Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Venice - Canals and City Sights

Imagine if all of the roads in your city suddenly adjusted so that they shifted direction every block, none of them following a straight path.  Imagine the streets become 1/4 as wide and that 1/3 of them are now dead ends.  Now turn the road into water.  Imagine on these water roads that all of the buses, cars, taxis, ambulances and delivery trucks have turned into boats.  Now imagine that your city is completely surrounded by the ocean.  There!  Now you are starting to get the feeling of being in Venice!

Venice is such a spectacle for the eyes.  All I needed to do to find contentment was tuck my map away and head out with my camera, following my whims at each corner.  It is an enthralling city for those that love the aesthetic of slight disrepair balanced with a bit of grandiose and ornate.

Thanks for the photo, Mom!

We rented an apartment for the 4 nights we stayed in Venice. I had visited Venice for a week when I studied in Italy and got the feeling that nobody actually lived in the city. It felt like Venice was for tourists. Well, it is true that the city is swarming with tourists, but the neighborhood we stayed in this time proved that people do live there and that you can find areas of Venice where the residents outnumber the tourists.

 From our apartment windows, we could hear the shouts of kids heading to school on the streets below. On Via Garibaldi, the main street in the neighborhood, we saw many people going about their daily business of grocery shopping, walking the dog and ushering home overly tired children after a dinner out or a nighttime walk around the neighborhood. On the side streets we saw laundry drying, teenagers saying goodbye after school and neighbors catching up with each other. As you might imagine, we were thrilled we ended up staying in that neighborhood.

Remember those transportation options I went over before?  Here are some examples:



Taxi (masks optional)


If you lived here, this is what your neighborhood parking lot would look like:

We didn't spend a lot of time out at night, but I did take one solo walk in which I started out on the main road and saw some enormous boats docked in the lagoon.

And then I headed to the smaller roads and walkways. I ended up completely alone in some really narrow passageways, which spooked me a bit. Nothing happened, but I did have a moment where my hair on my neck raised up and my instincts shouted, "This is unwise!" I was really happy when I emerged out of the twisting corridor onto a familiar main road that was populated.

Remember those tourists, I mentioned?  Here are some of their favorite spots:

I think this gondolier wins the award for most fashion shoot ready.

Don't worry. I am not done with Venice yet.  There are a few more posts coming up!

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