Sunday, March 27, 2011

Places I've Been: Venice

A few years back, I coupled Paris and Venice together in a 9 day vacation. As dreamy as that sounds, it was almost like eating all your Easter candy in one day. Sensory overload. There was just too much beauty and awe in that trip to even make sense of it, even when I'd already been to Paris a few times before. That said, I do feel that Venice is truly beautiful. It is a heady concept to wrap your brain around: that there are no streets and no cars and no buses. You either walk or get around by boat. Seems sort of crazy but you adapt pretty quickly. There is also the inevitable "getting lost" which everyone must do at least three or four times as maps don't always nail down that little side alley, or fully accept exactly where a street transitions from one name to the next. Venice is a place to be seen, sooner rather than later, before it is entirely destroyed by one or several of its many floods. Get there. Soon. Here are some of my favorite shots from that trip.

Here we have a view of Piazza San Marco from the balcony of Basilica di San Marco. The square is pretty good sized, and known for its cafes and the dueling bands that play at each every evening.

My favorite shot is this one, taken from beside the Doge's Palace across the canal toward San Giorgio Maggiore. I think the contrast of the gondolas and the colors of the water and the sky striking.

If this shot isn't stereotypical Italy, I don't know what is. I love the contrast of the decrepit buildings, the neatly hung every day laundry and the gorgeous flowers.

The Basilica of San Marco is actually a white stone building. However, if you visit it at different times of the day, it will actually pick up the color of the sunlight. Here, it was sunset and the white stone was rendered a soft orangey pink.

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace and prison. Prisoners would cross the bridge to their imprisonment, glancing out at beautiful Venice for perhaps the last time, and sigh.

This Bocca di Leone was a mailbox used to collect complaints from residents anonymously. There are several others throughout the city.

San Giorgio Maggiore lies on an island across the Grand Canal from San Marco. The church houses Tintoretto's Last Supper.

Traghetti are smaller gondolas used to ferry passengers across the Grand Canal. That's about the only place you'll see them, and you'll note they are predominantly used by locals, who are brave enough to stand for the crossing!

The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute is in the Dorsoduro district of Venice, across the Grand Canal. It houses a Tintoretto and several gorgeous Titians.

Burano is one of three islands that visitors can day trip to from Venice (Murano and Torcello being two others). On Burano, the residents paint their houses vibrant colors so that the fishermen in their families can easily see their homes as they leave and return home from long journeys.

No comments: