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Date: Thursday, July 31, 1958
Place: Venice, Italy
Weather: Really warm!

Jan and I went shopping (got some white shoes – $5.60) and no-one spoke English! After walking miles, and having a Coke we started home and immediately got lost. Finally made a police-man understand about our hotel and made it back just in time for lunch, ravioli among other things!

Then came the train-ride to end all train rides. The heat was terrible and we were just covered with soot. Train ride lasted three hours – three hours too long, but Venice is really tremendous! The canals are their streets so we took a “taxi” speed-boat to our hotel, the Atlanta, which is located on the Island. We didn’t exactly like the smell, sort of fishy, but what fun to see the houses and buildings right on the water! I was the first one to take a bath and did it feel good – then on to another hotel to eat and flirt with the cute waiters!

After that the Rock took us into St. Marks Square where we left him with the group and took off by ourselves (Judy S., Marge, and I). We met these two dolls, mine only spoke French, what a riot, they brought us back to the Island, and then Judy S. and I changed our shoes and we walked all over. They want to take us on a Gondola ride tomorrow night! I love Italy!

Got six letters (one from Bill).

St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) is the central public square in Venice. It was constructed in the ninth century and named after St. Mark’s Basilica, which is located at the east end of the square. Other notable buildings on the square include Doge’s Palace, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Procuratie Nuovo. In 1735, the square was paved with stones in a design that marked off spaces for market stalls.

One of the most famous features of St. Mark’s Square is the iconic pigeons. For years, tourists have felt that feeding the pigeons is one of the highlights of their trip. Unfortunately, the pigeons’ presence in the square has proven destructive – their guano is highly acidic and once it soaks into the cracks of historic buildings and statues, it can weaken the structures. In addition, the birds peck at marble for the nutrient value of its calcium.

In May 2008, Mayor Massimo Cacciari made it illegal to feed the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square. Those choosing to ignore the law will face fines if caught.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco. Image courtesy of Scott Ingram via a Creative Commons license.

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