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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Italy Part 8: Lovely Triangle from Venice

Those who have watched Hong Kong series "Triumpth In the Sky" (衝上雲宵) years ago surely come across with this Triangel doll. In the movie, both the heroins were so crazy about these small little dolls namely Triangel that they believe to bring them lucks and fate. When I was in Venice during winter, I bought a few for myself and my sister.

It is believed to be a guardian angel which will bring you luck and protect you from the evil

Triangel symbolizes as the Guardian Angel of Love. Story of these dolls....

The Triangel originated from a famous Italian allusion. In the times of ancient Rome, there was a kindhearted lady falling in love with a young man who was witched to be indifferent to the lady. The lady was so depressed and sit in front of the window crying day and night. Finally, her love had touched the Gods. They sent the Triangel to the lady which could make the witch appear in front of the young man. The young man realized that his true love was the lady and they had fallen in love again!

Now, in Italy, girls like to place their Triangels in their rooms and let the Triangels bless them.

Hong Kong series "Triumpth In the Sky" (衝上雲宵)

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Italy Part 7: Venice

Venice is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Veneto. It has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Bridges”, and “The City of Light”. It is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.




It took a pleasant 30 minute cruise from the mainland to get here and it was well worth it.

VENICE (104)The Riva degli Schiavoni in Venice is a promenade on the waterfront of Saint Mark's Basin, that welcomes crowds to the many market stalls as well as hotels, bars, restaurants along the historic walk.

VENICE (108)A monument to the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II on the Riva degli Schiavoni.


Riva degli Schiavoni is filled with people and souvenir vendors.

VENICE (16)Venice is like no other place on earth. No cars are allowed in the city and the fastest way to go between places has to be by boat on the canals that are obviously the blood veins of Venice. No wonder it is often called "City of Canals".

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Masks of all colors and forms. They are hand painted and in some cases handmade and are traditionally used for the Carnival of Venice but are also a great attraction for visitors.




Venice is highly targeted to foreign visitors. Numerous stalls with traditional theater masks and other more traditional tourist memorabilia.

VENICE (40)St Mark's Basilica, the cathedral of Venice, is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on St Mark's Square (in the San Marco sestiere or district) adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace

VENICE (42)Facade of St Mark's Basilica

VENICE (45)Also known as "The Church Of Gold". The cathedral takes its names because it houses a golden altar measuring 40 square feet and set with thousands upon thousands of jewels. Hundreds of other treasures culled from centuries of wealth and privilege also remain inside.

VENICE (194)The most important Byzantine lunette in Venice, at the entrance to the Basilica di San Marco.



St Mark's Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica, located in the square (piazza) of the same name. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.


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Piazza San Marco and its famous pigeons.

VENICE (23)VENICE (215) Venice is world-famous for its canals.


I don’t think a trip to Venice would be complete if you did not indulge in a gondola ride!

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Gondolas on the canals of Venice.

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VENICE (254)The gondola ride was really enjoyable, the aesthetic pleasures outweigh the practicalities!

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VENICE (283)All gondolas in Venice, Italy must be painted black, unless they belong to a high official.

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Gondola is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies.

VENICE (216)We took a tour of the amazing Laguna Murano Glass.

VENICE (218)Glass blowing demonstration which was pretty cool. The man was blowing a horse!

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Beautiful Murano glass lamp

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Vendor selling popcorn and snacks

Oh Venice is just beautiful! It was truly a charming city. Peaceful, classical and magical.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Italy Part 6: Florence (Firenze)

Florence (Italian: Firenze /fiˈrɛnʦe/, Old Italian: Fiorenza, Latin: Florentia) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is not only a beautiful city along the River Arno, it's filled with art, culture and history too. Bearing the title of Cradle of the Renaissance, the streets of Florence is really an open gallery which is an eye-opening experience to me. The famous people who have come from here and gone on to create history. eg Gallileo, Leonardo Da Vinci. This city was home to Michelangelo too.

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A bronze copy of the David by Michelangelo in the Piazzale Michelangelo.

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FLO (27)A view of the cityscape of Florence from Piazale Michelangelo. The church that is dominating in this picture is the Duomo, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Saint Mary of the Flower.

FLO (24) The tower on the left side of the photo is from the Palazzo Signoria, (also known as the Palazzo Vecchio or Old Palace), the seat of government in Michelangelo's time.

FLO (33)Vendors sell paintings at Piazzale Michelangelo. I bought one for myself.

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The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. . The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie).


Basilica di Santa Croce is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce.

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Statue of Dante Alighieri stands outside of the Basilica di Santa Croce which holds Dante's empty tomb. The pedestal of the statue reads "To Dante Alighieri From Italy 1865" and is flanked by lions, the traditional guardians of the city.

Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His central work, the Divina Commedia, is often considered one of the greatest literary works composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.

From the Basilica di Santa Croce, we walked a short distance to the Piazza della Signoria and it’s Signoria Palace. The was the seat of the early government of Florence.

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The "bronze equestrian statue of Cosimo I" by Giambologna (1594). Cosimo I was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574, reigning as the first Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569.

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The Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1575)

FLO (50) The Neptune figure, whose face resembles that of Cosimo I, was meant to be an allusion to the dominion of the Florentines over the sea. The figure stands on a high pedestal in the middle of an octagonal fountain. The pedestal in the middle is decorated with the mythical chained figures of Scylla and Charybdis (a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other).

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Benvenuto Cellini's statue Perseus With the Head of Medusa

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FLO (54) "The Rape of the Sabine Women", by Giambologna.

In the legendary history of Rome in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families. (In this context, rape means "kidnapping")

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FLO (14) The Basilica di Santa Maria is the cathedral church (Duomo) of Florence with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until the modern era, the dome was one of the largest in the world, being surpassed in width only by that of the Pantheon in Rome. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

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Main portal of the cathedral

FLO (65)The cathedral complex includes the Baptistry and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the Historic Centre of Florence.

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The Florence Baptistry or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John)

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