Venice is a crowded touristy city but in spite of all that we enjoyed it very much. One of the highlights was a ride in a Gondola. We both thought that would be just a tourist trap but it is a wonderful way to get the flavor of the city.

We also saw a demonstration of glass blowing by Murano artisans even though we didn’t have time to go to Murano.

The Doges Palace was especially interesting. We were impressed by the democratic government lead by the Doges. A Doge was elected for a short time and then must leave so power could not be concentrated in one person or family. Their constitution was similar to the one adopted later in the newly formed United States. It was also one of the first places to institute prison reform where prisoners were treated humanely. Most remarkable was the fact that the church although influential in Venice had no power at all.

Celia Bell 2012