Buon giorno, Italia Day 2: See you again, Venice!!

We had a glorious day on Friday in Venezia (Venice) and then departed for Florence.
See you again:
There is no word for good-bye in the Italian language. “Arrivederci” is used  often and it simply translates “see you again.” And having fallen in love today with the beautiful city of Venice, I indeed pray to one day see it again, perhaps for a week or even a month at some future time. 
It was simply picture perfect. With perfect sunny weather, we had an amazing experience exploring the magic that makes up this city on the water. We had an early morning boat ride through the Grand Canal, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the city that was just coming to life. To see in person the sites that are familiar through photographs and movies was spectacular. When we disembarked by the Rialto Bridge, we walked through the narrow streets where merchants were just setting up their stands and the markets were putting out their fresh fish, meat, cheese, fruit, and vegetables. I’ve never seen so much fresh food as was displayed in the many markets.

Patti Murphy Dohn and Larry Hensley at Rialto Bridge, Grand Canal

Riding on the Grand Canal, one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.

Other highlights of Friday in Venice included:
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal;
Gondola ride was breath-taking as we saw the sites from the water;
Lunch at Aciugheta Cafe;
Bridge of Sighs as we left St. Mark’s Cathedral;
Gelato at La Mila Verde, a favorite of our tour guide Thomas. 
Fun facts on the Church in Venice:
After being previously known as the Diocese of Olivolo or Rialto since 774, and as the Diocese of Castello in 1091, the Archdiocese of Venice (Link: www.venezia.chiesacattolica.it), was established in 1451 and is also known as the Patriarchate of Venice, covering 336 square miles in Veneto. Their archbishop, known as the Patriarch of Venice and traditionally a cardinal, is Cardinal Francesco Moraglia (appointed January, 2012). His predecessor was Cardinal Angelo Scola (2002-2011), who is now the Archbishop of Milan where we landed yesterday.
Most interesting from my research, three Patriarchs of Venice from the past century have been elected pope:
–Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (1893-1903), who was elected Pope St. Pius X;
–Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (1953-58), who served as Pope John XXIII (1958-63) and who will be canonized in two weeks on April 27;
–Albino Luciani (1969-78), who took the name Pope John Paul I when he was elected in the August, 1978 conclave after Pope Paul VI died. Sadly, he died just 33 days later. 

JC students enjoying the marketplace before gondola ride
St. Mark’s Basilica:
The mother church of the Archdiocese of Venice is the Basilica di San Marco, named for the diocesan patron saint. This evangelist’s relics are preserved beneath the altar in the basilica. (The former patron saint of the city was St. Theodore.) I was able to get into the basilica after lunch today and loved seeing the beauty of this spiritual and architectural masterpiece.
Arriving in Florence this evening:
See you tomorrow for our Day 3 of my Italia Journal!!
John Carroll students and faculty at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice 

The relics of St. Mark are preserved beneath the main altar of the basilica that bears his name in Venice.

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