on board of a modern motor-boat i arrived at the age-old, 9th century -favorite square for a multitude of pigeons- piazza san marco where the awe-inspiring basilica di san marco stands grand, welcoming you to the beguiling venezia.
the basilica di san marco is a splendid display of roman, gothic, and byzantine-era art. the story tells that venetian traders robbed the remains of the evangelist san marco (st. mark) from his original resting place in egypt and brought the remains inside a barrel covered with layers of pork meat in order to pass inadvertently by the muslim guard (muslims were not allowed to touch pork meat because of their religious belief); this way the traders were able to bring in the saint without restriction. this magnificent basilica -also called the golden church- has its walls and ceilings covered by amazing mosaics provoking a constant wonderment during your visit.
the gondolas transform venezia into poetry... there are over 400 bridges in venice, to pass through the narrow canals, under the bridge of sighs and many others in a gondola with the day light fading is pure romance.
the only thing i purchased during my visit to venezia was a venetian mask used during the yearly carnevale di venezia that takes place before easter or cuaresma. during the carnival, locals and tourists alike dress up with pieces of the xvii century venice.
it was late in the afternoon and i had to return to rome. it was time to say goodbye to beautiful venezia not before tasting its house wine and refreshing gelatto.