Jun 30, 2014

Venice, The Queen of Adriatic

Piazza di San Marco and St Mark's Basilica Venice Italy
St Mark's Basilica

Historic city of Venice is described by many as Queen of the Ardiatic, City os Islands, City of masks, Floating city, City of bridges and City of canals ... and when you visit Venice everything seems right! For me it looked like a unique city with so many bridges across those islands!  It seems there are more than a hundred islands separated by more than hundred canals and  they are connected by around 400 bridges! With the unique cityscapes, art and cultural heritage tourism is a major part of livelihood for venetians. The tour of Venice was fun though everything I saw was touristy! Venice is considered to be a living museum and IMO it is also a tourist trap! 

Jun 17, 2014

Video- Working with glass in Murano!

Well, package tours have some advantages. Our guide took us to some places where we could have demos on how it is made etc ... In Florence, a leather shop gave us an elaborate display of all their products and also a fashion show with some of our package-mates being models! In Venice, at glass factory of Murano we had a demo on how the glass artifacts are made. I liked it very much and took a video of the same! Have a look you will be amazed!

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Jun 15, 2014

Florence, The cradle of renaissance

River Arno Florence Italy
River Arno and the city of Florence

Capital city of Tuscany now, popular those days as "Athens of Middle Ages" Florence or Firenze or Florentine is one fascinating city! The birthplace of renaissance, Florence has few world famous museums and IMO the Piazza della Signoria itself is an open air museum! The full-size replica of Michelangelo's David in its original position attracts the visitors most. The river Arno passes through Florence and flows into Tyrrhenian sea.

Jun 12, 2014

Leaning tower of Pisa

Leaning tower of Pisa Italy
Our guide started our day with- Today we are going to a place where thousands of tourists go everyday to make sure the tower is still leaning! Yes, to Leaning tower of Pisa! Ture! It is still leaning!

It is a freestanding bell tower behind cathedral in Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) which started leaning durning its construction itself due to the soft ground on one side. It tilted more during the 196 years of its construction until it was stabilized and then the tilt was corrected to some extent during later centuries! Its initial world popular tilt was more than 5 degrees it seems now it is corrected up to little less than 4 degrees. It has around 300 steps to reach the top floor from where one could get a sweeping views of the surroundings.

The Piazza del Duomo or popularly nick named as Piazza dei Miracoli, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987. The square includes the cathedral, a baptistry, the bell tower and the cathedral. The three structures whiter than white those days stand majestically on the green grass. The tower is one of the seven medieval wonders of the world! There were thousands of tourists even early in the morning. I saw many youngsters  trying for that touristy picture of "supporting the leaning tower" :) 

Jun 8, 2014

Duomo di Orvieto, A medieval architectural splendor!

Facade Orvieto CathedralItaly
Massive structure with gothic facade, walls depicting the stories from testaments, decoration by glittering mosaics and massive bronze doors, is the Duomo di Orvieto, construction which continued for three centuries! The cathedral dedicated to Assumption of Mary was designed by many master designers over the centuries changing it from Romanesque to Gothic structure. The gothic facade of the duomo is one of the masterpieces of the time while the side walls are very plain with no art work.

Well, after a hectic a day at Rome I visited this peaceful place of cathedral and cutlery! Do you believe the Comune di Orvieto is located on a hill top and that hill actually is an ancient volcano? And the cathedral stands right atop a volcanic plug? Amazing facts huh?

I took the funicolare for the first time here to reach the hilltop! Funicolare is a short electrically run cable railway or cliff railway! Two tram like vehicles on rails are connected to a cable which move up and down the steep slope. I have used cable cars in India but cable railway was first experience!

Jun 6, 2014

Photo Tour- Rome, As I saw it!

Roman Colosseum Rome Italy

As I said in the earlier post on Rome- it is an eternal city! There is so much to see and know. The guide provided by the package tour was quite good enough to open as many windows to the city of Rome in that short time, I mean a day and a half, that includes Vatican City too. Well, I do not have some glamourous night shots of this fancy city! I visited during the bright day light though I have seen the city in the night with some monuments decorated with lights, well from a moving bus!

Jun 1, 2014

Rome- The eternal city!

Colosseum Rome Italy
Roman Colosseum

The capital city of Italy today and the capital city of Roman empire then ... Rome was considered an empire without end! It is one of the largest cities then known to the world. With the package tour schedule and anxiety I did scratch a bit of the surface of the destination- Rome! I was amazed to see that ancient city buried underground, partly exposed and another part waiting to be excavated! The still standing monuments are the symbols of wealth and power of Imperial Rome!