Monday, November 22, 2010

BCers Visit Italy, Switzerland & France; Pt 6: Fragile Enchantment In Venice

APPROACHING THE PROVINCE OF VENICE is a little like discovering Atlantis. The flat landscapes of over one hundred small islands, knit together by boats and mini bridges with stairs, have a mythical air. It is an entirely different atmosphere from the more rugged islands I am accustomed to in BC.

Leaving cars and buses behind, our ferry took only foot passengers as we sped down the watery path to the bright buildings in the open horizon.

Construction equipment hovered over the structures pictured above. There is a steady effort to keep the islands from sinking and to construct new ones.

The engineering challenge is to keep afloat this lovely old world that is set in a deepening lagoon at the edge of the Adriatic Sea.

While the level of the Adriatic Sea has been slowly rising, the foundations holding the weightiness of buildings have been deteriorating for centuries.

Our first stop was Lido Island where the famous Venice Film Festivals are held. The Biasutti Hotel we stayed in was perfectly charming and restful.

Outside our window we saw the rustic orange roofs of houses.

I loved taking a stroll down the quiet street by our hotel. It was a peaceful but much too brief break from our busy schedule.

Nearby there were a few shops and a small cafe where locals hung out. There was also a place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

One of the prettiest canals is in Lido. The Island is long and narrow forming a main land barrier between Venice and the open sea. It is said that the Doges (former rulers of Venice) traveled there yearly to celebrate Venice's "marriage to the sea" by dropping a ring into its waters. Lido is the one place on our journey that my husband and I would love to revisit for a longer stay.

On the Island of Murano we visited the glass factory. We were told this Gepetto lookalike is the last of the original glassblowers as young people are not interested in learning the skills. With slight-of-hand, he created a horse out of blown glass. We later entered a large gift shop selling gorgeous glass artifacts, including goblets ready to ship all over the world.

Next was the customary not-to-be-missed gondola ride. We were fortunate to have the accordian player and singer on board. Mesmerized by the sounds and sights around us, I missed getting a good picture of the musicians who added so much to the dreamy mood with their tunes.

We delighted in seeing hanging laundry along the way.

Flowers also decorated some windows.

At times the liquid road was flooded with traffic.

Friendly people on bridges sometimes waved when our hardworking gondolier rowed towards them. We felt like celebrities.

Some buildings seemed inhabited.

Some had vacant faces with windows boarded up.

It was clear that walls etched with age remain incredibly charming in Venice.

Back at St. Mark's Square, we saw that the Adriatic Sea had splashed a little water onto the walkway. This happens occasionally during high tide, especially in the fall when we were there.

Locals are used to it. The police were prepared wearing rubber boats.

Restaurants were also prepared for guests who are often treated to live outdoor entertainment in the evenings. Classical music floats like magic through the dusky air on some nights. Pictured top left of the waiting tables is the Doges' Palace, a former seat of government and now museum.

Beside the palace is St. Mark's Basilica were we saw grand artistic renderings.

There are also ceilings painted with gold.

We saw lovely flashes of colour and good spirits thoughout Venice.

This attractive newlywed couple and child allowed me to take their picture.

Another flawless bride and groom breezing by kindly stopped to pose.

We also visited the Island of Burano known for its crayon-coloured houses.

There were pretty touches everywhere.

It could be difficult to find locally made lace, for which the Island is known, amid the mass produced variety.

Women are said to have spent their days making lace and mending nets. The historic fishing village of today seemed unfettered, airy and free of such tasks.

The sun set too soon on our stay in Venice. We left its ancient allure to the innovation of modern builders and the grace of the surrounding sea.

Explorers can discover more sights from around the globe at My World.


  1. SO beautiful. Lido is where I most want to go. I keep telling Dick if Venice is at the top of his list, we've got to go before it sinks. So glad there is ongoing work to counteract the rising sea.
    So happy for both of you that you were there.
    Luv, K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Your photos are superb! I feel like I was right there with you! I lived in Europe for over three years, so these brought back some lovely memories! Thank you! Hope you have a wonderful week! Thank your so much for your visit/comment, always appreciated!


  3. Pretty, pretty shots! You are a great tour guide!

    I have not been there, so I will just enjoy your lovely and colorful photos.

    Did you get on the the gondola ride and be "serenaded:? That would be so romantic!

  4. if you'd check people's bucket list, i would not be surprised if venice has the most votes.

    so beautiful. you took a lot of lovely images. you whetted my appetite. now all i need to save, save, save :)

  5. That looks incredible - Venice is the city I'd most like to visit.

  6. i love Venice. it's such a beautiful and romantic city. looking at these pictures bring back fond memories of my trip last spring. great photos.

  7. What a wonderful tour. I enjoyed it so much. It is amazing how the buildings have survived so long with the changes.

  8. Beautiful shots of the place. Architecture is marvelous and is a scenic beauty. Would love to see this in person.

  9. Oh I enjoyed every minute of this visit. It brought back wonderful memories of Venice!

  10. Thank you for taking me back to a city I love.

  11. such delightful photos and stories you've shared. you brought me to Venice! incredibly beautiful!

  12. You really capture the essence of Venice. It's an amazing place to visit and it appears you made the most of it.


  13. I wonder if I will ever get to visit Venice. It looks like such a magical place!


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