This was the day we did our "official tourism"; first stop: The Doges Palace, or Palazzo Ducale in Place San Marco Square.
The Palazzo was built for the reigning duke, who was an elected official. His private apartments, as well as administrative space and all of the chambers where the various bodies of government met, were within the palace.The very first Doge of Venice was Doge Angelo Partecipazio(Angelo is another of my favorite Italian names.) His original palace of 810 did not survive a fire, but the next one was begun a century later. Read more here: Doges Palace.
This was the only "tourist destination" that we chose to visit that required an entry fee; Valentine pronounced it "well worth it!" I agree!
Heading up the royal staircase:
They painted, inside of the gold plating and fancy sculpture!
For more photos; of the inner chambers we are not allowed to photograph, see here: http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/
Next up: The Bridge of Sighs, between the Palace where justice (or at least sentence) was meted out and the prison, where the inmates could hope for nothing further than a glimpse of their beloved lagoon and city. Not sighs of ecstasy:
View from the balcony:
View onto San Marco Plaza from the other balcony:
More statues in the courtyard!
I know this is a repeat, but I really like the candy-stripe marble on the facade of this palace: