Venice in PhotosSaturday, March 16, 2013
It has taken me a while, but I've finally sorted out my 670-odd photos from Venice.
I've enjoyed every minute of looking back on our little trip. I won't bore you with all of the photos, but if you're curious, here's my Flickr Set. There are a lot of photos of doors in there, be warned.
Venice is a funny kind of place. It's exactly how you'd imagine it to be - lots of narrow canals, lots of beautiful bricked buildings, and lots of water.
It's full of colour and beautiful history. You can feel the history as you walk through the streets.
Nothing is stable, but somehow, it's all quite predictable in a wonderful way. The days aren't at all the same - different weather conditions, different timing, different moments all uncover an entirely different Venice! The city sleeps late, like it has to wake up from the last 1500 years. Buildings are constantly shifting. You can see it in the cracks, and you can see it the giant brackets holding the bricks together.
You can see it in the architecture. Like stylised fossils, the windows, doors and building materials are all remnants of architectural epochs come and gone. The layers peel back to reveal earlier hallmarks of times gone by.
But still, somehow, it manages to stay beautiful. Perhaps even more beautiful than when each style had its heydey.
Even though it looks old and tired, it just feels right. It's exactly how it's meant to be.
A city of water. Almost like Atlantis, but still - for now - accessible. The water level had risen quite a bit when we were there, and the raised walkways were making their way out onto the streets, around St Mark's.
The islands are beautiful too. They each have their own appeal, which feels mostly for the tourists' benefit, but is still wonderful. Every minute was like an adventure in a Venetian themepark.
And the glass! Nothing quite prepares you for how brilliantly the glass shines, how easy the professionals make it seem, how many colours there are. Nothing.
And although the weather was - at times - brooding, we were fortunate to be staying with two wonderful people who showed us around the nearby towns and villages. This is a temple in Possagno, designed by the sculptor Antonio Canova. The temple is now used as a church, and houses Canova's ashes. The weather was appropriate.
We were fortunate enough to have some good "weather moments" too - in Asolo, we enjoyed a bit of blue sky, and an appreciation for the start of spring.
All that adventuring and walking about is enough to work up an appetite, which is fortunate, given that the Venetians and their Italian neighbours provide some of the most incredible food I've ever tasted. Pizzas, pastas, gnocchi, gelato, breads, cheeses, pastries, more pizzas...
This is not a region you visit if you want to lose weight. Although, all the hills and stairs and walking about is a good way to work off those enormous take-away slices of artichoke pizza.
We had a brilliant time. Venice is one of the most beautiful city centres I've ever visited. We'd love to go back. Although we did all of the touristy things and visited the major attractions, there seems to be so much we didn't see and experience. I'm determined to go back and find the best tiramisu, for example. We can't pass that up, right?