Blog followers may recall my Rainy Night in Venice blog published a few months ago. The local Winters Mill boosters will be auctioning off this piece of art work, signed and numbered, from that trip. Interested in attending? Here’s a link with more info!
Last spring my husband and I took our first trip to Europe to celebrate 25 years of marriage. We toured Italy and Greece by land and sea for 2 weeks. I grabbed as much photo coverage as possible while trying to stay with my group on all the tours! I have a lot of coverage to go through, slowly but surely working my way through at least the first 2 days in Venice! Florence will be next in a few months!
First let’s chat about the gondoliers. I learned this is the most sought after job in Venice. To own your own gondolier is quite an investment and status symbol in Venice. My vision of what the gondoliers were like had been very much shaped by movies. Rather than the jovial singing characters, I found the men to be a stately and dignified, it not slightly aloof. Their job involves tourists all day and night, so they are rather to themselves when navigating the channels and a calm steady presence in Venice life.
However, when waiting for their next passenger, there’s a constant camaraderie between the gondoliers that feels like the stuff of a great Italian movie! Curiously, I noticed while in Italy wherever there’s a public square, there are men gathered in community with one another. However, I did not see this with the women of Italy.
I mentioned in the prior Venice blog how surreal it feels to be in a place with no roads. The waterways are the conduit for all of life to happen. All deliveries, transports, trash removal, etc. happens by way of boat via the hundreds of canals through Venice.
I can’t help but look at these old buildings and ponder the stories their walls could tell. The loves, the losses, the romance, the devastations, the quiet reflections…I just love pondering it all.
Venice offers an endless parade of stunning sights with every step of your travels. This city has captured my heart. Is it any wonder that it was a common scene to see artists sketching the beauty that surrounded them?
We toured through several of the iconic structures of Venice, but what always grabs my attention more is the beauty to be found in the mundane of daily living. Below, a young Italian man on his cell, surrounded by structures hundreds of years old.
Gelato was everywhere! Hazelnut chocolate chip–by far my favorite!
It is very expensive to live in Venice, so over the years there has been a mass exodus of the natives who mostly return to work in the tourism based industries. Below is a town square and marketplace where local residents buy their food for the day and gather to await their children who will be released from their school day soon.
Piazza San Marco is a central gathering spot in Venice and is home to thousands of pigeons. Gypsies will approach you with food for them and they will immediately land on you and eat out of your hands. To draw tourists they will walk around with 10 pigeons perched on themselves. Then of course they expect payment if you accept food or photograph them covered in pigeons. My husband and I kept joking about Rick Steves tour advice to “let it” if you get pooped on because attempting to wipe it off will just smear it. Apparently you are ‘supposed’ to let it dry and then it flakes off. Yikes-no thanks!
This same area floods several times a week.
We found the quaintest little place in our travels, the Aqua Alta book store. First stairway of books I’ve ever seen and I’m a reader so you can imagine how this intrigued me!
Lastly, here’s a view of Doge’s Palace. Impressive on so many fronts, but very crowded so stopping and enjoying the sites was a challenge in many of the spaces. I found that the public spaces in Venice were majestically grand, while the private spaces were small by American standard. Our hotel room was a challenge to fit our suitcases in with just a double bed.
One view of the crowds I mentioned…
Blog followers may recognize some of these images as I have incorporated them into several JDP senior shoots over the last year.
Thanks for coming along with me to tour Venice by day! Highly recommend a trip to Venice if you ever get the chance in spring time! If you’d like to see Venice by night, here’s the blog! Next up in a few months, Florence!