to house new arrivals, synagogues and publishing houses.  There was no room to spread on this island but up.

The Jewish community stocked and funded Venice’s commercial enterprises by day while at night they were restricted to the gated island of Ghetto Nuovo.

We finally got to stop for food and wine.

Another intriguing canal.  They all looked different depending on which district we found ourselves in.

The rest of this day proved to be the most special and moving part for me but alas this post is long enough.  All will be revealed in the next post.





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8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Our second full day in Venice ~ part 1”

  1. rae says:


    Thank you so much for more of your amazing tour of Venice. You are doing it exactly as I hope to do it.

    Your museum pass reminds me of the Museumkaart in Amsterdam. I’m filing away all your useful tips.

    Your last photo is one of my most favourites.

  2. ARIZONA GAL says:


  3. Rod & Sylvia says:

    Thanks for the travelogue. Great pics.

  4. A fascinating city, we loved Venice. The Doges palace is stunning. Shelagh loved the prison part, quite luxurious for its time. It’s nice to see you managed to get to the ghetto.

  5. I hadn’t heard of the prison part before. I guess there is no lack of waterside dining in Venice 🙂

  6. Dolores T says:

    Just can’t get over the pictures, so wonderful!!!

  7. DeborahS says:

    Beautiful photos and wonderful commentary. Looking forward to more!

  8. chris says:

    Can’t wait to read the next post! Excitement is growing!

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