We got into Venice from Rome. Rome had been dated and architecturally mature. And so it was quite a contrast entering a waterlogged romantic city. Venice had to be my 2nd favorite city in Europe. After Paris. The tour operator introduced it by saying “it’s build on about 114 small islands.” And she obviously had me at hello. The boat was just not moving fast enough anymore. It had no roads, just canals. People ride home, not drive home. We got there through a large stream and then into gondolas, which would be our mode of transport through Venice. Imagine that.
The gondolas were a deep shiny green colour with a bright red interior and had a weird design. They weren’t symmetrical. I love symmetry so it bothered me that they were imperfect. But when I probed I found out that the design works because the driver pulls the water only on one side. So the interior of the gondola has to support the way this thing would move through the canals of Venice. The waters looked deep and deep grey/green. Dirty. You could see the slime formed along the houses and the salt that had gathered from what I assumed was years of mini waves bashing against them.
The drivers of the gondolas (I need to find out what they call them) wore the same shirts and the way they rode the canals was the stuff of legends. They all just seemed so happy doing it. They had a language for turning corners and for passing one another along the canals. Like a giant well orchestrated musical. The large stream that lead us into Venice was lined with poles, almost to force boats on the main ‘road’. Like yellow lines. Except the poles were a few meters apart on either side.
And except walking through Piazza San Marco/St Mark’s Square (an island that was big enough to have restaurants and souvenir stores, etc.) we did nothing more than ride along the canals of Venice and go under the bridge of sighs. It was a marvel and definitely worth exploring again. Surely there’s more.
- Is there really no shopping complex around the corner for bread, eggs and milk?
- When you visit your boyfriend, do you have to get on a gondola all the time or is there a boat version of a public bus?
- How does the piping work? Is it done by diver plumbers?
- How flooded does it become when it rains/hails?
- What’s the story with the purple statue? I don’t seem to remember.
These are just some of the questions I still have about Venice and by spending more than 1 day there, there’s no telling what else may come up.
PS: I’ll take better quality pictures when I visit again