V is for Venice

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Any gondola or vaporetto (waterbus) ride through the canals puts you at eye-level with crumbling stucco and rotting woodwork. The houses, knee-deep in water are painted in fading pinks and yellows and a brightly striped mooring post might be the only indicator that this was once a palazzo. The conditions are not easy on buildings here. 
The gondoliers are friendly fellows, dressed in the regulation striped shirt and dark pants, and some will even serenade you as you pass along under the multitude of Venice's bridges. By law, all gondolas plying the canals and waterways of Venice must be painted black.
venice_01Today's Venice is more secure. A few years ago when the buildings began to sway a little, many of the foundations were shored up by ramming down beside the wooden tree-sized pylons that have held the city's head above water so well for so long.
Venice_02St Mark's basilica was built in the 13th century. Its façade is as beautiful as an Eastern icon, gilded and ornate. The 95-metre Campanile (bell-tower) is a reconstruction, as the original fell down unexpectedly in 1902. There is an elevator to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The square outside it, ringed by cafes and boutiques, is a popular meeting place.
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Built upon a marshy lagoon, the impossibly beautiful city of Venice (Venezia), is unique. With a total population of about 1.6 million, it draws twice that number of visitors annually.
Venice, for over a millennium, was referred to as La Serenissima, literally meaning 'the most serene'. Those who fall under the spell of its magnificent crumbling beauty, the narrow canals and tiny hump-backed bridges are never quite the same again.
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Venice is a world-magnet and massive cruise ships come here too, mixing it with tugs and vaporetti and gondolas. Anything and everything goes here.
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The annual Carnevale, which begins forty days before Easter, draws many thousands of tourists who join the annual dress-up party. The masks many wear have become almost symbolic of the city and all year round they appear in shops throughout Venice.  Read more about Venice....

 

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