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Traveling is by far the best thing I’ve ever experienced…and this time I left my heart in Venice! This iconic city, built on water,  conjures up images of gondolas gliding along shimmering canals, colorful carnival masks and festivities, delicious food and drinks, but lets not forget about the pigeons at the Piazza San Marco… I arrived by vaporetto from Tronchetto through the Canale della Guidecca arriving at San Marco Sesteri. As soon as I stepped foot on land, I decided to get my camera out of my purse to snap a picture of the Basilica di San Marco and surely, a pigeon pooped on my shoulder… I have arrived!! Uff so gross but I brushed it off and continued to find my hotel, ‘Hotel Ateneo’ where I would be staying for the next two days.

My inquisitive nature kicked in as I was curious to find out the meaning of the gondolas, because they all seemed to look the same, same size and shape. So I approached one of the good looking gondoliers, Francesco, and after showering me with compliments, as all Italian men do, he explained the following:

“Bella…you see the ‘ferro’ of the gondola?” (asking me if I could see the metal decoration on the front, the S shaped thing)…”Si..” Well it symbolizes the Grand Canal which cuts through the island of Venice. Then I asked him about the prongs sticking out on the top and he said they represent the six districts of Venice, with the only one that faces the other way being Giudecca a southern island of Venice. He then wanted me to ‘find’ the Rialto bridge on the gondola.…I just kept staring, so he proceeded to point at the arch between the prongs. Wow! I was completely mesmerized because I never knew about these hidden symbols. It goes to show the rich history one learns when traveling…

Hotels in Venice