Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.“ – Frida Giannini
This is a very late post about our visit to Venice but really worth sharing. Let me start by sharing some photos that I took myself with my camera and share about our wonderful experience in this city .I had a secret wish after this holiday.
“ If I have the chance to choose another place to live, I would like to live in Venice…“
Venice, as I see it!
The first word that I have heard when we entered ” Veneto ” is Ciao and Prego. We had a quick stop to look for a Gelato shop , you see we can´t wait to have it.Me and my daughter are having fun looking out for signs if we are in Italy already so when we finally see the sign “Veneto” , we are super excited! She can´t stop saying “Ciao, bella Venezia!” of course, with an accent.I think they are lovely words, don´t they. Not like all the stiff German words that we speak everyday. Very appropriate for daily conversations with the locals, like Ciao Gelato, Prego Salami Pizza or Spritz, and yes, Grazie!
Venice is incredible. Although you may have seen it in pictures, you can’t grasp how beautiful it is until you visit.
Our first sights of Venice were the speeding boats, the canals, and the architecture. The Grand Canal, the autobahn of Venice is busy.View from the train is just a normal port, docks, and a koleidoscope of parked cars and motorbikes. I need to pinch myself reminding me that all of what I am seeing is real. The architecture is sublime. The Gondolas are beautifully crafted. The stillness of the lagoons are far even better than the pictures.The magic starts when we walked through our first Bridge–Ponte della Constituzione.We call it the glass bridge because it seems like we are walking on glass, with fishes underneath.
In front of us is a rush of Venetian BaggagePorters, or the Portabagagli.They have this cart where they carry heavy luggages in their back for the tourists who decides to stay in the city of Venice.I heard the price can range to 50Euros per luggage and another 10Euros for other extras. I kinda ache when I see them. Those bags are heavy and needs to be carried through all those steps.Their job is to carry your trolley bags through the 400+ bridges, depends on the location.I only carried a backpack, my camera and water and yet I got tired of it. But these people need to earn their living and thrived on Tourists.
When I seek another word for ‘music’, I never find any other word than ‘Venice’.- Friedrich Nietzsche
It´s hard to describe Venice in one word, but the word beautiful will do, in many many ways.It´s also complicated but very mysterious.Anyway, for me Venice is unique, eccentric, and unforgettable. Why?, I used all these adjectives because I think this place really deserve it. There are millions of articles and stories about this place also travel blogs written about it, but I guess you´ll never really understand it unless you see it with your own eyes. The moment we get out from the train in Sta. Lucia, the smell of Venice is quite different, it doesn´t stink at all as what I´ve read about.The Lagoons, the port, the boats, the crowds, and the hustle and bustle in “Rialto Bridge” is really amazing, plus everybody is just happy and smiling, at least people are not bothered by Corona anymore or at least they remove their masks while doing selfies.
We visited in times of Corona so we took it really slow, walking low key and opted to escape the crowds as much as possible.At least in the secret alleys where few people gathers, we can have all the photos we like.It only takes a few minutes then people would come out, our teritory is not ours anymore. But we can´t resist as well the charms of the grand Palazzo Ducale and St. Mark´s Basilica in the famous San Marco as well as the colorful island of Burano.We even found a garden, a little park but the playground were fenced. I guess it´s not our lucky day to play in the playground.
A challenge though, finding the narrowest alley can be tricky , maybe yes, or maybe not, google maps might not work.But then if you managed to do that, then you are definitely enchanted by Venice. In the end, it´s okay to get lost.
The trouble is, walking in Venice becomes compulsive once you start. Just over the next bridge, you say, and then the next one beckons.
–Daphne du Maurier
When I read the quote above, I knew that it explains exactly what I felt. The moment we started walking, we always ended up to these famous places, as if we are really destined to see it.It comes naturally like we don´t care.It´s crazy because when you walk in between the tiny streets,looking up the charming Venetian houses, it´s like a big labyrinth, a maze that you can only solve if you continue to walk, it´s actually the only way to know your bearings.
The Gondolas have their own charisma, that is really a fact. The thing is, you are not in a romantic movie, you are in Venice.Isn´t it amazing to see nowadays a boat being manually-driven? A boat which makes so little sound and you can´t hear a single motor roar? Watching them smoothly glide from the narrow canals and lagoons is really interesting. The Venezian masks and Gondolas were like a page in history and yet seeing them for real was like a time-travel for me. The romantic ambiance in this city is just so real and yes-unfiltered! Watching couples doing selfies always fits in every bridge, in every corner.
We parked our car in Tronchetto and we rode a train to go in Venice and at this point I still feel that we are in a normal city.It´s still amaze me that everything in Venice is navigated only by boat, water Taxis, Vaporettos and Gondolas. There are no cars, no bikes, no scooters, no train or bus.Rain or shine, winter or fog, any weather, people ride their boats and commute on water.
After all, Venice is best seen through the waters.
Many times during the day, I have seen an ambulance (in a boat form!) numerous times speeding through the Grand Canal and all the other boats are making way for it, just like in the normal highway and Autobahn. Surprisingly, water traffic is also real and was amazed that they also have speed limit .In general, vaporettos (water buses) and traditional wooden boats tend to take it slower than water taxis.
As far as colors are concerned, well Venice is a great pallette.The colors of Venice are very rustic, gold, and the houses along the canals looked old, rugged but it it just the way it is, since they are almost 2000 years old! Every little nook, quaint tiny windows where the Gondolier´s uniform hang is quite a magical sight to watch. There are no cars but you can see different boats . I have seen many abandoned houses which kind of looking creepy, but then I wondered why it was abandoned. The rent is so steep that the locals can´t afford it anymore or they are just driven out of it?Sad truth though…
Imagine living in one of these houses in front of the Grand Canal and witnessing the daily chaos everyday? But first, any day won´t be complete without “Gelato“.We found this little nook, totally forgot it´s name, but their Gelato were really good. I am not so fond of ice cream here in Germany but ironically I love Gelato.I´ve heard that most Italians prefer their Gelato as a late afternoon snack and after dinner treat.The person in a “Gelateria” serving it is called “Gelati”.
And why eating Gelato three times a day is like a dream for children, and adults too. Of course, we can´t say no to this region´s pride-Tiramisu!
Why every corner, every nook is different from the other?Many times I though I´ve already seen it, but then it´s just different from the others.
Tourists and locals going on along like an endless charade, a real life Opera. Inside the water bus, I stand beside an old lady with a little girl which I think at age of 10. They have been shopping,as I saw the plastic bags full of vegetables, fruits, and other grocery stuff. They both wear mask as we did. They are headed probably back home or might need to do another stop-over. Across me were a young couple, they speak Spanish and needed help with the camera, they wanted to make a selfie but couldn´t find a right angle.While the rest of us are busy clicking our cameras and admiring the houses by the Grand Canal, they are living their everyday errands.
I wonder if they are also amazed by how wonderful their city is? For them , a boat ride means doing things to be done, and for us yes, sightseeing, an exhausting time to see what´s need to be seen, collecting amount of photos and memories.
I am a lover of Architecture and in Venice, I have seen what I can handle, well almost, but I think I haven´t seen everything. My favourite so far was the Doges Palace. It´s the place where the ruling council resides. We had a tour of this Palazzo (thanks to the rain!) and I was totally even more amazed by it´s history and interiors. Grandeur is an understatement to describe this place. The bridges who connects houses, palace, gardens and people is an enigma to me up until now. Inscripted in the walls of the Palazzo Ducale is NVNQVAM DERELICTA, means “Never abandoned”.These words stands rightfully to Venice, considering how many siege it endured.
And if you look closely, some sights really have fascinating stories. I didn´t know that the Bridge of Sighs , the Ponte dei Sospiri connecting to the Palazzo Ducale to the New prisons over Rio di Palazzo has something interesting worth telling. It´s in this bridge were the prisoners have their last beautiful view of Venice before they go to their cells, as Giacomo Casanova tells in his memoirs. An old tradition also says that if a couple kiss in a gondola beneath the Bridge of Sighs in Venice at sunset while the church bells toll, they will be in love forever.
I hope to see Venice once again, with it´s vibrant life, probably see it more in the nightime or in not so busy summer days, with its charm and less tourist drama.I spended 3 days in this city and yet I am still curious. My time was so short compared to this city´s time span-400 A.D! I think it´s impossible to truly understand Venice´s immense history and culture within a short timeframe…maybe in that time I would understand why the locals tend to always talk with their hands, why drinking Espresso is a golden time and why their masks seemed so alive.
Time had passed so quickly….so there it goes, Venice, as I see it.I, not only love Venice but the Veneto region as well. It´s pretty vineyards,charming old medieval town landscapes, and of course, who can´t fall in love with the Dolomites?
Until then, Tschüss.
8 thoughts on “Ciao, bella Venezia.”
Nice post. Venice is on my bucket list for a while.
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It is a magical looking place and so very old. Sad to hear that the buildings are abandoned. Is it because of flood damage or the rent too high or both?
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A city to fall in love with. No doubt about it!
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Thank you.It is a very old city and so many rich history. I am just glad I have given the chance to see it once in my life.
I watched a documentary where a native Venetian is homeless, she is a single parent and because of the pandemic, lost her job and tries to find a way to live. She had no choice but to occupy an abandoned house since she cannot afford to pay the steep rent. Houses are converted into AirBnB´s and Hotels for the massive tourism but the locals can´t keep up with this.
Very sad truth indeed.
Thank you Amanda for your interest in this subject. I was really surprised to see it in Venice.
Homelessness is not something you equate with a modern country with social welfare. But free enterprise gone mad and tourists hungry for the Viennese experience means she is likely not the only homeless person in Venice.
We were there a couple of times but always from across the lagoon. We never actually stayed in Venice. Would be fabulous to see it again after all these years.
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