Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Day in Venice

We've been doing quite a bit of travelling lately.  Back to the states in May/June; Trieste, Italy in early July; and Manchester, UK last week.

While we were in Trieste (Dan had a conference so I mostly explored and played tourist) I went to Venice for a day, it being only two hours away by train.

I'd have to say that my expectations going in were rather low.  Dan was there for a day two summers ago, and apart from getting really lost at one point, he mostly came back with stories of how hot and a bit smelly it was, and how many people there were.

Mostly I went to be able to say that I've been to Venice.  And on the train back to Trieste I really did have a couple moments where I was like, 'holy cow, I've been to Venice!'.  But I don't feel the need to go back. Though my day was lovely enough, there simply were too many tourists and not enough places to sit and relax for my liking (and don't suggest that I could have taken a gondola ride to sit and relax, at 80euro (about $100) a ride, there was no way that was going to happen).

It seems like most of what you do in Venice is either take a photo of a canal, or take a photo of yourself by a canal.

Lots of canals, fewer sidewalks, and no streets.  No streets means no cars, a fact I didn't realize until I got there.  I think I'm most baffled by how emergency services get to citizens.  I think an "ambulance" would have to use a motor boat to get as close as possible, carry a stretcher the rest of the way and then head back with the patient, boating to wherever the hospital is.  I guess it's worked for about half a millennium now, so why not?

The Rialto Bridge, which I've heard is famous.

Yep, here I am, in Venice.

San Marco cathedral in the photo below--it looks like a hodge-podge of architecture, but it's really beautiful inside.  Mostly mosaic works instead of frescoes, which were done by dozens of artists at various time periods.  Some are excellent, and some aren't so great.  I don't have any photos of those though, photos inside were discouraged.
One mosaic, in the entry way, has wavy lines defining its edges.  It depicts the time before creation, before God defined the world.  It's the only mosaic in the entire church without a solid border, because after God created the world, order was the thing, and order is of course rectilinear, not wavy.  I found that really interesting.

And I'll end with the bell tower across from San Marco.

And that's Venice!


  1. Oh, I rather liked Venice. I liked the narrow rabbit warren-y streets that would suddenly open up into a square of some kind that you had no idea was there 5 steps before and I liked the tiny shops all squished together and the venetian glass... I may be feeling some nostalgia for being able to travel over seas. I did, in fact, enjoy Florence and Rome better than Venice.

    And yes, emergency boats

    1. HA! The waves from that boat would have knocked a gondola right over! And you're right. I did like wandering around off the main roads, and the shops with Venetian lace.

    2. I have been Facebook-ified. I tried to find a like button for your reply. :P