The garden tour is officially over but I have a day on my own in Venice so I will show you what I find about this city. A group of us decided to go together and hire a guide to take us around. There were 5 of us and Cristina Taddeo was a superb guide.

We agreed to meet Cristina at a small plaza and to get there we had to go through St. Mark’s Square, follow the signs to the Rialto Bridge and then go over the bridge.

Cristina was born and lives in Venice and has a good sense of humor.

The owner and builder of the amazing spiral staircase was Corte Contarini Del Bovolo and he lived here 500 years ago.

Most plazas had a cistern to collect rain water. Now they pipe the water in from the mainland aqueduct.

Garbage collection in Venice. Every day the workers start at 5 AM to clean the streets. Except for the graffiti Venice is very clean.

Venice is constantly being changed and renovated.

The Grand Canal is the largest canal in Venice and is where the wealthy live and where movie stars get married.

When Venice was young they dried their bricks in the sun. After they became powerful they used ovens of conquered countries.

There are 3000 streets, 180 canals and 450 bridges.

The fancy gondola rides cost 100 Euros for 20 minutes. Ours cost 2 Euros for a ride across the canal.

Facades with plants

John the Baptist

This is the front door of the textile factory that produces fabrics like these.

The looms are programmed by these cards which tell the loom what to do.

The threads make beautiful patterns as they are being woven into a fabric.

Some of the fabrics produced are sold to high class clients such as the White House and the Kremlin.

Purses and pillows are also made from the fabrics.

Cost is $500 – $1000

Everywhere you see green in Venice you know that lots of soil had to be hauled in to grow the plants. Our guide told us that there are 500 small gardens in Venice but they are very private and not easily seen. A nursery in Venice

In 2003 the Venetians started building this mechanical dam across the inlet to Venice to stop the flooding. They are in their final testing stages now and it seems to be working.

When I was in St. Mark’s Square yesterday I noticed water bubbling up from the pavers because it was high tide. A couple of hours later it was down.

Here you can see the variation in the water level.

Venice has a ground water problem. It is built on islands in a swamp and the ground water is getting lower so buildings are sinking. They are working on this problem and hopefully will solve it in the next 50 years like they have solved the flooding problem.

Talking about spices – they were the medicines of the renaissance.

Cristina talks about the addresses in Venice – they are confusing.

Greeting people in Venice and Italy

This is the largest store in Venice – 5 stories tall. The escalators bring us up to the roof where we are walking on the glass of the ceiling. Then the doors open and we see a fantastic view.

Leaning tower of Venice
Cristina is explaining that Venice is the worst place in the world to build a city.

End of tour

Dinner in Venice

Evening stroll on St. Mark’s Square

Music on the Square every evening

Basilica of San Marco:

I was able to walk around and take pictures inside the Basilica and see the wonderful craftsmanship of the workers in 1000-1100 AD.

Here is the view from the top of the Basilica.

The Campanile:

Views from the Campanile and the ringing of the bell.

The Florian:

The Florian is a fancy restaurant on St. Mark’s Square.

The following are miscellaneous photos taken on my last day in Venice:

Next: New Zealand in October, 2022. In the meantime I will be blogging about plants and Dawn Gardens in Grass Valley, CA

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