Sunday, November 23, 2008

Piancavallo - An Italian Ski Resort

On Tuesday October 7 we stayed near Aviano visiting this picturesque town and the ski resort called Piancavallo which is minutes from the base.

The Resort was deserted except for some workers on the slopes.

Kevin balancing

Smileycons!The mountain air makes feel young.....

Resting after the beam workout on the stone shaped like a heart.

Deserted but Serene and Peaceful landscape

We ventured and took a little hike...and on the walk found a rock for Cliff.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Piazza San Marcos in Venice

The ride on the Vaporetto cost 6 Euros each which is equivalent to approximately $7.50 in US dollars. The vaporetto took us to Piazza San Marcos in English Saint Mark's Square. The Venetian pigeons are always looking for a hand out. I was greeted by one and she did not stay long at all since I had no food to give her. It was a nice surprise and she minded her manners.

Piazza San Marcos was crowded with tourists and vendors and fussy locals. One scolded Cliff who grabbed some crackers from a trash can to feed the pigeons.

While on the Piazza we saw the majestic St. Marks Basilica and Palazzo Ducale di Venezia (The Doge's Palace, home of the Doge which is the word for Duke.

The exterior of the basilica is adorned with mosaic murals and life size angel's statues.
Palazzo Ducale di Venezia

We walked the narrow streets and in each corner encountered wonders. It was so nice to be in a place with no cars around us. That is what is so neat about Venice. It is the ideal place to take walks.

All the walking made us hungry and we stopped in a tiny restaurant tucked in one of the alleys.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Venice - Unique in Every way

We decided to visit Venice first in part because it is so close to Aviano. We traveled about 20 minutes from Aviano Air Base to the Pordenone train station. We purchased train tickets and waited around 45 minutes for its departure. While waiting I made a trip to the potty. Kevin had warned me about the toilets in Pordenone Train Station which are on the ground. The whole experience was not bad as I thought. The trip from Pordenone to Venice took around one hour. The picture on the left shows Pordenone Train Station

I looked forward to seeing with my own eyes the beauty and uniqueness of Venice and I was not disappointed. I believe it truly is a unique place. Venice exists since the 10th century when it was considered a Byzantine Province and it was built on low mud banks facing the Adriatic Sea.

We walked outside the Venice Train station and came out to this open plaza, the Grand Canal was an incredible sight.

We walked in awe of the beauty surrounding us. Kevin who had already been to Venice suggested we take the Vaporetto (the water bus)to get to Plaza San Marco. This gave us the chance to ride on the Grand Canal which winds through the heart of the city and see the beautiful palaces and buildings. This is much economical and faster that riding the Gondola.

The Grand Canal
There was plenty of room inside the vaporetto, the most economical water transportation
At the mouth of the Grand Canal we saw the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute
Beautiful ornate architecture like this was in every corner
This picture represents a very old and not as ornate building but I was fascinated and in awe that such buildings are still standing up.
Artistic door knobs like this one are seeing on home doors.
This is one of my favorite pictures and it shows a typical narrow street in Venice.
We did a lot of walking and the best treat and my favorite was the gelato (italian ice cream). We paid 1.5 euros in Venice for one scoop but in some places like Rome you could pay as much as 3 euros.

Behold the amazing Gelato
More of Venice later on so..................