Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bridge of Sighs and Doge's Palace

For our morning in Venice, I had made reservations for the Secret Itinerary tour of the Doge's Palace. This tour lets you tour the palace as well as have a guided tour in areas not generally open to the public, including the torture room and Casanova's prison cells. They tell the tale of Casanova's escape with the caveat that the only record of it was written by Casanova himself.

The tour also includes information about the records and record keeping methods of the Doges over the years as well as descriptions of how the Doge, while the face of Venice, was also a bit of a prisoner because once appointed, it was a responsibility for life. We saw tiny rooms where secretaries and scribes did their day's work, and larger chambers where records were copied and stored. The governmental nerd that I am found it fascinating to imagine the work that went on there and made me thankful that while my own office space is small, I have a door, a window, and a computer!

The tour itself took about 1:15 but then we walked through the rest of the palace which took a other 40+ minutes be ause while we didn't run through, we didn't linger... It's just that big! They offer an audio guide so if you have time to spend there, it would be worth it to use the guide.

The part of the palace I was most interested to see was the Bridge of Sighs. Our tour guide the day before explained that it got its name because it is a passageway that leads from the judgement chambers to prison cells and that those persons passing through knew that the glimpse through the window would likely be their last of Venice, and they would sigh at never seeing their beautiful city again. The top left photo was taken from within the Bridge of Sighs looking toward the canal. The bottom picture is from the canal looking toward the Bridge of Sighs. The top left was taken from the window on the right.

The top right photo is from within the courtyard of the Doge's Palace.

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