St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace Explored by a Tiny Hippo

Tiny Hippo in Fornt of the Arco Foscari

Join me as I burrow about Doge’s Palace and the Basilica San Marco.

The Tetrarchs and a Tiny Hippo

These ancient fellows like to keep secrets.

Piazzetta San Marco

When visiting the Basilica San Marco be sure to visit the balcony for great photos.

Tiny Hippo Takes a Selfie

I was trying to master the art of the “selfie” while I was in Venice, did I do it right?

Tiny Hippo in Fornt of the Porta della Carta

Here I am in front of the 15th century entrance of Doge’s Palace.

The Giants' Staircase with a Tiny Hippo

This is the Giants’ Staircase, unsurprisingly, there is a swing just for Tiny Hippos stung across the stairs.

Mars and Neptune of the Giants' Staircase

The backsides of Neptune and Mars looking over the Giants’ Staircase, they have no shame!

The Courtyard Between the Basilica and the Palace

The courtyard between the basilica and the palace was lovely in the afternoon light.

Tiny Hippo in Venice

Hope you enjoyed my quick exploration of these treasures of Venice, until next time, toodle-pip!

Tiny Hippo and Leonardo da Vinci

There is a great Leonarado da Vinci exhibition happening in Venice, the best part is that you get to play with all of the machines!

Da Vinci Exhibition Venice

The da Vinci exhibition is being held in a church in Venice.

Tiny Hippo Testing da Vinci Tool

This device shows how ball barrings can be used to move Tiny Hippos around with great ease.

Tiny Hippo uses da Vinci Machine

This auto-locking wheel must have been used to lift very heavy cakes.

Tiny Hippo uses Cam Hammer

Leonard da Vinci must have used this machine to crack open nuts when he was feeling peckish.

Da Viinci's Vertical Ornitottero

I am afraid he may have made this flying machine a bit too small for Tiny Hippos to use.

Da Vinci Hang Glider

This glider looks more suited to my kind, I knew old da Vinci wouldn’t let me down!

Tiny Hippo and da Vinci Machine

I just don’t know about this one, the sign says it is a dredger, but it looks more like a cranberry thief.

Da Vinci Gears

After all the excitement of touring so many da Vinci creations I need to unwind for a bit. See you next time!

 

Church of San Zaccaria as Seen by a Small White Terrier

San Zacharia, Venice

This is the church of San Zaccaria, the facade uses a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles, circa 1400s.

White Terrier in Campo San Zaccaria

And this, is my dearest yellow ball, Spiky, circa 2013.

Tiny White Dog in Venice, Italy

My magnificent home is next to San Zaccaria, all the other dogs and doges are jealous.

White Dog in Front of San Zaccaria

My human is a champion thrower of spiky balls.

Happy Small White Dog with Ball

Without fail, I gallantly retrieve Spiky.

White Dog Playing Fetch at San Zaccaria

Spiky and I spend each afternoon in front of my church playing fetch with my human.

Cat in Venice

Cat watches our ritual from the window with great interest.

White Terrier with Yellow Ball

I have my awesome San Zaccaria and my stoic ball, Spiky, what more could any doge want?

Bikes of Ferrara, Italy

Ferrara, City of Bikes

Piazza della Cattedrale is located in the heart of Ferrara, and everywhere you look there are bikes.

Bikes and a Courtyard

In each alcove and portico there were bikes all in rows ready to go.

Bike Outside Hotel de Prati, Ferrara Italy

While the natural preferences of bikes was to stay together in herds, there were loners who were happy sought quiet walls to rest against, like this bike outside our excellent hotel.

Fashionable Bike in Ferrara, Italy

Some of the bikes were very dapper.

Vintage Bike in Italy

Others were more rough and ragged.

Red Bicycle with Basket, Ferrara, Italy

Most of the bicycles were adorned with baskets, everyone needs a good accessory, right?

Bike with Lucky Cat Horn

This lucky cat bike was tucked away in a secluded courtyard, it was very shy.

Dog in Bike Basket, Ferrara

Cats were not the only things to embellish the bikes of Ferrara, This fashionable dog was at home in his very own, blanky lined basket.

Castle Estense (Castello Estense)

The construction of Castle Estense in Ferrara, Italy was ordered by the Marquis Niccolò II d’Este in 1385 after a dangerous riot proved that the Marquis’ family was not safe in times of civil unrest, the architect employed was Bartolino da Novara.

Castello Estense at night, Ferrara, Italy

Castle Estense at night

Castle Estense and Moat, Ferrara Italy

The exterior that we see today was completed in the 1500 hundreds

Castello Estense from Piazza Castello, Ferrara, Italy

Here is a view of the castle from Piazza Castello.

Drawbridge of Castle Estense, Ferrara Italy

The castle can be accessed by three drawbridges.

Courtyard of Castle Estense, Ferrara, Italy

This is the courtyard of the castle. The two wells provided water in times of drought and the round stones at the far end of the courtyard were used as catapult ammunition.

Passage to Dungeons in Castle Estense, Ferrara, Italy

A passage in the dungeons that leads to prison cells.

Prison Cell Door in Castle Estense, Ferrara, Italy

Each cell was secured with three doors, note the small door for passing things in and out of the room.

Cell of don Giulio d'Este, Ferrara, Italy

The castle’s dungeons were not meant for ordinary prisoners but for high-ranking individuals who required strict supervision, such as don Giulio who conspired against the Duke in 1506 and was held in this cell for 53 years. He was released when he was 81 and energetically walked through the streets of Ferrara adorned in his clothing that was over half a century old.

Dungeon Prison in Ferrara, Italy

Here is the prison cell of Ugo, the son of the Marquis who had a love affair with his stepmother, they were both executed in 1425. In the left corner of the cell is the privy.

Dungeon Prison of Ugo in Ferrara, Italy

On the ceiling of Ugo’s cell you can see prisoners’ messages written with candle smoke.

We had a great time exploring this castle. Definitely take a tour of Castle Estense if you are in Ferrara. To see more photos of our trip to Ferrara select Italy from the category drop down at the top right of the page.

Ferrara Cathedral

Welcome to Ferrara, a city in northern Italy with spectacular architecture and wonderful sculptures.

Ferrara Cathedral at Night

This is the lovely Ferrara Cathedral, we discovered it our first night in the city and knew we would have to come back in the morning for a closer look.

Ferrara Cathedral, Front

Ferrara Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint George, it was consecrated in 1135.

Porch of Ferrara Cathedral

The porch of the building is supported by two Atlases perched atop lions.

Detail of Atlas from Ferrara Cathedral

Here is a detail of one of the Atlases and his lion, also a noble pigeon.

Nave of Ferrara Cathedral

This is the nave of the cathedral which is lined with saints, looking towards the entrance.

Saint Ursus of Aosta

A wonderful sculpture of Saint Ursus of Aosta.

Aisle of Ferrara Cathedral

The right-hand aisle looking towards bronze figures.

Bronze Statues Ferrara Cathedral

Bronze statues and crucifixion from the fifteenth century.

Madonna delle Grazie Chapel

The Madonna delle Grazie chapel in honor of the Virgin was created by Agapito Poggi and Andrea Ferreri in the eighteenth century.

Interior of Ferrara Cathedral

Sunlight illuminated the many crystal chandeliers throughout the cathedral.

Ceiling of Ferrara Cathedral

The walls and ceiling are beautifully decorated with gilt stucco.

The Ferrara Cathedral was a joy to behold and made a great beginning to our trip through northern Italy.