April 02, 2015

"B" is for Bell Tower

I love the sound of a tolling bell. And in Italy where there’s a bell there’s often a bell tower, or campanile, nearby. If you climb to the top of a bell tower on a clear day you’ll see the city from a whole new perspective. In Venice, the most popular bell tower is the campanile of St. Mark’s Basilica on Piazza San Marco. The tower also has an elevator.  Some don’t.



The Bell Tower of St. Mark's


One evening we gathered in the piazza to listen to the orchestra at Caffe Lavena and there were children launching little helicopter toys with a sling-shot device. The helicopters lit up as they took flight and soared almost as high as top of the tower.






We chose to visit another bell tower across the lagoon on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. This tower also has an elevator but, unlike St. Marks, there was no lineup. We also got a closer look at an interesting piece of art in front of the church called The Sky Over Nine Columns by Heinz Mack. The installation was part of Venice Architecture Biennale 2014.


San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice



The Sky Over Nine Columns, Heinz Mack


From the top of the bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore we got a wonderful view of the St. Mark's bell tower and the Doge’s Palace across the water.


San Marco and the Doge's Palace


I was so captivated by the panorama below that I forgot all about the bells hanging above me. At the top of the hour the bells chimed so loudly I had to cover my ears. And I was glad it was only one o'clock!



The Bells of San Giorgio Maggiore



10 comments:

  1. The bell accident sounds like something that could happen to me and I probably would hit the twelve o´clock. I could almost see you crouch and cover your ears in the picture. Your theme is so interesting and I really enjoy it. It´s like I get to travel around Italy from home. Great photos once again and I now know which towers to visit (lazy me want an elevator).

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    1. Thank you! And when the weather is really hot an elevator is the only way to go!

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  2. This post reminds me I must visit Venice again. It's several years since I was last there.

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    1. I hope you do. There's so much to see.

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  3. Rained every day I was in Venice. Wish I had some lovely photos, lol.

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    1. That sounds like my first visit to Venice too. Second time was sunny and oh so hot!

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  4. I like bells and bell towers too. I was in St. Marks Square in 2012, but didn't know climbing the tower was and option.

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    1. I've only climbed one other tower, Notre Dame in Paris, and there's no elevator. That was quite the workout but worth it for the view.

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  5. I went to Venice a couple of years ago with a friend (it was the last stop on our trip around Italy) and I fell in love with the city and especially St. Mark's Square. I'd love to go back again some time.

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    1. There's something really special about Venice. I've always wanted to sit in St. Mark's Square in the evening and listen to the orchestras. On my first visit the weather was bad but this time we really lucked out. It was magical! I hope you get a second chance!

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