VeniceVenice is the capital city of the Veneto region which was a independent kingdom before Italy became a unified country. It would not be right to have a Veneto webapge without mentioning this important city. I have some old photos taken in 2000.
- St. Mark's Cathedral.
Venice's No. 1 address.
- Inside the Cathedral. The main altar.
- Domes of the Cathedral seen from the Bell Tower of St. Mark's Plaza.
- St. Mark's Plaza seen from the Water.
- View from the Bell Tower at St. Mark's Plaza.
- San Giorgio Maggiore Island seen from the Bell Tower at St. Mark's Square.
- People at the Plaza.
- Islamic Influence. A building
next to St. Mark's Cathedral. Venice was developed as a trading
port with the Islamic world in the medieval age.
- The same Islam-style building seen from the Grand Canal. This building was one Venetian king's residence.
- Fresco of Islamic Traders on the top of the entrance to the Cathedral.
- Venice used to be a busy trading harbor. This is one of the paintings of St. Mark's Square of the 18th Century.
Grand Canal of Venice. It is fun to take photos while on a
water bus along this canal.
- A peaceful waterway.
- Also a busy waterway.
- One of the waterbus stations.
- Canal side restaurant.
- One of the churches.
- Buildings with Islamic windows, very popular style in Venice.
- Church building in ancient
- Rialto Bridge. Maximum engineering application of the Romanesque concept (vector division of forces).
- Rialto Bridge and the gondolas.
- Another busy bridge. I forgot its name.
- Gondolas and Canal-side Shops.
Venice is meaningless without gondolas and canals.
- For package delivery service.
- Another imaginative use of canals.
- Bridge between a building and St. Mark's Square.
- One of the narrow canals,
and a bridge between the buildings. There are many narrow canals,
like narrow streets. Here is a bridge
connecting two buildings across a narrow street.
- Canals serving as boundaries between the district. The Jewish Ghetto was separated by a canal from the rest of Venice.
- Not enough gondolas for tourists. They have to wait.
- Murano Island.
Venice's Murano developed glass industry more than one thousand
years ago. The glass products were major export items to the
Islamic world. Galileo's telescope lenses were produced in this
Island. Even these days, Murano crystals are top-class
items throughout the world.
- I would like to brag about some Murano items I bought when I was there in 2000.
- I purchased these items from Murano's Signoretti Furnace and Store. At this store, the salesman led me to spend more than $4,000, while I was not planning to buy anything when I went to the store. A very skilful merchant of Venice indeed!
- looks like this from the ferry boat.
- They prepare glasses in this way, and make the final product in this way.
- Marco Polo Furnace is one of the many glass factories.
- Tyson's Galleria is a combination of an art a gallery and an expensive shopping center, near Washington, DC (USA). There are many Murano items on display. Price range: $5,000 -- $50,000.
- Marco Polo
travelled around the world, but he spent his final years in Venice.
- He lived in this house, which now serves as museum.
- His house was on a canal side. When I was there (2014), I noticed Lithuanian tourists passing by.
- He used to drink water from this well.
- Marco Polo was buried in the San Lorenzo Church of Venice.
- Marco Polo gift shop is nearby.
- The Venice Opera Theater is not far from the Marco Polo place. This is main lobby of the theater.
- There are many interesting people
in Venice. It is not easy to meet Italians there. Among the many
tourists, more than one half of them came from the United States.
- American high-school students from California (2014). This photo was taken in front of San Marco's Cathedral. American students from Villanova University in Pennsylvania (2000). They seem to be coming from the wedding party of their friend.
- Tourists from Lithuania, on the canal next to the Marco Polo house (2014). I asked them where they came from. They said Lithuania. I then shouted "Gintara," which means amber to them. Lithuania is the world's No. 1 amber-producing country and they are very proud of it. Gintara is also a common name for girls in Lithuania.
- Two Korean ladies at one of the crystal stores in Murano Island (2014).
- Two tall Russian ladies I met at a narrow street (2014). I can open up the hears of Russian ladies by reproducing the tunes of the Russian march entitled Proschani Slavianki. My high school band in Korea used to play this march.
- Malaysian students studying in London.
I met them not near the Marco Polo house (2014).
- This Italian lady was very happy to process my credit card (2000). I was at her glass store, and spent US$4,300 for these items, even though I was not planning to buy anything there when I went in. She now runs Murano's most prestigious glass store called Signoretti. When I was there in 2000, her father was running the establishment, and she was in charge of accepting money from the customers.
- Two service persons at a
restaurant in the Lido island (2014). Not many Italians are in
this service industry these days. When I went to Venice in 1983, all
service people were Italians, while all tourists are from different
- Things are different these days. Most of them are from Eastern European
countries. They are highly educated, and they can talk about the world.
I enjoy talking about their countries.
- George Bush had a photo with Yulia Tymoshenko when she visited the White House while Bush was the president. You are invited to compare Bush's Tymoshenko with mine.
- Jewish Ghetto.
Jews in Venice played a very important role in history. They invented
financial engineering. Because they were disliked by the Catholic Church,
they had to live in a restricted area in Venice. This confined area was
called the Ghetto.
Before addressing the serious questions, let us look at some photos.
- Apparently there were two Jewish Ghettos. I am standing at a bridge connecting the Old Ghetto to the New.
- This bridge serves as the entrance the New Ghetto from the outside world. It is very easy to define boundaries in Venice. Use canals.
- There is a wide open plaza between
these two brides. This area now is surrounded by Jewish shops, museums,
restaurants, as well as an information office.
- In addition, there was military post with two Italian armed soldiers at the corner of this plaza. I asked one of them why they are there. He said "I don't know." This was a typical Italian answer.
- This plaque tells how Jews were led to the concentration camp during the Nazi occupation.
- The Old Ghetto is also a neat place. This is one of the narrow streets there.
- There are many traditional Jewish restaurants in the Old Ghetto. This is one of them. Here is is another one.
- There is of course a
Jewish museum. This museum is in the Jewish house
of prayer located at the New Ghetto plaza.
- This is the entrance to the museum.
- These luxury items show Jews were very rich.
- They of course took their religion seriously.
- They also had many precious prayer
- There is a map of Italy telling how Jews came to Venice from various areas.
After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (70 AD), Jews
dispersed across the entire area of the Mediterranean and Europe.
They adopted the languages and traditions of the places where
they were living. They are known as
- Ashkenazim (from Ashkenaz, Germany) - Jews from central-eastern,
and western Europe.
- Italians - Jews from central and southern Italy
- Shepardim (Jews from Shepharad Spain) - Jews from the east (Levantini) or from Spain (Ponentini).
- the Italian and German Jews formed the German nation,
- the Levantine Jews formed the Levanine nation,
- the Spanish Jews formed the Ponentine nation.
The three nations of the University of Jews.
- Indeed, this map raises the following questions.
- Venice served as a port for trade with the Islamic world.
Why didn't Jews come directly from their original land,
while they went to North Africa and Spain with Moslems as
- Mathematics, astronomy, as well as judicial philosophy came
from the Islamic world. Did Jews play any role there?
This is an important question, since the United States became the center of physics research thanks to those Jewish physicists who migrated from Europe to America during the first half of the 20th Century.
- Venice served as a port for trade with the Islamic world. Why didn't Jews come directly from their original land, while they went to North Africa and Spain with Moslems as equal partners?
- Alas! Venice is sinking. However, the Venice map tells us the
water level can be controlled with honest politicians.
copyright@2015 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified. All photos were taken by him during the period: May 26-30 (2008).