My family and I just returned from a vacation in the Italian region of Lake Garda. The trip overall was a blast, but our one-day tour of Venice was arguably the best day.
Venice is a beautiful city in northern Italy built on an archipelago of 117 islands. It is world-famous for its scenic waterways, architecture, and art.
We traveled by tour bus from Lake Garda to Venice before boarding a motorboat to the picturesque Piazza di San Marco. This plaza is the home of Basilica di San Marco, the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.
I was immediately awed by the magnificent Byzantine mosaics covering the walls of the basilica. I thought, “How long would it take to make these masterpieces?!”
When we went inside a room called “the Treasury,” we viewed golden chalices, jewels, and relics of saints. I found it ironic that most of the treasures displayed were actually stolen from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade!
While we explored the small museum above the Treasury, I was shocked at how real the Four Horses of San Marco appeared. These bronze statues are the only existing specimens of an ancient roman quadriga, a monumental four-horse chariot.
As our tour guide Barbara suggested, we searched for a lunch spot filled with gondoliers, the drivers of the famous gondolas, because these delis contained both inexpensive and delicious food. Our tour guide was correct, and my mouth still waters at the thought of that Venetian panini!
We spent the last hours of our day walking through the outside markets and admiring the renowned Venetian masks, which featured crows with bells, feathered jesters, and glistening cats!
On the other hand, I was slightly disappointed that some of the stunning architecture around Venice was covered up by giant modern advertisements. At times, it hampered the splendor of the area.
After we left the city, I realized that one cannot appreciate the unique and lively atmosphere of Venice in a day — it may take a whole lifetime!
Photo: Kid Reporter Kevin Agostinelli in front of one of Venice's famous canals. (courtesy Kevin Agostinelli)