Monday, April 19:  An Exciting Day with Pigeons

Photo 251  A View of Venice from the Rialto
Photo 252  Feeding Pigeons in Saint Mark’s Square
Today I was woken up early again and urged to get down to breakfast, today I wasn’t late, but my brother got to the Nutella first. I had the same as yesterday, but my brother and mom grabbed orange juice (NOT GRAPEFRUIT!!!). My dad came late again, but Mom stayed with him, and we went upstairs. I read my book, until they came back and told us we were leaving now. I grabbed my stuff, and we walked outside, through the market. Our first stop was the Academia, but my dad stayed behind because he didn’t like paintings that much and had to do laundry. The museum was at a new part of town, so we had to ask an Italian man who was practicing his English and wouldn’t stop repeating things, so we hurried when he was finished. We passed over a big wooden bridge, with a good view of the church nearby. Next we went down a dark alley into the building, and bought tickets. We had to drop off our bags there, so we did, but my mom left her tickets in her purse, and she needed them for the turnstile, so she went back down to pick it up. The first room was Pre-Renaissance, which was very cartoony and flat, my favorite. The next few rooms were of little importance, until we came to a big room with many big pictures. My favorite was the formerly called “Last Supper” painting, until the church changed it’s name to “The Feast of the House of Levi” because it was too chaotic to be the Last Supper. There were dwarf jesters and a disciple picking his teeth!

Next we went down a long hallway and some more art, until we came to the big painting called the “Presentation of the Virgin”, which showed Mary as a kid being presented to the officials in a town. That was the last piece of art, so we went down the stairs, grabbed our bags, and went outside. I saw a camera shop that sold batteries, so I bought some because my camera ran out. Recharged, we walked back to the Hotel Guerrato, and picked up Dad. But while we were walking, I bought a cheap little keychain of a mask and put it on my backpack for a souvenier. Then, when we came to the Rialto, I forgot my camera and my mom had to go to the bathroom, so we went back while they waited for us. Then we met up and continued on to lunch. We stopped at a little sandwich shop, and I got two little pockets of bread with some meat I don’t know, and don’t want to know, inside. It was very good, and then we shared some dried apricots, that were also good. Full, we went back across the bridge and to the Doge’s palace. It was near the square, so we arrived quickly. But before we went in, we bought some seed and fed the pigeons. My dad said to stand as still as a statue with two handfuls of food sticking out, and the pigeons hopped on you! It was very neat, and I had a maximum of 5 on at one time! They pecked at you, but I liked it.

My dad then bought tickets and we put away our bags and went in. It was mostly a bunch of fancy rooms, but some had armor. Near the end we came to a huge room with a huge painting on the wall. It was the biggest oil painting in the world, and was very detailed. It covered the entire area of the great wall, and showed Mary and Jesus up top with all kinds of angels and saints everywhere. My mom read that a lady in the center was the painters daughter, being raised up to heaven because she died the day he finished it. You could tell it was painted over the others, but made it white around her to cover some of it up. After that we crossed the Bridge of Sighs from the inside, and entered the dungeons. It showed many cells, but then led to the gift shop. We were all very thirsty then, so everyone got some pop. I chose Lemon Soda, and we all drank near the courtyards. Then we went to the bathroom, left the museum, and fed the pigeons more. A mathematician’s (Dad’s) guess was that there were 2000 pigeons in this square! But you have to see it to believe it.

After that we decided to go home by a new route, out in a loop. I agreed, and we left the square. On the way we stopped to look at the water, but then left. We all decided it was time for gelato, so we stopped at a stand. There was a good price for 3 scoops, so we did that. I got vanilla creme, coconut, and tiramisu. They were all very good, and I had tiramisu ice cream for the first time. After that we finished the walk and got home. For a while I did some homework, until it was dinnertime. We decided to go to a ristorante near a canal, and it looked very good. It had a few people inside, so we sat down. The waiter came and I had a menu turistico meal, and it included lasagna, chicken, and french fries. The first course came, which was very meaty and good. After that I got a chicken thigh, which my mom also ordered, which we both really liked (TENDER!). After that was the always sufficient french fries. Thanking the nice waiter, we walked outside to find it was raining. I popped up my umbrella as we walked home for our last night in Venice. Tomorrow will be more driving!