Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 180 - Piazza San Marco

With no specific plans today, Linh and I set off to the main tourist area - Piazza San Marco to see the famous Basilica di San Marco, on the side of the enormous plaza, where tourists congregate and feed pigeons, even though there are signs everywhere telling them not to do it. It was relatively easy to find your way to the plaza, because there are signs everywhere pointing you the right way. In fact, if you ever get lost, there are usually three main signs pointing to either San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, or Ferrovia (the train station).

The plaza was filled with tourists, even in the cold season, as I'm sure everyone is curious to see the charming city, regardless of the time of year. I hear it smells pretty bad in the summer because the waters in the canals are so polluted, so maybe people prefer to come when it is less stinky? Like I said earlier, people took the opportunity to feed the pigeons in the plaza, throwing bread crumbs on the ground or holding their hands out for pigeons to fly towards. In the US, I think you are less likely to see people openly feeding pigeons since they are seen more as disgusting, pooping animals, but here, it's more popular and tolerable.

We took a stroll around the San Marco Canal, stopping to window shop at all the small boutiques and tourist shops. Venice is known for its intricate and meticulously designed masks, as well as its Murano glasswork, where you can buy anything from tiny glass animal figurines to gigantic glass chandeliers and art pieces. It is also known for its museums, where we got lost in an alleys and found a temporary exhibition to visit.

At night, we headed out again to window shop and peruse through the hundreds of shops lined on the routes where most of the pedestrian traffic flowed. For dinner, I had spaghetti with squid, which might not look visually appealing because the sauce is the squid ink, but it was one of the best Italian dishes I've had so far. Reminds me of some of the squid I ate in Manila, and I plan on making it when I get back home! My cousin says it's a simple dish to make, and I just have to find the squid and ink at an Asian supermarket...

Basilica di San Marco and the Campanile

Hyperborea - Anton Ginzburg

Piazza San Marco

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