Venice Attracts Thousands of People from all over the World
Written & Photos by Nikki Artale

I just returned from a 12 day cruise to Italy and the Greek Islands on the Celebrity Cruise line and I will be sharing the ports of call I visited and I will start with the city of Venice. The cruise was great but I was exhausted by the time I returned to the states.

Venice is a unique city that is full of art and culture and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The city boasts some of the greatest monuments and squares in all of Italy. One of the biggest attractions is the Doge’s Palace which overlooks the sea on one side and the Piazza San Marco on the other side and next to St Mark’s Church in St Mark’s Square. It is called a Venetian Gothic fantasy palace.

There are 117 small islands that are linked together by bridges with picturesque canals that run beneath the bridges. This is where the famous gondolas tour the canals and shows the beauty and charms of the lagoons of Venice. During the 17th and 18th century there were eight to ten thousand gondolas and now there are just over 400 in service today. Most are hired by the tourists and is a favorite for the romantic couples.

St. Mark’s square is the most visited attraction in the city and one of the most popular places in Italy. On one end is St Mark’s Church and the Campanile bell tower in the middle, unique cafes on three sides and hundreds of pigeons that make the square their home.
I was fascinated by the beautiful handcrafted Venetian Italian masks and no two masks are ever identical. Their ornate design features bright gold or silver colours and can be full masks or eye masks. They are hand painted and decorated and are perfect to adorn the walls of a home. I bought one and it is hanging in my living room.

I am ending this story with a picture of an old woman who we say laying on the street, her face covered and a cup in her extended hand to collect whatever money people wanted to give her. This tugged at my heart and we all gave her money. She laid there for hours and it was sad to see.


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