25 January 2008

The Most Serene Republic

"Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go"
Truman Capote
Venice was a dream come true.

It was every bit as charming and shabby as I had hoped.

"In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theater. The play is finished, but the echoes remain."
Arbit Blatas

Visiting Italy in winter made me a little wistful for sunshine and warmth but it also helped us avoid massive crowds and see things at our own pace.

Frankly I think Venice's winter mantle of fog and mist made her even more alluring.
The Grand Canal in the winter haze. Doesn't it seem delightfully mysterious?

"Venice - A city for beavers."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I couldn't disagree with R.W.E. more. Like many other before us, Chris and I fell in love with narrow canals and teeny tiny bridges.

The greatest pleasure we got in Venice was getting lost among the narrow streets and alleys. Even when that meant hitting dead ends.
Especially when that meant hitting dead ends!!

"If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you've imagined.
Venice is -- Venice is better
Fran Lebowitz

The Rialto Bridge at night.

A Squero is a workshop dedicated to the art of building gondolas. While there may be many kinds of boats traveling Venice's waterways, the gondola is a true icon of the city.

Some of the finished product.

"Though there are some disagreeable things in Venice there is nothing so disagreeable as the visitors."
Henry James
As I said before, a winter visit allowed us to glimpse what real life in Venice might be like.

Example A: these boys carrying an ENTIRE roasted pig (yes, head, tail - the whole works.) Along with a third friend they went from door to door, laughing and shouting. I am pretty sure they were trying to sell hunks of their roasted pig. People answering their knocks greeted them affectionately, "Ciao Bruno! Ciao Nicko! Ciao Gianni!"

I'm pretty sure we would have missed these precious moments in the press of summer tourists.

"But love is blind and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit."
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Act II sce. 6

Did I mention Venice is verrrrry romantic?

"A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him."
Arthur Symons

"Venice would be a fine city if it were only drained
Ulysses S. Grant

Oh Hogwash!!!!
Though the canals get all the glory, this city is about more than just water.

Pisa ain't got nothing on Venice.
And OY! You want churches? How about this Byzantine number? Saint Mark's Basilica is a gilded confection of worship. No cameras were allowed inside so you'll just have to use your imagination. If the outside is this fanciful you can guess what lies in store for you through the doors.

And San Marco sits on the Piazza San Marco making it all the more impressive.

Unless of course you don't like pigeons.

To sum up....well, truth is, I can't really sum up more eloquently than Byron....
Take it away, Sir.

"I loved her from my boyhood; she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water-columns from the sea,
Of joy the sojourn, and of wealth the mart;
And Otway, Radcliffe, Schiller, Shakespeare's art,
Had stamp'd her image in me."

Lord Byron



Anonymous said...

Wow. I am kind of speechless.
Your pictures and your writing are amazing, too!
Ok so now I haveta go to Venice, too? I better start saving...


Becky said...

Dang it! I gotta go back and see Venice now. Sorry I missed it, looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great writing, quotes and pictures , Kelly Marie. I enjoyed this posting, immensely as I have all others.
Love, Helen