2nd painting - Sunset in Venice
Venice is world-famous for its canals. The Grand Canal, about 3 km long, winds through Venice from northwest to southeast, dividing the city into two nearly equal portions. The Giudecca Canal, about 400 m (about 1310 ft) wide, separates Giudecca Island, on the extreme south, from Venice proper. No motor vehicles are permitted on the narrow, winding lanes and streets that penetrate the old city, and the bridges are for pedestrians only.
The most famous of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal is the Rialto Bridge (1588), lined with a double row of shops.
St Marks Square, or Piazza San Marco in Italian, is filled with activity and hosts several attractions. The campanile (Bell Tower), St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's (duke's) palace, and the Bridge of Sighs to name a few. Pigeons chasing is still a popular and accessible diversion during a visit to St. Marks Square (piazza S. Marco).
To experience the rich visual images that Venice offers to those plying the waters of the ancient canals, a gondola ride is mandatory. A beautiful picture awaits around ever turn. For visitors that truly want to understand the beauty and history of the Venetians, this experience should not be missed. Depending on season and time of day, a 45 minute gondola tour of the city's canals could cost as much as $150 (not including a tip for an exceptional gondolier who provides excellent service or sings on request) The gondola ride was definitely worth the premium price. I can think of no better way to experience Venice.
The soft sound of people's mulch-lingual conversations rising in volume as our gondola approached each bridge and then trailing off as we moved away through the canal, added to the charm of the excursion. Though it was a very public experience, the gondola ride did bring the romance for which Venice is known.