Step into Venice, Italy!

Dearest Readers,

Mr. D. and I had a wonderful time in Italy.  What a country! Our Italian vacation focused mostly on seeing Venice, Florence and Rome (with a side trip to Naples and Pompeii).

Today, I’m posting some of our pics from our time in Venice–with a giveaway, of course! ;)

Onto the photos!

NOTE:  YOU CAN CLICK ON IMAGES TO INCREASE THE SIZE.

Step with me into VENICE, ITALY.

This city is beautiful!  There’s nothing like it on the planet.  Our plane arrived in Venice and we took a water taxi (How cool is that??) into the city.

This is our approach in the water taxi:

I’d been to Venice many years ago, but Mr. D has never been to Italy.  We tossed our luggage in the hotel and immediately walked about and took in the beautiful canals. 

This gown was in the store window.  I SOOOO WANT TO WEAR THIS!  It’s stunning!  This is the kind of thing I envision my characters wearing at the masquerade balls they attend in my Fiery Tales series.  :)

The next morning we had breakfast on the rooftop of our hotel.  This was the view.

This is Mr. D’s pic of me taking a photo of our view.  Mr. D thinks he’s funny.

The last time I was in Venice, it rained and I never got to go on a gondola.  I mean, who goes all the way to Venice and misses out on a gondola ride?  I wasn’t going to be denied this time! First, we were going to see the famous Doge’s Palace, then I was going to jump on the first gondola I saw.  Luckily, there are about a million in the city.  LOL

We raced through St. Mark’s square to the Doge’s Palace, and bought our tickets to see this incredible hub of political power in the former Republic of Venice.  It’s construction began in the 14th century.

The following are some pics we took while taking in the Doge’s Palace.

Two photos of the courtyard inside the Doge’s Palace, different angles.

Got a complaint against someone?  Venetians could drop notes into this slot (mouth) to report any wrongdoings to the officials at the Palace.  This palace housed more than just the Doge and his family.  It was the seat of power for the government of the Republic at the time.

Depending on who the accused was, those who decided his fate wore masks to remain anonymous. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?  If you’re going to condemn someone, you should have the courage to show your face.

The palace has prison cells in the basement, as well as cells on the opposite back of the Rio del Palazzo.  These are connected by the famous Bridge of Sighs.  It was a name that was adopted in the 18th century, thanks to Lord Byron, who eloquently relayed the sounds that could be heard from condemned prisoners as they moved from the opulence of the palace, to their prison cells, possibly never to see the light of day again.

The most famous prisoner ever held here was none other than Giacomo Casanova, who escaped in 1756.

The Bridge of Sighs from the outside. (Normally the walls on either side are not blue. Renovations are taking place at the Palace on the outer walls.) 


Inside the Bridge of Sighs as we walk through.
 Last look out the window at freedom from inside the Bridge of Sighs.

In December 1577 there was a fire that destroyed much of the palace including the massive, elegant room below.  The first is a painting of the room, done in the 18th century by artist, Francesco Guardi.  The second was taken by Mr. D.

It put a BIG smile on his face when he learned that the engineers saved the palace after the fire.  You see, Mr. D is an engineer.  After the fire, the architects reviewed the damage and advised that the room and the damaged parts of the palace had to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.  After the engineers assessed the building, they disagreed.  They stated that the foundations were still solid and the palace, including this lovely room below, could easily be repaired without destroying any more that had already been lost in the fire.

The Doge, thankfully, took the advice of the engineers.  :)

(By the way, Adam, one of the heroes in THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED, is a engineer, in historical times—inspired by my husband).

On to the Gondola Ride!  Yay!  These are photos taken as we drifted along on our romantic ride through the city. 

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT VENETIAN MASKS

This is the type of mask typically worn by a woman. The lips are sealed and there is a “button” inside the mask a woman was supposed to bite to keep her from talking, remaining mysterious.
Typical Male Mask. The square jaw that jutted forward allowed a man to talk freely, drink and eat without removing his mask.

Doctor’s Mask–worn during the plague.  The long nose kept him from getting too close to his sick patients.
I hope you enjoyed my photos!  Pics of Florence will be posted next Tuesday—with a GIVEAWAY!  What’s the giveaway, you ask??  Same as below!!

GIVEAWAY:  As promised, I’m giving away on of five beautiful glass necklaces I purchased in Venice—just for you, my dear fans.  :)  Giveaway open WORLDWIDE.

QUESTION:  Tell me your favorite period movie.  While I was in Venice, I couldn’t help thinking about Dangerous Beauty and Casanova. I LOVE THOSE TWO FILMS!  What about you? Do you like those movies?  Are there other period movies you like more?  It doesn’t have to be set in Venice.  Let’s talk films!  :)
Oh, one more thing!  I’m giving away a copy of one of my books from the Fiery Tales series HERE.  The contest on Manic Readers runs through until Oct. 15th.  :)


RULES for the Glass Necklace from Venice:

To win you must:

1. Answer the question or leave a meaningful comment.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. Must be at least 18 years of age.

Contest for the Glass Necklace from Venice ends Saturday Oct. 15th 2011. Winner will be selected at random on Sunday Oct. 16th, 2011.

Florence contest starts Tuesday Oct. 18th.  See you then!  *muah*

  • I guess I’m drawing a blank on a period movie… but I am absolutely in love with the Tudors series!

  • Love the picture of Venice. I went to Venice and Florence over twenty years ago when I was in college, and walking down the streets of Venice, and floating under the Bridge of Sighs remain strong memories for me. That and the most friendly pigeons I had ever seen in my life.
    As far as period movies when I was younger I loved the Three Musketeers from 1973 with Michael York and Richard Chamberlain.

  • Di

    I love period movies! But just like in my reads, I want an HEA. I love the Robin Hood movies with Kevin Costner & the one with Russell Crowe. It’s new movie season & the one about Shakespeare & the new Three Musketeer movies look like they will be fun. It’s so much fun to see a movie that was filmed in the place I’ve been. I was in Venice in 2000 – isn’t it fabulous & unique?! Looks like you & Mr.D had a great vacation – looking forward to the other posts.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  • I like Troy,with Brad Pitt,its a good movie and he is just so darn pretty to look at.

  • I have to say my favorite movie set in a different time era is ‘A knights Tale’, not just because Heath Ledger is hott, but because i love the idea of someone ‘changing their stars’.

  • I would have to say that my favorite period movies are Sense and Sensibility, Braveheart, Elizabeth, and The Other Boleyn Girl. I can name a lot more but those are the ones that readily came to my mind lol! Really enjoyed the photos of Venice!

  • Ivy

    I love Dangerous Liasons. I have Casanova if you mean the one w/ Heath Ledger. I need to take the time & watch it.
    These pics are awesome & that gown is magnificent….I wonder if it’s heavy..
    thanks for sharing them…

  • My favorite is Gone With The Wind.. Rhett Butler & Scarlet.. Civil War..

    Debbie
    Sdhl3@hotmsil.com
    Btw, your pictures are beautiful!!!!

  • What a lovely trip. My brother in law has been to Italy a couple of times for his work and he really enjoyed it.

    My favorite old movie and time peroid would be Gone With the Wind.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

  • Oh you luckies! Im so gonna go there one day. :) Its beautiful there. Wonderful pictures. *sigh* Thank you for sharing. Glad you had fun. Im so jealous! lol Thank you for the awesome giveaway! Those necklaces are beautiful! My favorite movie would be Pride and Predjice. I love it. I just watched it earlier. lol Thank you!
    gfc- shadow_kohler
    shadowluvs2read(at)aol(dot)com

  • May

    Love Italy ! I went there for my honeymoon so lots of good memories.

    Favorite period movie: pride and prejudice for sure!

  • Great pics. My brother likes Casanova because he’s a Heath Ledger fan, but my favorites are Elizabeth(Cate Blanchett) and Howard’s End.

    GFC follower

  • Oh, those pictures are absolutely wonderful, especially to someone who will never get to see those places in person – thank you for sharing them. The glass necklaces are gorgeous, too!

    One of my favorite period movies is The Illusionist with Paul Giamatti, Edward Norton, and Jessica Biel (2006 – “In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.”)

    Thank you!

    kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com
    GFC Follower, US Resident

  • Beautiful pictures, looks like you and your hubby had a wonderful time. If I were ever to visit a gondola ride would be a must do for me too.

    Movies, easy to think of great period movies surrounded in all that history. But Braveheart is my favorite for a period movie, men in kilts =) A close second would be Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood, such a romantic movie…

  • Sono multi geloso!!!Voglio andare a Italia!!

    Now that I got that out of the way. I think my favorite period movie would be King Arthur. The Clive Owen version

  • Katie

    I love so many period pieces Persuassion is a favorite.Middlemarch is another favorite and it has a Venice scene.
    It’s not a period piece but there is a good Movie of Katherine Hepburns that takes place in Venice I think it’s called Summertime.

  • What a great post, beautiful pictures! The necklaces are so pretty! I loved Dangerous Liaisons.

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Loved Braveheart. Cried buckets but then I’m a regular waterworks. Doesn’t take much to make me start tearing up. It’s most embarrassing.

    I’ve always wanted to visit Europe but it’s way too expensive. Guess I’ll just have to enjoy your pictures instead.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • i want blue glass necklace lol

    i never watch the dangerous beauty and casanova =(. i buy and watch it then =D

    but i love watching chasing liberty (by mandy moore), it’s story about a president’s daugther who can’t go anywhere without guard and because this movie i have knew and fell in love with some places like as : venice and austria, very beautiful place =D

  • Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures and some of the local history! I loved it.

    As for Movies, hmmm, I love historical romance books, the great thing about period movies is that it gives you a chance to see more of what it could have been like in those times… “Happily Ever After” and “Pride and Prejudice” are 2 of my favorites =D

    emilytardy@yahoo.com

  • The photographs are wonderful thank you.

    One of my favorites is DANGEROUS LIAISONS. Such a lot of immorality & intrigue I tell you.

    GFC: Mary Preston

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  • I haven’t seen many period movies so from the few i’ve seen my favourite is Pride and Prejudice.

    Elizabeth_14@hotmail.co.uk

  • WOW! I’ve been to France but now toy have me DYING to go to Italy! My favorite period movie is Far and Away. It’s full of action, humor and love. One of my favorite movies ever.

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pictures and being so generous!

    Gfc follower kel

    Poisnivyred AT gmail.com

  • Lila, your pics are magnificent. What inspiration and History. Thank you for sharing them with us. I’ll say Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Sense and Sensibilty with Kate Winslet. Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  • I love Italy and had the opportunity to visit Venice years ago but with your pictures I could relive all the memories ;o) Thank you.

    Enjoy watching movies – a good HEA and romance you got me watching *lol* Favourites are Pride & Predujice, Emma, Little Women, Braveheart, Sense & Sensibility, Casanova (love it too), Gladiator, Romeo & Juliet, Troy, A Tale of Two Cities, 300, Prince of Persia, … LOL I could go on

    BTW did you get yourself a mask from Venice? That is one thing I regret not getting while I was Venice but hopefully one day I can return for it ;o)

    bitemeash[AT]gmail[DOT]com

    follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect)

    Rita from South Africa

  • After seeing all your gorgeous pictures I have to say Phantom of the Opera!

    catslady5(at)aol.com

    follower

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • I love all your pictures. I hope to be able to visit Italy one day. It’s so beautiful.

    I love period movies. My favorites are Titanic, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Ever After, and The Young Victoria.

    iqb99@yahoo.com

  • Na

    Wow, it looks like you had a fantastic time! Italy is right up there on my list of places to visit. Someday soon…

    I love the 1900s period especially seeing it re-enacted in the Titanic. Glamorous dresses and newly minted cars.

    GFC follower
    Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful pics of Venice! I’ve always wanted to go there.

    My favorite period movie is Gone With the Wind. It’s so romantic!

    GFC follower

    angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

  • Oh Lila! Thank you for all the pictures and bringing back my memories of Venice. I’m a HUGE fan of period pieces. I love both the Heath Ledger and the David Tennant versions of CASANOVA. I also love THE DUCHESS with Kiera Knightly.

    I can’t wait for the pictures from Florence. Please post a picture of the David memorabilia :) Just the thought of those cracks me up. I still wish I had the nerve to buy a pair. lol

  • Amazing pictures! I am so happy you had an amazing time. Thats wonderful you travelled all the way there and have those shots as frequent reminders. Yep. I’m jealous!

    My favourite period is the Pride and Prejudice period for historical romances. Beside come on! Colin Firth > wet white shirt > Colin Firth!
    Probably my fav historical movie too.

    MichelleKCanada @AnotherLookBook
    another_look_book_reviews at hotmail dot ca

  • Period Movies – there are so many. First – Gone With the Wind – have loved Katie Scarlet O’Hara for years. Pride and Prejudice (anything Jane Austen) and Dangerous Liaisons.
    Your pictures were fabulous, great memories. I’m glad you and Mr. D had a wonderful trip.
    See you in the writer’s circle.

  • Gwen Hansen

    Thank you for sharing your pictures. I enjoyed the time travel romance Kate & Leopold, starring Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan.
    Count me in on the giveaway, I could use some new bling.

  • Love your pictures. I dream about visiting Europe someday. I like Kate and leopold, pride and prejudice, Casanova, and the tudors series. -elizabeth zayden

  • Pride and prejudice with Colin Firth and Jane Eyre with Toby Stepens

  • OMG I am so green with envy I so want to go to Venice & Rome. My Darling Niece went to Rome got engaged on the Step’s of The cathedral had her ring Blessed by a Cardinal & 5 passing priest.
    Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite period film,I watched it yesterday Love Mr Darcy Colin Firth my fave.
    BTW those Necklaces are Stunning.

  • Thanks, everyone, for you lovely comments and for joining in the fun!

    Kati–LOL. I’ll post David, just for you!

    Rita–I did buy a mask. They’re so beautiful!

    See everyone on Tuesday! Congrats again, Elizabeth Zayden!

    Hugs,
    L

  • Anonymous

    Micaela::

    The White Window Gown is beautiful. Do they sell them there??? They could make so much money by letting people Take historical pictures wearing them. ( kind of like at Canada’s wonderland).
    When I think Venice all I can think about is romance. I read a book by Viginia Henley called Seduced. Some of the book Took place in Venice and the girl used one of those beautiful masks so she could be with the hero in the book. Lila if you haven’t read this book it’s a must. It’s one of the first book I’ve ever read.

    Thank you