This is from my diary. I went to Venice as a student with two friends and now it seems as if this happened one thousand years ago.
Venice, July the 9th
At the Central Train Station in Venice. The Tourist Information Office booked for us a room for two nights; it’s relatively expensive as it doesn’t include a bath. The hotel is called Locanda Rossi and is close to the station. The room is very good.
Immediately after that we set off to visit the beautiful Palazzo Ducale. We saw paintings by Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiepolo, Bassano, as well as an Adam and Eve, two enormous globes, a large collection of weapons including italian, persian, german findings such as helmets, swords, shields, arrows, various antique mechanisms for machine guns. There we saw a piece of marble that had the following inscription on it in italian: "Chi ha pensier d'aquistar fama nelle arme, il piede ponga sopra questo marme". Whoever has in mind a fame in weapons to acquire, should put his foot on this marble. There were two rooms dedicated to Franciscus Mavrogenis or Blackbeard, of Peloponnese, a nobleman and senator of his time. The king Henry the Fourth, had made an offering to the soldiers who were killed fighting for him.
Then we saw the gaol (where possibly Marco Polo had been a prisoner, too). It was made of horrible, small and humid cells, and we crossed the Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs that unites the Palazzo Ducale with the gaol. After that we thought we could visit an exhibition about the Pharaohs that had come all the way from Cairo but the tickets were expensive and didn’t do it. Instead we went to visit the upper part of St.Mark’s Church, the 4 horses that are outside and the new exhibit, the 4 horses that underwent a repair, are now inside and look fabulous. After that we wanted to visit the Church of St.Mark’s itself but because we were wearing shorts we weren’t allowed. We’re going to do so tomorrow. Then we went back to the hotel after losing our way a hundred times despite the map that we were carrying with us and we ate panini and food from the tin we have brought from home. Now we are going to visit the statue of Carlo Goldoni, the playwright. Everything is so beautiful but I have sore feet.
During the afternoon we visited the Jewish ghetto, a very quiet district without many tourists. Then we kept on walking and I kept asking people where the Ponte del Purgatorio is, the Bridge of the Purgatory. A person my sister knows lives there and I wanted to know. As we entered a café with a million old women, a whisper spread all around “Ponte del Purgatorio” but nobody knew where this bridge was. They were all very kind. We continued with our walks and Maria made us cross all the bridges of Venice and at a certain point a black man selling bracelets approached us as well as three Italians who wanted to make friends with us but I sent them all away. Then we sat down at the Piazza San Marco in front of the big hotels and listened to the orchestras. One of them was playing Zorba the Greek and a strange American woman was dancing. Everything was so kitschy and awful. We were dead tired when we reached our hotel and went to sleep.