Michelangelo’s David

Michelangelo’s David:

Galleria dell’Accademia Firenze (Florence), Italy

Created between 1502 and 1504.

It stands approximately 17 feet tall.

No words are really necessary…

I just tried to snap as many pictures as I could from as many different angles that I could squeeze myself into.

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Galleria degli Uffizi

On our day trip to Florence, we managed to get into the Galleria degli Uffizi.  I cannot stress this enough…there are over 100 rooms of artwork (not just 100 pieces…100 rooms of pieces).  Walking through this museum was like walking through the pages of an art history book…and it was fantastic!

So, let’s get started shall we…

(Fans of Doctor Who…beware the Weeping Angels!)


Title:  Portrait of an elderly man

Date:  90-10 B.C.

Media:  Marble


Title:  Portait of an elderly woman (so-called Marciana)

Date:  98-117 A.D.

Media:  Greek Marble


Title:  Portrait of an elderly man, so-called Caesar

Date:  30 B.C.-10 A.D.

Media:  Marble


Title:  Sarcophagus with the Triumph of Bacchus

Date: End of 2nd Century A.D.

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Title:  Leopoldus


Title:  Io Gasto Medices M.D.E.





Title:  Busto di Giulio Cesare

Date:  102-44 A.C.

Media:  Bronze


Title:  Hercules and Nessus

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Title:  Nerone



Title:  Annunciazione con i santi Ansano e Massima; i profeti Geremia, Ezechiele, Isaia e Daniele (nelle cupidi)  (Annunciation with St. Ansanus and St. Maxima; the Prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Daniel (in the pinnacles)

Artist:  Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi

Date:  1333

Media:  Tempera on wood

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Title:  Busto con testa Seneca

Media:  Marble


Title:  Traiano


Title:  Minerva

Media:  Marble


Title:  Lamentation over the Body of Christ

Artist:  Giovanni Bellini

Date:  1500-1506

Media:  Drawing on panel


Ceiling in one of the rooms displaying Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia die Lanzi.


Title:  Portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza. 

Artist:  Piero Della Francesca

Date:  ~1472-1475

Media:  Tempera on panel


Title:  Homer

Media:  Marble



A view of the Ponte Vecchio from a window in the Uffizi.



Two statues across the hall from one another.

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Title:  Perseus Freeing Andromeda

Artist:  Piero di Cosimo

Date:  ~1510-1515

Media:  Oil and tempera on wood


Title:  Bust with the Head of Aristotle

Date:  2nd Century

Media:  Greek marble and onyx


Title:  Herm of the so-called Sophokles

Date:  2nd Century

Media:  Greek Marble


Title:  Portrait bust of a Man on a Herm (known as Socrates)

Date:  Augustan Era

Media:  Greek marble


Title:  Portrait bust of Sophocles on a Herm (known as Solon)

Date:  1st -2nd Century A.D.

Media:  Pentelic marble


Title:  Satyr



Title:  Head of a Satyr

Date:  17th Century

Media:  Lunense marble






Title:  Sacra famiglia con San Giovannino “Tondo Doni” (The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist, known as the “Doni Tondo”)

Artist:  Michelangelo Buonarroti

Date:  1507

Media:  Tempera grassa on wood





Title:  Herm with the head of Hippocrates

Date:  1st Century A.D.

Media:  Greek marble



Not sure what this guy’s name is, but both Brittany and I thought his face looked familiar…kind of like my brother-in-law Josh.


Title:  Hermaphrodite

Date:  1st – 2nd Century A.D.

Media: Parian marble



Title:  Portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and one of her sisters

Artist:  Scuola di Fontainebleau

Date:  Last quarter of the 16th Century

Media:  Oil on wood


Title:  Herm with the so-called Portrait of Ovid

Date:  Beginning of the 1st Century B.C.

Media:  Fine grain marble


Title:  The Birth of Venus

Artist:  Botticelli Alessandro Filipepi

Date:  1483-1485

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Title:  Pallas and the Centaur

Artist:  Botticelli Alessandro Filipepi

Date:  ~1482

Media:  Tempera on canvas


Title:  Portrait of a Young Man with Medal

Artist:  Botticelli Alessandro Filipepi

Date:  1475-1476

Media:  Tempra on panel, gilded stucco for the medal.


Title:  Spring

Artist:  Botticelli Alessandro Filipepi

Date:  ~1477-1478

Media:  Tempera on panel

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Title:  Calumny of Apelles

Artist:  Botticelli Alessandro Filipepi

Date:  ~1494-1495

Media:  Tempera on panel



This room contained several beautiful statues.


And the room itself was pretty amazing too…





Title:  Self-Portrait

Artist:  Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn

Date:  ~1655

Media:  Oil on canvas


Title:  Portrait of a Young Man

Artist:  Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn

Date:  ~1639

Media:  Oil on panel


Title:  Portrait of an Old Man

Artist:  Rembrant Harmensz Van Rijn

Date:  ~1665

Media:  Oil on Canvas


Title:  Self-portrait

Artist:  Rembrant Harmensz Van Rijn

Date:  ~1669

Media:  Oil on canvas


Title:  Portrait of the Countess of Chinchón

Artist:  Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Date:  ~1800

Media:  Oil on canvas


Title:  Allegory of Vanity

Artist:  Antonio de Pereda

Date:  ~1660-1670

Media:  Oil on canvas



Title:  Head of Zeus

Date:  2nd Century A.D.

Media:  Marble












Title:  Musical Angel

Artist:  Rosso Fiorentino

Date:  1521

Media:  Oil on wood


Title:  Portrait of the Dwarf Morgante

Artist:  Bronzino

Date:  Before 1553

Media:  Oil on canvas

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Title:  Portrait of Julius II

Artist:  Raffaello Sanzio

Date:  1510-1511

Media:  Oil on wood


Title:  Madonna and Child with St. John “Madonna of the Goldfinch”

Artist:  Raffaello Sanzio

Date:  ~1505-1506

Media:  Oil on wood


Title:  Saint John the Baptist

Artist:  Raffaello Sanzio

Date:  1518-1520

Media:  Oil on canvas

(We saw a copy of this in Bologna as well.)


Title:  Annunciation

Artist:  Leonardo da Vinci

Date:  ~1472

Media:  Oil on panel


Title:  Portrait of Galileo Galilei

Artist:  Justus Suttermans

Date:  1635

Media:  Oil on canvas



Oh, and just in case you were wondering…the kid in me felt pretty awesome too.  Our trip into the Galleria degli Uffizi meant that I got to see all four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

November 14, 2015 – Florence

Firenze (Florence)…how to describe it?

In a word…indescribable.

In a few…extraordinarily beautiful.  Ancient and modern at the same time.  Cultured.  Birthplace of the Renaissance.  Full of art…seriously, go open a book containing pieces of art…99% chance you’ll see something from Florence.  More than anyone could possibly hope to see in a lifetime (however, Brittany and I tried to get as much in as possible in a day).

Where to begin?  We had a list of things we want to see while here, and Florence was definitely on the list, but other places seemed a bit more pressing…Venice, Rome, and the Vatican City just to name a few…but what we are finding is that every city is uniquely beautiful.  Bologna is a medieval city…everything you see is ancient.  Venice is the city of water…it has a magical, unearthly feel to it.  Florence…well, Florence is everything you hope Italy will be.

Really, the only thing I know to do here is add photos, and then try and detail them as much as possibly…so here goes.  Our first stop, Galleria dell’Accademia.

(Just a reminder…clicking on an image will open a larger version of the image in a new webpage.)

Galleria dell’Accademia:

If you didn’t know, Galleria dell’Accademia houses a pretty famous statue, but we’ll get to him in a minute.

Title:  Ratto delle Sabine (Rape of the Sabines)

Artist:  Giambologna (Jean de Boulogne)

Date:  1582

Info:  This is a plaster model of the piece created by Giambologna.  The original is in the Loggia die Lanzi, which is also in Florence.

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Title:  Saint Mary Magdalene; Saint John the Baptist

Artist:  Lippi

Date:  1496


Then you walk into the second room…and lo and behold, don’t you know this guy’s name…Michelangelo…


Title: St. Matthew

Artist:  Michelangelo

Date: 1506


Title:  Bearded Slave

Artist: Michelangelo

Date: around 1525-1530

Info:  Marble.  “The Hall of the Prisoners takes its name from the four large sculptures showing male nudes known as the Slaves or Prisoners or Captives. They were begun by Michelangelo for a grandiose project for the tomb of Pope Julius II della Rovere. The first commission dates back to 1505, before the assignment of the Sistine Chapel (1508), and it was meant to be the most magnificent tomb of Christian times, composed by more than 40 figures. The four Prisoners were carved for the pillars on the lower level of the tomb, intended for the grand Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome. Michelangelo spent months in the Carrara quarries to personally select the brightest marble he likes necessary, marking each selected block with three circles. Due to a mounting shortage of money, the pope ordered him to put aside the tomb project in 1506.  The original design was later scaled down to less grandiose proportions after the pope’s death in 1513, then in 1521 and eventually again in 1534, when the Prisoners were no longer part of the project and thus remained in Florence.” (Accademia.org)


Two other pieces from the Slave or Prisoners or Captives series can be found on our trip to the Louvre in Paris.

Artist:  Michelangelo

Title: Pietà di Palestrina

Date: circa 1555

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And of course…this guy…

Title:  David

Artist:  Michelangelo

Date:  1502-1504

Info:  From the placard at the museum: “In 1873, Michelangelo’s statue was brought here to the Tribune of the Galleria, built expressly for it and, only in 1908, was it substituted in Piazza Signoria by the marble copy still there today.  The bronze copy found in Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking Florence was done in 1866.”  We went to see both copies as well.


It’s stunning to turn a corner and see this iconic work for the first time.  I was excited to see David, but I had no idea how utterly remarkable it would be up close.  The detail is exquisite.  We really could have stood looking at this piece all day.


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These are not, by any means, all the pictures we took.  I dedicated a whole post to display every angle we could possibly get.  To view it, click Michelangelo’s David.


Title:  Santa Barbara

Artist:  Giorgio Vasari

Date:  ~1550-1560



Title:  Allegory of Fortitude

Artist:  Tommaso Manzuoli detto Maso de San Friano

Date:  ~1560-1562


Title:  Annunciation 

Artist:  Alessandro Allori

Date:  1578-1579


And then you walk into this room.  The only thought that kept running through my mind was this…an art class could spend several semesters in this room and still never break the surface on everything they were seeing.

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it was like the museum thought, “We’ve got David on display, what should we do with all these other statues?  Ah, just put them in the back.”

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It was kind of overwhelming…



And it was difficult to capture the placard of everything being seen.  Luckily, I did manage to snap a few.

Title:  Monument to Sofia Zamoyska

Artist:  Lorenzo Bartolini

Date:  1837-1844



Title:  Maddalena penitente (Penitent Magalene)

Artist:  Luigi Pampaloni

Date:  After 1847


Title:  Monument to Leon Battista Alberti

Artist:  Lorenzo Bartolini

Date:  After 1838-1848


Title:  Fanciullo che scherza con cane (Boy with a Dog)

Artist:  Luigi Pampaloni

Date: 1827


Title:  Baccante (Dirce)

Artist:  Lorenzo Bartolini

Date:  ~ 1823


Then we entered a room of mostly Byzantine art.

Title:  Repentant Magdalene and Eight Stories of Her Life

Artist:  Maestro della Maddalena

Date:  1280-1285


Title:  Tree of Life

Artist:  Pacino di Bonaguida

Date:  ~1310-1315


Title:  Busto reliquiario della beata Umiliana de’ Cerchi (Reliquary Bust of the Blessed Umiliana de’ Cerchi)

Artist:  Florentine Goldsmith

Date:  1380


Title:  Saint Anges; Saint Bomitilla

Artist:  Andrea Bonaiuti

Date:  1365-1370


Title:  Massacre of the Innocents, Adoration of the Magi, Flight into Egypt

Artist:  Bottega di Jacopo di Cione

Date:  1375-1385

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Title:  Virgin of Humility between Two Angels and Saints Peter, John the Baptist, a Female Saint and St. Stephen

Artist:  Piero di Giovanni detto Lorenzo Monaco

Date:  1385-1390


We left the Galleria dell’Accademia and headed toward our next destination…

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore and Baptistery of St. John:

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers is truly remarkable.  Its facade of green, pink, and white can be viewed from every angle as you walk around the church.


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And it seems like every few feet there is another ornate statue.


Building of the church began in 1296 and wasn’t fully completed until 1436.



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It was so nice we had to see it in the dark.

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Just a bit away from the church is the Piazza della Signoria, which is the original home of Michelangelo’s David.  Now it houses a copy, as well as several other monuments and attractions.

Palazzo Vecchio:


Fountain of Neptune:




Judith and Holofernes:  (copy of a Donatello statue that resides inside of the Palazzo Vecchio.)


Pluto and Proserpina:


Hercules and Cacus:


David:  (a copy of the original by Michelangelo.  On this day it was decorated to honor those who had perished during the attacks on Paris the night before.)

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The Loggia dei Lanzi is also in the piazza:

Loggia dei Lanzi:



Contained under the portico are:

Title:  Lion 

Artist:  Flaminio Vacca

Date:  1594-1598

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Title:  Perseus 

Artist:  Benvenuto Cellini

Date:  1545-1554


Title:  Rape of the Sabine Women 

Artist:  Giambologna

Date:  1581-1583

Info: The model for this was what we saw at the Galleria dell’Accadamia.


Title:  The Rape of Polyxena

Artist:  Pio Fedi

Date:  1860-1865


Title:  Hercules and the Centaur

Artist:  Giambologna

Date:  1549-1599

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Title:  Sabine

Date:  Early 2nd Century


Title:  Menelaus Holding the Body of Patroclus

Date:  Flavian Era


Between the Palazzo Vecchio and Loggia die Lanzi was the Piazzale degli Uffizi.

Construction was being done to the outside of the building, so this photo only contains half of the view, but the Galleria degli Uffizi (a museum) literally runs through each floor of this building.  We eventually got tickets into the museum, but there are way too many rooms for this post so it has its own.  To view the post with pictures from the museum, click Galleria degli Uffizi.


Before going into the museum, we got a spectacular view of Florence.

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We didn’t realize the Uffizi had over 100 rooms of artwork, so a good portion of our day was spent there…and we didn’t even come close to seeing everything the museum had to offer.  There’s literally no way of seeing it all in a day…probably not even in a week, or a month, or a year, or even a lifetime.  So much wonderful art…


But after leaving the museum, we were greeted with another fantastic view of the city.

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We slowly made our way across the bridge and up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is home to the bronze copy of David.  It sets on a hill overlooking the city.



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Overall, Brittany and I agreed that this has been our favorite visit…so far.  And we will be back…oh yes…we will be back.


November 6, 2015 – Venice

So…it’s been a while since our last post, but some things just have to be shared.  Venezia (Venice) is one of those things.


Brittany and I finally managed to find a weekend with no exams, classes, or other reasons not to travel.  We chose to take a train north-east to the “City of Water.”  A warning for those of you who have read any of my other blog posts, I usually try to give a pretty good description of what you’re looking at (i.e. artist name, building name, street name, etc.), but we really weren’t able to do that with this trip, so it’s mainly going to be pictures.  I’m trying to find some info as I go, but sometimes it’s just not available.

Before just bombarding you with images though, let me see if I can set the scene for you.  Of course I’ve heard of Venice, and I’ve seen photos of the area and movies set in its “streets,” but nothing can really prepare you for the city – you really have to see it to understand.  We followed the Grand Canal through the city, and did not see any vehicles with wheels.  The only means of transportation available was walking or taking a boat.

The view as you exit the train station is one of the best:


You cross a bridge into the city and then weave your way wherever you want to go.

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We had a map and a destination in mind, but it was actually pretty difficult to navigate the narrow alleyways without taking a boat.  We liked it this way though.  It’s nice to stumble into amazing things, and Venice is full of wonder.  Like Bologna, every building is full of history.  Our first find was Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.


This place had a ton of statues, paintings, and various other works of art, but you weren’t supposed to take photos, so we just snapped a few to get an idea about how ornate the interior was.

The left portion of the front alcove:


The right portion of the front alcove:


A view from the entrance:


A view of the entrance:


Behind Frairi we found another church, Chiesa San Rocco.  Though much smaller, picture taking was allowed.


This guy greeted you as you came in:


The front of the church:


The rear (entrance) to the church:


This is the detail of one of the church’s pillars.  Little details like this are found all over the city (and in the rest of Italy).  I find it remarkable because each of these items has a story, even if it’s unknown.


It really was amazing just to be lost in this city.  Every time we turned a corner, a new, beautiful view awaited.

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We did finally manage to make it to St. Mark’s Square, which was our original destination, and it was well worth the effort.  You are walking down narrow alleys, crossing bridges, passing all varieties of shops, then, suddenly, you step out onto this huge, open plaza.

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One side looks pristine…almost new:


The other looks worn and deteriorated, but equally beautiful:


At the end of the plaza, several of Venice’s “must see” items are on display.  From left to right –

Torre dell’ Orologio (St. Mark’s Clocktower):


Built at the end of the 15th century…


…(according to Wikipedia) “at the top of the tower are two great bronze figures, hinged at the waist, which strike the hours on a bell. One is old and the other young, to show the passing of time and, although said to represent shepherds (they are wearing sheepskins) or giants (they are huge figures of great mass, necessary so that their form can be recognized at a distance) they are always known as “the Moors” because of the dark patina acquired by the bronze.”


“Below this level is the winged lion of Venice with the open book, before a blue background with gold stars. There was originally a statue of the Doge Agostino Barbarigo kneeling before the lion, but in 1797, after the city had surrendered to Napoleon, this was removed by the French.”


“Below this is the great clock face in blue and gold inside a fixed circle of marble engraved with the 24 hours of the day in Roman numerals. A golden pointer with an image of the sun moves round this circle and indicates the hour of the day. Within the marble circle beneath the sun pointer are the signs of the zodiac in gold (these are original and date from the 1490s), which revolve slightly more slowly than the pointer to show the position of the sun in the zodiac. In the middle of the clockface is the earth (in the centre) and the moon, which revolves to show its phases, surrounded by stars which are fixed in position.”


Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica):

(We went in later, so there will be more pictures.)


St Mark’s Campanile:


This bell tower was originally constructed in the 9th century and stands 323 feet tall.


Again, according to Wikipedia, the tower was restored several times due to lightning strikes and fire, but in 1902 it completely collapsed.  Reconstruction began immediately, and it was reopened in 1912, exactly as it was before.


And then around the corner you get part 2 of the plaza, the Piazzetta di San Marco.  From left to right –


Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace):


(Again, we went into the palace, so there will be more photos.)

The Lion of Venice:

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St. Theodore:

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(Just know I’m using Wikipedia as a quick reference.) There are “two large granite columns in the Square, thought to have been erected between 1172 – 1177…bearing ancient symbols of the two patron saints of Venice. The Lion sculpture has had a very long and obscure history, probably starting its existence as a winged lion-griffin statue on a monument to the god Sandon at Tarsus in Cilicia (Southern Turkey) about 300 BC.  The figure, which stands on the eastern column, at some point came to represent the “Lion of Saint Mark”, traditional symbol of Saint Mark the evangelist. The figure standing on the western column is St. Theodore of Amasea, patron of the city before St Mark, who holds a spear and stands on a crocodile (to represent the dragon which he was said to have slain). It is also made up of parts of antique statues and is a copy, the original being kept in the Doge’s Palace.”


Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (National Library of St. Mark’s):

Wikipedia: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana “is a library and Renaissance building in Venice, northern Italy; it is one of the earliest surviving public manuscript depositories in the country, holding one of the greatest classical texts collections in the world. The library is named after St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice.”

Another important thing we noticed about Venice is that it is very touristy.  We heard more english in an hour there than we have heard our entire two months in Bologna.  This also means there are many, many shops selling tourist junk (don’t worry, we purchased our fair share) and it costs to get into almost everything (and once inside you aren’t supposed to take photos). Doge’s Palace was well worth the admission price.

Doge’s Palace:


First off, it’s important to know that doge means “chief magistrate.”  (I was under the impression that Doge was just a wealthily family for a good portion of our visit.)  So this palace is not just someone’s home, but rather a building designed for work (very elaborate government work mind you) and imprisonment.

First you go up the “golden staircase”:


Then you enter the palace rooms…I cannot stress how stunning each of these rooms were; covered floor to ceiling in art.

The Four Doors Room:

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Antechamber to the Hall of the Full Council:


The Senate Chamber:

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A painting of Neptune:


The Chamber of the Council of Ten:

Brittany and I both liked this ceiling because of the range of color side-by-side with the black and white:

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The Chamber of the Great Council:

According to the palace’s website, the room is “53 meters long and 25 meters wide, this is not only the largest and most majestic chamber in the Doge’s Palace, but also one of the largest rooms in Europe.”

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This was an interesting little scene in the room…this guy probably has a pretty good headache…

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Off of the Chamber of the Great Council, were a few other rooms, whose names we’re not sure about.  The first image was very elaborate, and the second is a detail shot of the first.  I took the second photo because of the guy just under the plaque, he is the only creature I could find in the painting that looked more like a skeleton than a person…thought it was kind of neat.

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This room had a huge chandelier (that messed with photo lighting), a painting of Madonna and Child, and three paintings of lions.  This one turned out best, but I also like that the paintings from this area all have the city in the background (i.e. paintings from Bologna all have the two towers, this one clearly represents Venice).


We also got to walk through the armory and then across the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), the bridge that led from the palace to the prisons.

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The windows on this bridge would have been the last view several prisoners had of life outside their cell.

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And finally, a couple of quick pictures of the prison cells.  There were so many floors of cells, but, for the most part, they all looked about the same.

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After winding through the prison, we ended up back in the main courtyard.

I feel like we could easily fill blog after blog, photo album after photo album, of just statues in and around Doge’s Palace.  We took as many as we could, but these guys, guarding the palace staircase, were my favorite.

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After leaving Doge’s Palace, we headed to Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco (The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark).


Again, we had to pay to go in here and photos weren’t allowed.  And again, we snapped a few when we could 🙂


Gold mosaic was the theme of this church, in fact it is nicknamed Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold).  I thought I’d change it up and use Wikipedia as my source this time…”The first St Mark’s was a building next to the Doge’s Palace, ordered by the doge in 828, when Venetian merchants stole the supposed relics of Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, and completed by 832…the basic structure of the building has not been much altered. Its decoration has changed greatly over time, though the overall impression of the interior with a dazzling display of gold ground mosaics on all ceilings and upper walls remains the same.”

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After climbing a huge, narrow set of stairs, you reach a museum on the upper level (had to pay separately for this and still couldn’t take pictures) but there is also access to the balcony, which gave an amazing view of the plaza.

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When we left St. Mark’s Square, we had no destination; however, the sun was starting to set and after getting lost finding the place, we thought it might be best to find the train station before it got dark…stupid daylight savings time made it dark at 5PM!

We played tourist for a while, getting a Nutella crepe and waffle, and buying some souvenirs, while still taking pictures of the amazing city.

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Which somehow grew even more magical at dusk.

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We had dinner at a lovely little restaurant with our table mere feet from the water.  By the time we finished, Venice had become an entirely different looking place.

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Our final thought…we have to come back and stay longer…


Italian word of the day: treno – train (because it’s the best way to get around Italy)

And now you know…