Bruce checked the weather and found out it was good so we trained it up to Venice yesterday afternoon.  And the weather report was correct!  It was a beautiful day today!  We started off at San Marco Piazza to go up the Bell Tower and were surprised to see the city flooding already – on a sunny , dry day.  I guess it is the rise and fall of the tide.  So the walkways went up and you just found your way around the flooding or bought water boots.  We got some great pictures from the tower.  Our legs are a little sore from our previous climbs so we took the lift.  From there we went next door to St. Mark’s Basilica – museum first.  The sight that is worth the museum fee is the original bronze horses – the copies are on the outside of the church looking over St. Mark’s square.  Make sure to look at the pictures.  It is hard to believe they are so old and have been moved around and still be in such good shape.  The museum is up high in the church so we got some good views from there of the sanctuary and out on the square.  San Marco Basilica  was built in the 11th century and reflects Venice’s connection with Byzantium.  The interior glows with mosaics and colored marble.  Since about A.D. 830, the saint’s bones have been housed on this site.  Our next stop was the Accademia Museum.  In order to get there with dry feet we took a few detours which was ok with us.  It is so fun to walk all the little streets and enjoy being a part of this dying city while we can.  This museum is the best museum anywhere for Venetian Renaissance.  And we saw a lot of it!  While we were on that part of the town we went over to Ca’ Rezzonico which is a museum of 18th century Venice.  It is right on the Grand Canal and offers the best look in town at the life of Venice’s rich and famous in the 1700’s, with paintings by Guardi, Canaletto, and Longhi.  The rest of the afternoon we strolled the streets, stopped in Santa Maria della Salute church (called that because it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by grateful survivors of the 1630 plague) strolled some more, then returned to the hotel to rest our feet (and put up the blog) before we go out for the evening meal. The water was back down.  We figured it rose around 2 feet or more and started going down after noon. We are not leaving until Friday so we have all day tomorrow to take it all in!

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