Mr. D. and I had a wonderful time in Italy. What a country! Our Italian vacation focused mostly on seeing Venice, Florence and Rome (with a side trip to Naples and Pompeii).
Today, I'm posting some of our pics from our time in Venice--with a giveaway, of course! ;)
Onto the photos!
NOTE: YOU CAN CLICK ON IMAGES TO INCREASE THE SIZE.
Step with me into VENICE, ITALY.
This city is beautiful! There's nothing like it on the planet. Our plane arrived in Venice and we took a water taxi (How cool is that??) into the city.
This is our approach in the water taxi:
I'd been to Venice many years ago, but Mr. D has never been to Italy. We tossed our luggage in the hotel and immediately walked about and took in the beautiful canals.
This gown was in the store window. I SOOOO WANT TO WEAR THIS! It's stunning! This is the kind of thing I envision my characters wearing at the masquerade balls they attend in my Fiery Tales series. :)
The next morning we had breakfast on the rooftop of our hotel. This was the view.
This is Mr. D's pic of me taking a photo of our view. Mr. D thinks he's funny.
The last time I was in Venice, it rained and I never got to go on a gondola. I mean, who goes all the way to Venice and misses out on a gondola ride? I wasn't going to be denied this time! First, we were going to see the famous Doge's Palace, then I was going to jump on the first gondola I saw. Luckily, there are about a million in the city. LOL
We raced through St. Mark's square to the Doge's Palace, and bought our tickets to see this incredible hub of political power in the former Republic of Venice. It's construction began in the 14th century.
The following are some pics we took while taking in the Doge's Palace.
Two photos of the courtyard inside the Doge's Palace, different angles.
Got a complaint against someone? Venetians could drop notes into this slot (mouth) to report any wrongdoings to the officials at the Palace. This palace housed more than just the Doge and his family. It was the seat of power for the government of the Republic at the time.
Depending on who the accused was, those who decided his fate wore masks to remain anonymous. Doesn't seem fair, does it? If you're going to condemn someone, you should have the courage to show your face.
The palace has prison cells in the basement, as well as cells on the opposite back of the Rio del Palazzo. These are connected by the famous Bridge of Sighs. It was a name that was adopted in the 18th century, thanks to Lord Byron, who eloquently relayed the sounds that could be heard from condemned prisoners as they moved from the opulence of the palace, to their prison cells, possibly never to see the light of day again.
The most famous prisoner ever held here was none other than Giacomo Casanova, who escaped in 1756.
The Bridge of Sighs from the outside. (Normally the walls on either side are not blue. Renovations are taking place at the Palace on the outer walls.)
Inside the Bridge of Sighs as we walk through.
Last look out the window at freedom from inside the Bridge of Sighs.
In December 1577 there was a fire that destroyed much of the palace including the massive, elegant room below. The first is a painting of the room, done in the 18th century by artist, Francesco Guardi. The second was taken by Mr. D.
It put a BIG smile on his face when he learned that the engineers saved the palace after the fire. You see, Mr. D is an engineer. After the fire, the architects reviewed the damage and advised that the room and the damaged parts of the palace had to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. After the engineers assessed the building, they disagreed. They stated that the foundations were still solid and the palace, including this lovely room below, could easily be repaired without destroying any more that had already been lost in the fire.
The Doge, thankfully, took the advice of the engineers. :)
(By the way, Adam, one of the heroes in THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED, is a engineer, in historical times---inspired by my husband).
On to the Gondola Ride! Yay! These are photos taken as we drifted along on our romantic ride through the city.
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT VENETIAN MASKS
This is the type of mask typically worn by a woman. The lips are sealed and there is a "button" inside the mask a woman was supposed to bite to keep her from talking, remaining mysterious.
Typical Male Mask. The square jaw that jutted forward allowed a man to talk freely, drink and eat without removing his mask.
Doctor's Mask--worn during the plague. The long nose kept him from getting too close to his sick patients.
I hope you enjoyed my photos! Pics of Florence will be posted next Tuesday---with a GIVEAWAY! What's the giveaway, you ask?? Same as below!!
QUESTION: Tell me your favorite period movie. While I was in Venice, I couldn't help thinking about Dangerous Beauty and Casanova. I LOVE THOSE TWO FILMS! What about you? Do you like those movies? Are there other period movies you like more? It doesn't have to be set in Venice. Let's talk films! :)
Oh, one more thing! I'm giving away a copy of one of my books from the Fiery Tales series HERE. The contest on Manic Readers runs through until Oct. 15th. :)
RULES for the Glass Necklace from Venice:To win you must:
1. Answer the question or leave a meaningful comment.
2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua's blog (through Google Friend Connect).
3. Must be at least 18 years of age.
Contest for the Glass Necklace from Venice ends Saturday Oct. 15th 2011. Winner will be selected at random on Sunday Oct. 16th, 2011.
Florence contest starts Tuesday Oct. 18th. See you then! *muah*