Venice, Italy - page 2 of A Love Story
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Venice - A Love Story, page 2
By Tim McDonald

And of course the architecture is art in itself. This is a city that has unfolded over centuries, but the architecture seems to have a thematic consistency about it: grandiosity through the ages. The Piazza of San Marco, the most famous landmark and gathering place of Venice, is ringed by stunning buildings like the Basilica of St. Mark's, the Doge's Palace and the Torre dell' Orologgio, known to English speakers as the Clock Tower.e previous evening, or is this for real?

Nobody knows who designed this fantastic public square. Then there is Doge's Palace, bearing masonry-cut, stone-colored marble: it seems impossible that its great bulk could be held aloft by those slender columns and arches.

I stand and stare for a long time at the soaring dome of the baroque Santa Maria della Salute Church, built to celebrate the end of the plague that killed over a third of Venice's inhabitants. From misery, such beauty.
So you consider all this, while realizing you are walking in a city – which consists of 118 small islands, interconnected by 150 canals and 400 bridges – that is essentially held up by wooden stakes over a spongy foundation of clay and peat; many experts believe the city is slowly sinking into the Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea.
All this everyday, sad beauty is a little breath-taking, especially to an American weaned on shopping malls and business-inspired generic buildings.

Story continues below the Photo
Venetian cafes, wine and music

So it's time to visit one of those famous Venetian cafes. Besides, beauty is best appreciated with a little wine to awaken the senses. Besides that, on a more prosaic note, it's lunch time. It's difficult to find, but I end up at Cantina do Mori, the Venetian equivalent of a wine bar. This is one of the oldest and more authentic old-style bars in the city. So what if I have to stand?

Continue: page 3 of Venice a Love Story

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