Venice in Photos
Venice, ItalyStride down the Canal Grande like Venetian aristocracy as your gondolier shows you the beauty of palaces like Palazzo Babarigo adorned with Murano glass mosaic, before entering the labyrinthine backwaters of the city. Hop off on street level and get lost so you crisscross little bridges, sip on a Belini and make it a mission to find the famed Rialto Bridge. For a real-deal Italian bite in the world’s most romantic city, get a local to guide you to Taverna del Campiello Remer, a rustic eatery tucked into the back of a quiet square by the stream. As daylight turns to night, take in the glittering panoramas of Venice reflected into the lagoon from aboard the m/v Tere Moana.
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Take a look at the basilica as well, which melds Romanesque and Byzantine influences. In fact, the four horses atop its façade were literally pillaged from Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in one of the darker episodes in the history of Venice.
Much of the magic of Venice is the joy of simply getting lost wandering its labyrinth of canals and alleys. So start walking in any direction from the square—you’re in no danger of getting too lost as you’ll dead end at the lagoon before you get too far.
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Lanterns Across the Piazza
As soon as we arrived in Venice, we quickly realized that the best thing to do was throw away our map and just wander, and that's exactly what we did. We loved that as we wound through the city's labyrinthian streets we never knew what we'd find around the next corner. We spent an entire day exploring every nook and cranny of Venice, and I was blown away by how much beauty the city's most mundane objects had. Magical Venice is a must-see on any trip to Italy!
Gold and Blue
"Who's out there?"
At one point I noticed this woman taking in the view from her upstairs apartment. I had to wonder how long she had lived in this beautiful city and all the things she had seen from this window during her lifetime. My husband and I spent an entire day exploring every last corner of labyrinthian Venice, and I was in awe of just how much beauty the city's most mundane objects had. Venice is a must-see on any trip to Italy!
"Do you like your lunch?"
Lost and Found - Part Two
Lost and Found - Part Three
Good Morning, Venice
Little Ray of Sunshine
Again, it is hard to give an exact location as when I was taking this photo I was blissfully lost.
Little Yellow Square
Lost in Venice
Rule of Venice: One must return home with a mask.
Light as Air
There's nothing better than strolling along Venice's amazing canals or sitting on a bench taking in the dazzling Grand Canal while nibbling on a delicious Venetian treat.
Most every town we visited - small to large, Tuscany to Florence and everywhere in between - inexplicably described "americana" pizza as being topped with bacon and eggs!
While we never tried the bacon and egg pizza, it always made us smile when we saw it described on the menu.
Let go in Venice
A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet interior canals, from an on-the-water point of view that you will never get as a pedestrian. Gliding on the water is also a lovely rest from the crowds on the street.
Most fascinating, however, was our gondolier, who provided us with a history of his profession, a job which often is passed down from generation to generation, in much the same way at the Thames Watermen in London. A few fun facts we learned: a new gondola, costing tens of thousands of Euros, is typically provided to a young gondolier as a gift from his father, upon his father's retirement; each gondolier must pass a rigorous navigation, handling, and swim rescue test; the busiest time of year is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Carnevale.
Get Lost in Venice
There is no greater pleasure than getting lost in Venice. Get off the main streets, wander down the narrow alleyways, walk in circles.
Grab an espresso or gelato, then wander some more. Done!
Backpacker Blues in Venice
Spaghetti alla Scoglio
This meal was delicious - the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the seafood was fantastic. Best part of the meal though, was when our waiter brought us small shot glasses of bootlegged homemade limoncello to finish off our meal!
View in Venice
Words would be superfluous...
Petit Desserts in Venice
Who said only the French can make pastries?
Alone in Venice
It's summer, isn't it?
Carnevale in Venice
An Evening at the Rialto
After missing my flight home (the perils of stand-by), I was facing an unexpected day trapped in Venice. This would have been fabulous if I’d had more than 7 euros to my name and the entire city’s hotels weren’t booked up due to a local holiday.
I was carrying 200lbs of luggage in the pouring molten gold that is Venice’s May sunlight, going from door to door, asking for any room to at least store my luggage. Finally, I broke down and cried after being turned away for the 20th time.
Stranded and poverty-stricken, the hotel manager took pity on me and led me to a janitor’s closet in the corner. It was fitted with a cot and a sink and had a lock on the door. A home for the night.
All my money spent, I sat on the steps of the Rialto Bridge that evening watching the lights reflecting in the water and the gondolas gliding by.
An Italian family joined me and we chatted all night. They had two children, ages 8 and 10, who practiced their English on me. I practiced my Italian with them. They shared their pizza with me, and I shared my last water bottle full of Pinto Nero with them.
I went to bed that night in the janitor’s closet, happier and more in tune with the true Italian nature than I’d been in my entire three months of study.
Preparing for dinner
Ambling Around Venice
Snow in Venice?
Gondola, Gondola, Gondola
Lost in the Crowd and Loving It!
Buildings of the Grand Canal
You Will Get Lost In Venice.
If Doors and Windows Could Talk...
You can't say that only in recent times has Venice become such a tourist trap. It was founded by people who were fleeing the Goths and hoped that it's harsh marshy lands would make a good hiding place. They were right. They invented an entire new way of building just to survive. Over time it became the most cosmopolitan city, trading sea port, and major Grand Tour stop which ment that everyone who was anyone went to Venice. So really it's just a thousand years of tradition that attracts the world by the millions. But, that thousand years of experience at tourism doesn't seem to make Venice any less insane. There was graffiti all over the Rialto Bridge. There was a huge advertisement covering the Bridge of Sighs. The Gondola parking lot is in front of the Hard Rock Cafe. Still everyone should see Venice at least once in their lifetime. It's a marvel of genius engineering combined with some of greatest art the world has known. It's tough being popular.
The real life in Venice
Stepping Back in Time
Vacation in Venice with Kids
Best Bet for a Museum visit in Venice: The Peggy Guggenheim Museum: The 3rd edition of the International Kids’ Carnival. Or better yet Free workshops for children ages 4 to 10 take place every Sunday at 3:00pm at the museum. See museum website below for more details.
The Dying Art.
And then there are the stamps.
At every location that I went to in Europe over my trip in July, I sent letters adorned with stamps from that country. Something about conversing with the locals about stamps and postage rates is superbly enthralling. Maybe it is because they hold in their hands the answer to whether or not your international correspondence will ever make it to its destination...which is sort of a *big deal*.
But, seriously. Post offices are key.
These postage stamps, bought from a post office hidden between two side-streets in Venice--used whilst sitting at a table next to one of the gorgeous inlets (while a gondola rower parked and grabbed a "water with gas"), and sent from a bright red "Poste" box right down the street--brought me a lot of joy.
I encourage letter-sending in all forms, but especially when travelling. It's something we can often forget to do when busy in foreign countries. But it is well worth it.
Especially when you get to enjoy an afternoon next to the Venice waterways to do so.
Italian Beer? Oh Yes.
Getting Lost in Venice
Quite frankly, that makes no sense. Who in the world could visit Venice and not fall in love with (or, at the very least appreciate) it's history, architecture, art, charm and the fifty other ways that it is so, so, so special?
Maybe it's the fact that we visited in the dead of winter with very few other tourists in sight, or that we sought out local restaurants and bars far away from the overpriced tourist traps. I don't know. But, what I do know is that Venice is quite simply, spectacular.
Day one and two looked like this...
Get lost in the tiny maze like streets. Wander into Peggy Guggenheim's personal modern art collection to feast the eyes on works by Picasso, Dali and Pollock. Get lost again. Stop for lunch at the world famous outdoor Rialto food market where Venetians have been cooking and selling delights since 1097. Get lost again. And, finally visit Francois Pinault's post modern art installations at Punta Della Dogana. My personal favorite - the creativity, the colors, the imagination of some of today's best artists. I just can't get enough.
When to visit Venice
A must visit while in Venice is Italy's oldest cafe, Caffe Florian located in Piazza San Marco, which opened in 1720. It's the type of place that is worth paying a little extra for the exquisite ambiance and impeccable service. I have a wonderful memory of being there in the winter enjoying a delicious hot chocolate spiked with a liquor. On that cold foggy day the Caffe Florian was the perfect refuge for a hot drink. Read more...http://www.mediterraneogifts.com/blogs/news/7400764-venetian-hot-chocolate
Love On A Bridge
Botero's smoking women
Our hotel was near St Mark's Square and after visiting St Mark's we wandered around the area, exploring the little alleys. We turned a corner and saw this magnificent woman smoking! There are a few more of these sculptures strewn around but this one caught my attention the most, the way the artist has depicted her, idly lounging with a cigarette, one leg kicked up in the air, she portrays an air of irreverence that is almost comical at the same time. You never know what's around the corner when you ditch the map and aimlessly wander.
The artist is Botero, a latin figurative artist who is known to exaggerate his characters with dollops of humor, criticism or even irony thrown in. His works can be found in major museums throughout the world.
Maltese Falcon in Venice
A Gondola at Every Turn
But what's so compelling about a gondolier? Other than the fact that they are generally handsome, fit, and wear graphically interesting apparel? I think it might have something to do with the wholly touristic nature of Venice. My first few days on the island I felt like I never encountered a "real Italian," apart from the gondoliers and my B&B owner. It was only during the latter days of my visit, when I ventured to the outer parts of the island, that I started to encounter actual residents of Venice. Like elderly ladies hanging their laundry in the outskirts of Cannaregio. And children zooming about on scooters after church Sunday morning in Santa Margarita Square. These are the experiences that I will remember most, but they certainly don't define Venice. I'm just glad I spent the effort and time to see all parts of the island. But I still love those gondolier shots.
Hazy Morning, Coming into Venice
Taking a little bit of sun...
Aqua Alta in San Marcos
Carnival in Venice
The Seduction of Venice
Venice: City of a Thousand Churches
Venice: An Artist’s Dream
I caught these two young lovers sitting down, enjoying a little downtime. They are in love and are completely oblivious to everything around them.
Gondola Ride in Venice
A Peaceful Venetian Canal
A silent corner in Venice.
Mission accomplished. I discovered this quiet section of the island far away from Piazza San Marco. Brightly colored banners of laundry signal the border crossing to unspoiled territory. A refreshingly authentic and breathable corner of the island.