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St. Marks square during a thunder storm, and after

After my morning trip to Burano I decided to find my way back to St. Mark's Square ( the centre of Venice for a thousand years ) and try and get some decent photos ( the last time I was there it rained heavily). Well guess what, it does that a lot around here. I only just got there and the heavens opened up, which meant that the hundreds of people that are normally on the square, were all squeezed in under the portico's of the buildings surrounding the square. After a beautiful sunny morning this time of year they have afternoon and evening thunderstorms, which can take five minutes or two hours to pass over. The street vendors love it, cos they have boxes of plastic raincoats and umbrellas ready to pull out as soon as the rain starts. There are some stunning buildings on St. Mark's square. The flashiest is the Basilica which was built to house the bones of St Mark, which the Venetians stole from Alexandria in 828 AD. The outside is amazing and the inside is covered from floor to high ceiling in gold paint and mosaic pictures. It is very dark in there and absolutely no photos allowed, but I wasn't as impressed with the inside as I was with the outside. The other stunning building is the Doge's palace, built in the 14th and 15th centuries. These two building plus the belltower with 500 wooden steps you can climb up inside ( If you feel like giving yourself a hernia) to take photos from the top, are the most impressive and iconic sights of Venice and have been so for hundreds of years. The famous Cafe Florian is a crazy place which has a cheesy jazz band playing on the forecourt every evening. Everyone in the square can see and hear them, but if you sit down at a table in front of the cafe and pay ridiculous inflated prices for a drink or a snack you also get charged a fee for the music added to your bill. However there is only one Cafe Florian which has been in St Mark's square for 300 years, and some people have too much money to spend on indulgences.. Since it was my last afternoon in Venice I also decided to head up the Grand Canal on a vaporetto (water bus) and take what photos I could.... So this is really my goodbye Venice blog... Next stop Bologna.

rain cleared the square

rain cleared the square


it began as a shower

it began as a shower


started to get a bit windy and wet

started to get a bit windy and wet


schoolkids were staunch about getting wet

schoolkids were staunch about getting wet


running from the other side to join their friends

running from the other side to join their friends


once you're wet you're wet

once you're wet you're wet


the rain is really heavy

the rain is really heavy


at the height of the thunder & lightening

at the height of the thunder & lightening


The bell tower from the Doge's palace

The bell tower from the Doge's palace


front of basilica

front of basilica


1000 year old bronze horses

1000 year old bronze horses


front of basilica again

front of basilica again


top of basilica

top of basilica


above Basilica

above Basilica


more detail around basilica doors

more detail around basilica doors


entry to Doge's palace

entry to Doge's palace


doge's palace square view

doge's palace square view


doge's palace canal view

doge's palace canal view


from the belltower as the sky cleared

from the belltower as the sky cleared


the bridge of sighs from palace to prison

the bridge of sighs from palace to prison


Cafe Florian opened 1720

Cafe Florian opened 1720


$25 each for cup of tea   $10 each music charge

$25 each for cup of tea + $10 each music charge


1497 clock tells time, moon, zodiac...

1497 clock tells time, moon, zodiac...


500 year old bell struck every hour by two figures

500 year old bell struck every hour by two figures


leaving St Mark's square

leaving St Mark's square


heading up the grand canal

heading up the grand canal


on the grand canal in a gondola

on the grand canal in a gondola


gondolas queueing to enter side canal

gondolas queueing to enter side canal


heading further up the canal

heading further up the canal


pulling in to water bus stop

pulling in to water bus stop


beautiful grand canal hotels

beautiful grand canal hotels


and more

and more


and more

and more


and more

and more


and private residences

and private residences


originally all palaces

originally all palaces


rounding a bend

rounding a bend


some showing signs of wear and tear

some showing signs of wear and tear


It's a busy highway

It's a busy highway


rare to see greenery

rare to see greenery


on such expensive land

on such expensive land


only wooden bridge crossing grand canal

only wooden bridge crossing grand canal


restored palaces used as museums

restored palaces used as museums


or hotels

or hotels


or private homes to the very wealthy

or private homes to the very wealthy


canal lined with homes hundreds of years old

canal lined with homes hundreds of years old


restaurants tend to maintain buildings

restaurants tend to maintain buildings


come in all shapes and sizes

come in all shapes and sizes


and colours

and colours


like these

like these


and these

and these


up by the Rialto bridge markets

up by the Rialto bridge markets


coming up to Rialto bridge

coming up to Rialto bridge


heading under Rialto bridge  built 1591

heading under Rialto bridge built 1591


view from wooden bridge on another day

view from wooden bridge on another day


heading down  the canal from bridge

heading down the canal from bridge


view of gondola from bridge

view of gondola from bridge

Posted by astrix7 17:00 Archived in Italy

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