We took our first family vacation to Europe over spring break in March. We decided upon Italy because my husband had lived there as an adolescent when his father was stationed with the U.S. Army in Vicenza in the early 1970s and had not been back since, the food would be appealing to our children aged 15 and 12, and our son would enjoy seeing many of the ancient sites that he had studied in his eighth grade ancient history class. Our trip included the classic grand tour cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice plus a day in each Sienna and Vicenza (home of the famous Italian architect Palladio whose Villa Rotunda inspired Jefferson's Monticello). After a week of great weather, a gray leaden sky and rain set in for our planned three days in Venice. However, thanks to a weekend strike on British Airways, our flight was cancelled and we had to stay an extra day. The sun came out and I tried to retake many photos in the bright light. Taken from the Accademia Bridge, this shot is of the Palazzo Franchetti, now part of the Venice Institute of Science and Letters, which was located directly across the Grand Canal from our hotel. It seemed to me to be the quintessential shot of Venice with the canal and the domes of Santa Maria della Salute in the distance. The Italian flag mounted on the building just added to it.
Julie Evans, For the Baltimore Sun