We flew to Frankfurt, our gateway city from Minneapolis on NW Airlines, as we usually do. Jeanne, Bob and I rented a car and drove south, reaching Bolzano for our first stop in Italy. What a pretty city, but it seemed more Austrian (which it was at one time) than Italian.
There was a statue in the piazza of somebody named Walther von der Vogelweide, who lived in the 13th century. Certainly that name is Austrian, not Italian!
After two nights rest, we pushed on to the Dolomites with gorgeous scenery and quite a bit of snow all around. There were some spring flowers peeping through the brown grasses of winter, and it really wasn’t cold, in spite of all the snow.
Moving on south we reached Venice, that most beautiful city! Venice is one big museum, made up of museums. What history lies here, including Marco Polo setting off for the east in 1271 with his father and uncle and being away for 17 years.
Of course we had a gondola ride all through the Grand Canal. I thought it rather expensive, but I managed to bargain down the gondolier to a more sensible amount. It was worth it, though, since seeing Venice from the Grand Canal is great, but even greater was watching our handsome gondolier who looked a lot like Slyvester Stallone as a young man!
All those treasures that we saw included the Porta della Carta (door) to the Doge’s Palace with Venice’s winged lion prominently displayed everywhere, and a 4th C. Egyptian carving called The Tetrarchs on a corner of the Doge’s Palace.
Venice was breathtaking, and after visiting many museums, eating many lovely meals, and walking (no cars, all pedestrian!) on many beautiful byways, it was time to move on to Ravenna. Stay tuned–