Today we took the train to the swamps of Venice. We arrived next to the Grand Canal going right through Venice. We chased some pigeons and seagulls (I was very excited to scare seagulls because they are bigger) and crossed one of the three bridges that crosses the Grand Canal to reach our apartment.

Venice was built on a swamp. There was very shallow water (5 meters) so they drove wooden pillars into the ground to hold Venice up. But Venetian buildings are made of brick, so wouldn’t the places without wooden pillars crumble and fall into the ocean? But the Venetians compressed the pillars so tight together that it almost formed an island. That is why Venice is so flat.

When we reached our room we put down our packs and walked to the Doge’s palace. We saw tiny plazas, gelato shops, stands selling keychains and magnets, and much more.

We walked over a different bridge. The Rialto Bridge. The Rialto Bridge is one and the most famous of all the bridges that cross the Grand Canal. It is famous for how big it is and that it carries lines of shops. Back then it held shops of gold.

After crossing the Rialto Bridge we arrived to the grand plaza with the grand palace, the Doge Palace. We trotted over to the entrance and got into the Doge Palace. Alex really wanted to get audio guides but we did not have our ID so we could not.

We went up the stairs to the meeting rooms, the court, the armory, the jail, the church, the grand council and the judging rooms. The Grand Council was a giant open air room which was the largest open air room in Europe at that time. I found the Grand Council the most interesting. The Grand Council had the first 75 doges (kings) painted and one had a curtain put over and was called “the bad doge”. Though it was not a real curtain, it was a painted curtain. That doge is Marino Faliero. He was the 55th doge of the venetian republic and was appointed on the 11th of September 1354.

When we were done we went back to our room and got… GELATO!!! We happily enjoyed our delicious gelato and trotted around Venice, we went to the same plaza, and found where the trading ships would come in and drop off resources. We also saw where the grand canal starts. After that we headed back home, and peeked into an alley with lots of paintings. The artist showed us how he makes the domes and Gondolas and pillars. Our dad wanted to buy the beautiful drawing for 10, but he said it was for free. We brought the gorgeous drawing home and fell to sleep.