Holland America Ship On Guidecca Canal  

Bill and Bill's
2011 Venice Trip & Cruise
Holland America cruise map  

Kusadasi (Ephesus)
Katakolon (Olympia)
    These many web pages chronicle our 16-day trip to Europe in September, 2011. which included 4 days in Venice attached to a 12-day Holland America cruise on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. The map above shows our route, starting and ending in Venice, and the list to the right of the map shows our ports of call.
Page 1 shows our Venice experiences. There are links to the other pages at the bottom of this page.

Venetian Flag Long Shot Of Guidecca
VeniceCiprianiHotel-poolrestaurant We enjoyed a 3-night stay at

The Cipriani (pronounced "cheap-ree-ah-nee") , or The Cip ("cheap") for short, is ironically, not inexpensive. It is often mentioned among the world's best luxury hotels.

Hotel website
  Cipriani - pool and dock
Venice-Cipriani-PrivateLaunchAtHotelDock Venice-CiprianiPoolTowardGiorgio

Click here for a 360 View of where we had lunch at the hotel (the deck over the water next to the "barber poles")

The Cip has a private launch which we used at least twice a day, tranporting us across the Guidecca Canal directly to the Doge's Palace and San Marco.


Hotel location on La Guidecca island:

Holland America cruise map



Venice was, at one time, one of the world's strongest maritime powers. It even controlled Constantinople at one time, which is why some of the gold, jewels and treasures of the Topkapi Palace ended up in Venice's San Marco Basilica.

Boden's big smile indicates arrival in Venice after the long flight, ready to take the water taxi to our hotel.

Approaching our hotel.

Hotel suite's "breakfast room".
One of those windows is actually a patio door leading to our private terrace.
We had breakfast on the terrace one day instead of the buffet breakfast in the garden.

San Giorgio Maggiore, seen in many photos of Venice. This beautiful church was designed by Palladio (1566).
We passed very close by this building at least twice a day on our route between the hotel and San Marco.
It is on its own island. You will see this church in the following photo looking back from San Marco.

Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the two famous columns at the entrance to San Marco,
the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro.
The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice.
One source says the two columns were brought from Constantinople and erected in the 12th century.
Another source says the columns came from Tyre (now in the Lebanon) in 1125 and there were 3 columns,
one of which sunk to the bottom of the Venetian lagoon as it was being unloaded.
The Venetians topped one columns with a statue of San Teodoro, the patron of Venice before San Marco.
The second column was topped with a bronze lion with wings, a symbol of Venice. (See flag above.)

360 view adjacent to the Doges Palace looking across to the island where our hotel is located

Venice artwork
I love this artwork that shows the Piazza San Marco, the Doges Palace, and the columns so well

a Doge's Palace detail that caught my eye

The facade of San Marco at sunset. The basilica is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in the world.
It was started in 1081 and completed in 1617.

I like this shot of Boden in the center of Piazza San Marco.
Odd, but there were surprisingly few pigeons there this time. Yay!

"The Tetrarchs", a charming exterior sculpture, has an interesting history.
In an attempt to stabilise the Roman Empire after the crisis of the third century,
the Emperor Diocletian (who will come up later in this trip) imposed a new Imperial structure:
a four co-emperor ruling plan called The Tetrarchy. This porphyry statue represents the
inter-dependence of the four rulers. It was taken from Constantinople, during the Fourth Crusade in 1204,
and set into the southwest corner of the basilica at eye level.

Detail showing the ornamentations at the pinnacle of San Marco's facade

360 views of Piazza San Marco
Piazza View 1 - showing the basilica, bell tower, and complete plaza with its restaurants and arcade filled with expensive shops
Piazza View 2 - We had noontime drinks at this restaurant in the piazza, the famous Cafe Florian:
While we were there, there was an orchestra playing in the bandstand.

I took this unique shot of the Campanile from under the arcade of the Procuratie Nuove (the buildings
on 3 sides of the piazza). I used the camera's sepia setting.

Santa Maria della Salute (finished 1681) is another one of those churches you see in many photos of Venice.
I just noticed it appears in all 3 of my section header photos above.

The Grand Canal is the busy waterway that snakes through the heart of Venice.
I took this photo from the top floor of the Ca d'Oro ("Golden House"), a beautiful palazzo,
so-called because it used to be have gilt adornments on the exterior.

Ca’ d’Oro is widely considered to be the most beautiful of all the palazzi that line the Grand Canal in Venice.
Its proper name is Palazzo Santa Sofia. It is not only one of the most visually stunning of all the palazzi in Venice
with its ornate façade, but also one of the oldest, having been constructed between 1428 and 1430

2011-030- Piazza di SS San Giovanni e Paolo
Piazza di SS San Giovanni e Paolo with the Hospital

This is a 360 view of the piazza:

The Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia) is off the beaten path, but we ended up here by fortunate mistake.
The Arsenal was responsible for Venice's dominance in the Mediterranean, being the shipbuilding and arms manufacturing centre. The Arsenal was the largest manufacturing complex in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution.
The photo shows the Porta Magna (Main Gate), built around 1460, the first Classical revival structure built in Venice.

Close-up of the statues at the Porta Magna

We attended 2/3 of a performance of La Traviata at the opera house, Il Teatro de Fenice .
"Fenice" means "phoenix". After burning and being rebuilt a number of times, it was renamed "Phoenix".
Then the theatre burned down again... twice.
The most recent fire was in 1996, so the current theatre dates from 2001.
By the way, the opera we saw was terrible, a modern treatment with minimalist set design. What a disappointment!
We should have just taken a tour of the beautiful opera house which is new but appears much as it did in the 19th Century when Verdi debuted La Traviata here.

After the opera, we went next door for a wonderful meal here at Antico Martini.
(The white columns in the background are part of the portico of the opera house.)

I ran across this plaque to the (re)discovery of Newfoundland by the explorer John Cabot,
a citizen of the Venetian Republic whose real name was probably Giovanni Caboto.
Like Christopher Columbus (another Italian), his name was anglicized.


On board the Nieuw Amsterdam

This is the view of Venice from our veranda.
The Nieuw Amsterdam was originally docked at the Maritime Port, then it moved through the center of Venice to this picturesque dock just above the main promenade of Venice, east of San Marco.
(See "Dock 2" on the map of Venice above - the map locating the Cipriani.)

Departing Venice, looking toward the main island of Venice.
Not pictured: the champagne in my other hand.

Departing Venice showing the opposite side, looking toward Lido.
The Venice Film Festival was taking place on Lido when we were in Venice, but we did not catch a
glimpse of George Clooney who was in town and normally stays at the Cipriani.


Click here to go to NEXT PAGE

Skip to PAGE 3 (Split & Athens)
Skip to PAGE 4 (Istanbul)
Skip to PAGE 5 (Mykonos)
Skip to PAGE 6 (Kusadasi & Ephesus)
Skip to PAGE 7 (Santorini & Katakolon)