#1 Italy, May 14, 1986

img448We flew to Frankfurt, our gateway city from Minneapolis on NW Airlines, as we usually do. Jeanne, Bob and I rented img443a 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 img452img451of snow all around. There were some spring flowers img458peeping through the brown grasses of winter, and it really wasn’t cold, in spite of all the snow.


We stayed near Cortina img463d’Ampezza, a popular ski resort area in the winter.








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.



We took a water taxi from the car park all through the Grand Canal to where we reached a stop near our hotel.  We had a lovely hotel img466room that gave a great view overlooking the red rooftops.





Visiting Piazza San Marco with the Duomo, the Doge’s Palace and all the pigeons img470img475img477overlooking the Grand Canal was wonderful.
























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 img488worth it, though, since seeing Venice from the Grand Canal is great, but even greater was watching our img496handsome gondolier who looked a lot like Slyvester Stallone as a young man!











All those treasures that we saw img480included the Porta della Carta (door) to the Doge’s Palace with Venice’s winged lion img479prominently 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–

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