The second day in Venice

Monday, June 20, 2016
Milan, Lombardy, Italy
In the morning we set out to visit the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducal) which is now a museum. It was a government building over the ages. It is built in Venetian Gothic style and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. There is room after room of splendor in the building and countless pieces of art going back to the Renaissance. Venice is seen as a major city of Europe that had been a city-state most of its history and only uniting with Italy in 1866.  

It was a court house, a parliament, and a reception area . It was interesting to see the interplay of religion and government over the centuries. The art depicted not only history, but interpretation thereof as well as imagination of what a human being is. Unfortunately, through the religious art, the true dignity of man is lost in self-serving purposes of religion as governance, but instead there is the deception of God's relationship to man and perversion as well. It all shows in the art.

It was a valuable experience to walk through the many cavernous rooms. It’s worth a read to acquaint yourself for starters in Wikipedia at

There are so many tourists. The actual Venetian population must be all the owners of the restaurants, shops and other services provided. When we walked over the bridge by the Bridge of Sighing, there was actually a traffic jam of people crossing the canal.

We wanted to go to the top of the St Mark's Campanile, the imposing 16th-century square cathedral tower with an angel-topped spire and belfry offering sea views, but the line was too long . There were too many tourists. So, we set off to the Jewish museum. Jews had a significant part in the history of Venice and a very large community. They were the merchants in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice which is a comedy about a bitter and detested Jewish moneylender (Shylock) who seeks revenge against a Christian merchant who has defaulted on a loan.

We tried to find the museum as the eight of us stuck together, but there was confusion on the map where the museum was actually located. We walked for about an hour and came to the wrong place. We saw lots of interesting things along the way and we saw the streets (called "calles") and the canals. It was interesting to see all the movement of goods, the gondolas, and water taxis go through the canals.

We decided to skip the museum that we could read about it later and went back to the hotel. It was getting time to get back on the main water taxi to get back to the parking garage and head back to Milan . The sights of the city and the experience of the Venetian society is truly unique on this planet. It was a most interesting and enjoyable experience.

Angelo and Ann Maria are anxious to get back to Sicily where their son Andrew will be having surgery to have his gall bladder removed. It is very hard on both of them.

We drive back to Bergamo which is about two hours. We pick up our luggage at the church office and then all of us head for the Milan Airport. Which is about one and a half hours west to our hotel where Bev and I will stay before our flight to Ukraine tomorrow.

Saying good-bye is hard. We have thoroughly enjoyed being with our Italian friends whom we feel we have known for years. We learned about how they help and support one another in every way: physically and emotionally. Their expressions are open and sincere. It was wonderful to watch and experience .

On the drive back Carmelo and I talked more church business. We also learned more about his work with Italian-speaking members and prospects in France, Albania, Croatia and Romania.  

Carmelo told us about an interesting development of families through his wife Antonella's cousin in Lyon, France who have shown great interest in our teachings. Over the Passover season 12 from five different families drove to Bergamo to keep the Holy Days with them.   
We finally got to the "First Hotel" near the airport and will be leaving from here for Ukraine in the morning.  

Here are misc. tidbits as we left Italy.

People we met in the Bergamo/Milan area: