This was our view of Venice from the water taxi. St. Mark’s Campanile is the tallest structure and the Doge’s Palace is the structure on the right. The little piazza in between them is Piazzetta di San Marco – it is a little square that leads to Piazza San Marco. You can see the Basilica at the back of the Piazzetta. At the entrance are two columns – one is topped with St. Mark’s Lion, the symbol of Venice (closest to the Doge’s Palace) and the other is topped with St. Theodore with his dragon (if you click on the link I’ve provided, you’ll see a photo of the statue of St. Theodore).
Here are some of the sights we passed on our way to the piazzetta.
This is the Bridge of Sighs. You can tell it’s under renovation because of the billboards surrounding it. According to legend, it’s called the Bridge of Sighs because one could hear the sighs of prisoners as they crossed the bridge on their way to the prison.
Here’s a close up of St. Mark’s Campanile. It’s pretty tall – 97 metres high. Can you see the golden statue at the top? That is the statue of Archangel Gabriel. Here’s an interesting bit of info about the statue from Italy Guides – “The statue is 3 metres high and has big wings that, when pushed by the wind, make it rotate. For the Venetians, when the angel is facing the Basilica, it is a sign that there will be high water.”
The photo below is of the Piazzetta. To the left is St. Mark’s Campanile, to the right is the Doge’s Palace. You can see the Basilica and the Clock Tower towards the back there.
This is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale in Italian), probably one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. It is probably “the” example of Venetian Gothic architecture. The incorporation of arches gives it a light and airy feel, don’t you think? And the pink marble is just so pretty. This current facade dates back to the 14th and early 15th century. Can you see the rows of gondolas in front of it?
The photo below is towards the back of the Piazzetta, directly beside the Basilica. It is called Porta della Carta. In fact, you can see a bit of it in the photo above just to the left of the lamp. It used to be the main entrance to the Doge’s Palace.
Here are some of the statues and decorations around the Doge’s Palace.