MY TRAVELS THROUGH ITALY
I'm in Italy!! After a long journey I arrived in Bologna and settled into my hotel, the Mercure Bologna Centro, right across from the train station. I have been really comfortable in this medium priced hotel. The room is small but has one of those deep European bathtubs. Ahh - soaking after a long series of flights - then the tourist walking.
So on February 10th - crossed the road and took a train to Ravenna, to the west of Bologna. It was home of Emperor Valentinian III, Empress Licinia, their two daughters, Placidia and Eudocia. It was also the home of Galla Placidia - who was regent, and ruler of the western empire until her son came of age. Valentinian's sister. Honoria also lived here as she shocked the empire by sending an engagement ring to Attila.
Today Ravenna is a vibrant city with a artistic flair.
I visited the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. I was in awe of the beauty within the plain building. The mosiacs are breathtaking!! It is a world heritage site and there is a need to protect the mosiacs from human breath as well as camera flashing. The sign said I could only stay there for a few minutes. But coming February I got to be alone with the starry sky above and the mosiacs of the good shepherd and others. Galla Placidia was not buried here. She died in Rome. Information from the visit gave me a lead on where she is buried. I'll let you know when I get to Rome. I feel a need to honor the great ruler of Rome, Galla Placidia. Some have called her the Twilight Empress.
February 12 I will cross the street with my suitcase and take the train to Venice! Arrivederchi Bologna. Domani Venizia!
Venice - Venizia
I arrived in Venice in February 12th - Sunday! I was swept (with suitcases) into a crowd of revelers for Carnevale. There was a water-parade on the Cannaregio Canal near my hotel. (That I finally found - after rolling over people's toes)
The hotel was Ca Due Leoni. It was wonderful with front desk person Nicoli helping me to figure out where to go and how to get there. It turns out you can do a lot of walking in Venice. It is very possible to get lost down alleys that abruptly stop. I walked over 10 miles during my 2 days here. I did finally learn the water-bus system - but sometimes it seemed easier to walk.
I took the 4.1 waterbus first - it took me to the other side of the canal. Oh well - it's an adventure. By the time I got to the Accademia - art museum - it was closed because it was a Monday. So I enjoyed wandering down alleyways - until I found the waterbus that took me to the little hotel.
That's when Nicoli gave me the lesson. That afternoon I took the 4.2 to Murano Island. The glass art is amazing. I couldn't afford any of it - so I took lots of pictures of the shop windows.
The legend is that Venice was begun in the 5th century when land dwellers had to flee the onslaught of violent invaders - from the Visigoths to Atilla and the Huns.
Somehow the far off marshes called to them.
They sunk posts into the sand and began to build.
Nicoli - my hotel teacher said that the artists in Venice - Tintoretto being one - used more vibrant colors.
It did seem that there was a pulsing energy in Venice - maybe it was there before the inhabitants arrived!! Maybe it was Carnevale!