Michelangelo sibyl from the Sistine Chapel


day six

Two nights of Venice left me tired and ready to leave. I know that I didn't see everything, but I had seen enough. Riding the vaporettos and ferries to get from place to place was fun in the beginning, but the novelty wore off quickly. Unlike a bus or subway car, a person has less control over when he or she can exit. The limited stops make the journey by water feel more like a cage than a freedom. Then when the boat does stop people stampede on and off as if escaping a bad concert. Having only one place serving as both an entrance and exit doesn't help either.

For me the Basilica at San Marco was more impressive on the outside than on the inside. Grim would be my word of choice for the interior. Everything was done to excess and I couldn't focus on any one element. Maybe this comes from my Protestant background, but there comes a point in religious ornamentation when enough is enough. Rather than looking up I almost preferred to look down at the floor inside the Basilica. The mosaic tile work was amazing.

Now having just said what I did I have to say that I was very impressed by the Doge's Palace for almost the same reasons that I disliked the Basilica. Each room was more elaborate than the next and it really flowed for me. It made sense to me the way that the rooms interconnected and from the amount of work that went into creating the palace it was obvious how much power and influence the government had on the people of Venice.

Venice as a city didn't have that much of an illusion for me before I saw it and it still doesn't now. People live and work there just like everyone else in the world. There are even parts where a person wouldn't even know that they were on an island.

The place where we stayed, Fusina campground, was an island of green along a shore of wasteland. Each and every time that we left to go to Venice we saw the huge industrial plants further down the shore from us. To the east were the canals and to the west was modern pollution. It was a very striking contrast in scenery.

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