Venice and Italy, 2018
In the fall of 2018 Ron and Carol spent 4 nights in Venice and then went on an 11-day cruise around Italy.
Itinerary: Long visit in Venice and then a cruise around Italy on the Holland American Line (HAL) cruise ship The Oosterdam. Distance on the ship 1,886 miles (3,325 km.) HAL caters to the older folks, so it was perfect for Ron and Carol. (Did not hear one note of rap the whole time.) Ron and Carol got to add three new countries to their list!
Somewhere over the Alps – Carol noticed this glacier in the flight. Seems to be the Gorner Glacier. It is 7.7 mi (12.4 km) long.
Venice Marco Polo Airport – Everything moves by boat in Venice. Here is the Blue Line Airport Water Bus. It is a thrill by itself touching most of the islands on its route. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/15/ .
Venice – typical side canal – First night there Ron and Carol went on a walk at dusk. Really one beautiful town. Most places in Venice are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Padua – Scrovegni Chapel. Next day a water bus ride to the train station and then 41 km to Padua. The chapel contains the famous early (1303) frescoes by Giotto. Carol told everyone she had waited 50 years to see these. (Tickets had to order well ahead of the visit!)
Padua – Scrovegni Chapel. One panel of the frescoes with the Lamentation. Up to this time Christian art had been the more formal lacking Giotto’s realism with passion and bold colors. (Picture found on-line.)
Venice – another typical side canal. Another day and another water bus to the Gallerie dell'Accademia which is filled with pre-19th-century art of Venice and northern Italy.
Venice - Gallerie dell'Accademia. Bosch's "Four Visions of the Hereafter." (~1486) Of particular note is the right panel of the ascent of blessed souls to the light through a tapering tunnel.
Venice – The Rialto Bridge. The next day was a self-guided walking tour. Built in 1591, the Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. It is also one of four shop bridges in Europe. (The black arches are the rear of shops.) Ron and Carol had a lovely (but expensive) lunch at the café on the left.
Venice – Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. The best of the many churches that Ron and Carol visited that day was the ‘Frari.’ Built in 1396, it is the second largest in the city. The main altarpiece is the “Assumption of the Virgin” by Titian.
Venice – near the Frari, bridges everywhere. (45.435664, 12.324150)
Venice – the Grand Canal. After the walk Ron and Carol took a guided tour by water taxi through the Grand Canal. Here a typical mansion with the cone shaped chimneys.
Venice – Punta della Dogana. A wind vane by Giuseppe Benoni on top of the 17c. customs house, now a museum.
Venice – another typical side canal, this time with a pretty girl.
Venice – St. Mark’s Square from the Museo Correr. Next and last day, Ron and Carol visited the Museo Correr. It specializes in the art and history of Venice. Then off to the cruise ship.
Cavtat, Croatia – Ron and Carol got a full half hour in the cute little resort town. Then on to an old mill, turned restaurant, for lunch. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/17/ .
Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia – Neat medieval walled town. Ron developed a good respect for Dubrovnik. In medieval times it was a power house of trade and diplomacy. The castle is used as King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones series.
Sarande, Albania – No place for big ships in Sarande, so Ron and Carol get to ride their first tender.
Sarande, Albania – Onhezmi Synagogue ruins, built in the 5th century AD.
Sarande, Albania – The corniche. A pleasant little city trying to recover from years of communist rule.
Ancient Butrint, Albania – Venetian tower from 16th c. Butrint has ruins going back to Greek/Roman times. (A UNESCO World Heritage Site.) (39.744122, 20.019902)
Ancient Butrint, Albania – In the agora Carol again struck with agoraphobia.
Katakolon, Greece – Watermen coming in with their catch. This little town that is just 56 km from Olympia. Most people went there, but Ron and Carol has just visited Olympia two years before and decided to stay in port. So it was some hard core shopping and Coke drinking and an ATM visit to complete the day. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/18/ .
Stromboli. The ship passed close to this volcanic island near dark. Hard to get a picture, but Carol got one showing active lava flow near the top.
Naples – San Gennaro Catacombs, upper level. Ron and Carol caught the Hop on/off bus to the catacombs. Really neat and empty. All the remains were buried in a nearby cemetery. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/23/ .
Naples – Pio Monte della Misericordia. Caravaggio's the Seven Works of Mercy as seen from the upper gallery. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/.../The_Seven_Works_of_Mercy... )
Naples – Caravaggio Pizzeria(!), next to Pio Monte. Ron and Carol’s first pizza in Italy since they did not have an English menu. (How to play it safe.)
Rome – the Vatican Museum. On the way to the Sistine Chapel, Ron and Carol (and a few thousand friends) got to quickly view a few thousand feet of spectacular art. (It took an hour, a day or two would have been better.) https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/27/ .
Rome – St Peter's Basilica. Words just do not work on something this size and importance.
Rome – St Peter's Basilica, Michelangelo's Pietà. Attacked in 1972, it has been fully restored and is now behind glass.
Rome – St Peter's Basilica, bronze of St. Peter. His feet worn down by touching. (Artist and creation date is unknown.)
Rome – St Peter's Square. Ron was there also. (The obelisk is 2500 BC from Heliopolis.)
Florence – The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, commonly called the ‘Duomo’. Begun 1296, it is the icon of Florence. (A photo merge, with angle correction.) For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/12/05/ .
Florence – The Duomo. Front. (No angle correction.) With only 5 hours in Florence, Ron and Carol could not tour.
Florence – Pitti Palace. Carol having a pity party at the Pitti Palace. Built in 1446. The palace, not Carol.
Florence – Galleria degli Uffizi. Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, 1485. The Uffizi was one of the main reasons for Ron and Carol’s trip. They were not disappointed. The museum was full of famous art.
Florence – Ponte Vecchio (bridge) as seen from the Uffizi. One of the four shop bridges in Europe. (Remember the one in Venice!) Ron and Carol crossed it going to the Pitti Palace and did some gift buying next to the bridge.
Note, Ron and Carol have been to another shop bridge in Bath, England. This leaves only one to see, but it is stuck in the middle of nowhere in Germany!
Monte Carlo, Monaco – City is perched on the side of the mountain. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/09/28/ .
Monte Carlo – Using a tender again. This was an expensive place to visit. (8 Euro Cokes.) Ron and Carol just did a little walking tour. But supper was on the ship.
Monte Carlo – People stacked upon people. The harbor was full of huge yachts. There was the equivalent of a large stop light at the entrance of the harbor to control the flow.
Toulon, France – Main port of the French Navy. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/12/15/ .
Toulon, France – Cours de Lafayette. A huge street market that went on for blocks. Recommend by a ship guide and great good fun.
Toulon, France – Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds. Just off the street market, this cathedral had a beautiful 18th cen. altar piece.
Toulon, France. In this drawbridge was a plaque said “On March 24, 1796, under this vault, General Bonaparte went to take the command of the glorious army of Italy.” (Bonaparte became Emperor of the French eight years later.)
Barcelona, Spain. Funky art along the water front.
Barcelona, Spain, Carrer de Montcada. Really neat street with the Picasso Museum and Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar (neither visited) and a couple of other places Ron and Carol did visit. For details of the part of the trip see Carol's blog at https://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/2018/12/21/ .
Barcelona, Spain, still the Carrer de Montcada – Ethnology Museum*. A 19th c. Rapanui staff from Easter Island. This museum is world class. Ron thinks it out-shines the Field Museum in Chicago in ethnology. (*Formally called the Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món)
Barcelona, Spain, still the Carrer de Montcada – Palau Dalmases Flamenco. A theater was in a wonderful medieval building (~1690).
Barcelona, Spain – Palau Dalmases Flamenco. Great flamenco dancing and music—the real deal. Ron purchased the tickets on-line before the trip.
(Sorry about the blurry picture. No flash allowed.)