Italy Week 2010: VeniceOctober 26, 2010
Today, let’s stay in the north and travel to Venice! On my first trip to Italy in 2007, I did not get to go to Venice. So, it was only fitting that my first stop on my trip last year was Venice. Like my arrival in Milan, I arrived in the dark – this is never fun by the way. I couldn’t see anything outside of the train and was so excited to see the water and the canals. Upon exiting the train station, we made our way to the water taxi to take us to our hotel. It was hard to take in my surroundings just because it was so dark and I was so excited to just see the canals, but couldn’t see much. I was also exhausted, so that didn’t help. After some rest, we woke to a somewhat foggy Venetian day and had a traditional Italian breakfast of croissants, prosciutto & cheese…more on that later. And, we finally got to get out and explore the canals and get lost along all the little streets and passageways.
One of the first stops was Piazza San Marco which was a little flooded. It was almost rainy season in Venice, so I knew that there could be some flooding. It was really sad to go into Duomo di San Marco and see the beautiful church floor buckling so bad it looked like waves on the Pacific shore. Part of the entrance was completely flooded and we had to walk on raised walkways (literally cmu blocks & wood planks) to enter and exit the cathedral.
Next, we headed over to Palazzo Ducale (next to the Duomo) to tour the old palace. It was amazing! The decoration was beautiful, the rooms so large and so old. I loved seeing all the court chambers and art decorating the palace. One of the larger rooms in the palace, The Council of the Great Chamber, which looked out onto the lagoon. It was one of those fall days where the color of the sky and the formation of the clouds told you that winter was approaching. Just loved this view.
I took my holga camera on this trip and these two shots are from that camera. I love the look, feel & colors of the images. It enhances the already old & decaying city of venice and its structures beautifully.
Doors, doors & more doors. I was obsessed with all the old doors in Venice. Not only were they so detailed & beautifully decorated, some doors rose out of the water in an almost ghostly way. You can tell that the water had risen over the years and now was hitting the doors.
The Fenice Opera House was a must-see. Just wish I could have gone inside to see an opera.
I know the water in Venice is highly polluted, but the color was absolutely amazing! It was a strange, but beautiful milky blue color. Depending on your view and if the sun was hitting the water, the colors changed and reflected the old buildings or gondolas floating down the canals.
The spires & domes of Duomo San Marco. This church was very haunting. Unfortunately, it was one of those churches that you could not take photos inside. It was hard to capture it from the piazza, but I got this shot from the Palazzo Ducale next door. I was on an upper floor almost level with the roof of the church.
This was the hotel I stayed at. It was very charming and sat right on a canal with a gongola launch nearby. It was the main thoroughfare from San Marco to Cannaregio and had lots of activity.
Here are a few shots from the neighborhood of Cannaregio. This was definitely a more residential area and really gave you a feel as to what daily life was like for Venetians. It was very quiet and I loved strolling down all the streets and canals. It is less crowded and not touristy at all. Up towards the northern end of Cannaregio is the Laguna di Veneta with the Dolomite Mountains in the distance.
I loved all the gondolas that were lined up outside of Piazza San Marco just waiting for passengers. These gondolas were at a busy area near the southern end of the Grand Canal.
This image was shot from the Ponte Rialto just as the sun set. This was a busy area with shops on the bridge, restaurants lining the Grand Canal down below and off to the left was one of the main docks for food & other deliveries to the island. It was a great spot to people watch and see all the action in the Grand Canal.