16 May 2011


Venice is a world apart. In Rome, when you step on the grounds of the Vatican, you leave Italy and
enter an entirely new state, the Vatican state. So too with Venice, but for a different reason, more like
entering a different state of mind.

For instance, did you know that Venice has no cars? I didn't. Four days in a city without cars is a
tranquil and relaxing experience quite different from other cities. Residents and visitors either walk or
take a water taxi, public or private, to get around. They run frequently and everywhere. And
"everywhere" in Venice is lovely with an old world beauty that is utterly unique and altogether
enchanting. I felt increasingly serene in my time there.

I hardly know where to begin to describe it. Venice consists of over a hundred islands. The water and
canals that separate them lend to the romance and mystery that make Venice magical. Add to that the
art, architecture, history, music and carnival that Venice is famous for and the magic happens. Venice
is a feast for the eyes so intense that it's hard to know where to look next and swooning is common.
When's the last time you swooned? Multiple times daily? Such that I intended to take some photos to
commemorate my visit but ended up with over 400 of them! I kept saying "oh, but this is so beautiful".

Something about the quality of the light as it reflects off the water, and the shimmer the water gives to
the buildings, the boats and the people next to it actually changes perception so that I could see in a
new way. It must be why art has flourished here for centuries. I had a glimpse of that feeling artists
must get when they see, really see, and want to capture their vision in art to communicate it to others.
The colors of the buildings, the grand architecture, the colors of the trees and flowers, the way water
and light enhanced them was thrilling. Being able to stop and appreciate anything that caught my eye
because I didn't have to be vigilant of motor vehicles or bothered by their noise was remarkably
freeing. It encourages slowing down, rewards it at every turn.

When the fellow who runs the B and B where we stayed was giving us hints of how to enjoy Venice,
he said: "Walk without a map, get lost, follow the twists and turns wherever they take you and then
appreciate wherever you are. It's perfectly safe to do this and a gift to give yourself." It was great
advice, a great way to see this bella cittá.

How about a city that rewards you for being present to what's around  and savoring small moments?
Remarkable. A world apart: Venice.


  1. I visited Venice the year I turned 20. My girlfriend and I took an extended backpacking trip through Europe. We were gone 3 months and it was, arguably, the best three months of my life. Venice was one of the highlights. What we didn't know and I still laugh about, was the vaporettos are not free. We thought the water taxis were provided and we'd jump on and off. Nobody ever stopped us. I understand you cannot do that now.

  2. I have never been to Venice, but this enchanting travelogue makes me feel like I have been! So many really beautiful pictures! I can see why you took so many... thank you for sharing.

  3. Great. ANOTHER place to add to the 'bucket list'. I think I may just have to add "Italy" and be done with it.

    You pictures are lovely. Well done capturing the flavor of Venice, if only in the smallest amount.

    But what sticks in my mind is that Venice is made up of ISLANDS - somehow, I never knew there was solid land to Venice - but again, that makes sense.

  4. Brilliant! The pictures, the advice, the descriptions! That's one city that deserves a longer visit for sure. I wrote a novella about being lost in Venice, btw., right after we visited in 2002. If you want to read it, it's on my notes blog, which you can access through my profile. One day, I will expand it into a proper novel, and I will come over and ask permission to use your fantastic photos.

    Thank you!

  5. Oh, I can't even imagine such beauty all in one place. I would love to visit there someday. If I do, I will try to reference this post for advice. it sounds like your adventure was quite memorable. Thanks for sharing.

  6. My dad was born in Bologna, and my parents visited Venice several times. Now I need to dig up those old pictures....

  7. Absolutely gorgeous. We have a trip to Italy tentatively planned for next year. It's still in the "vapor-ware" stage, but Venice is a must on the itinerary-to-be, especially after seeing some of it through your eyes.

  8. C.G., Ah, youth! You made great memories. Time to renew them! Most vaporetti are still on the honor system but if you get caught without a ticket there's a fine. No one checked that we saw.
    DJan, Give yourself a treat- see Venice!
    Lou, Yes, add Italy and make a stop here! You owe yourself Italy.
    Rosaria, I'll go back for sure. And I'll access your blog as well since I enjoy your writing. You are welcome to my photos. I put many of them on Facebook if you're on.
    Sally, I couldn't even skim the surface of the amazing beauty there!
    Mary, Do get them out to enjoy. Visit Venice yourself!
    Patti, Oh, do come! We have a guest room and Venice is a must as well!

  9. I love your pictures.....4 whole days of this beautiful city....
    A different state of mind, exactly! I love this description!
    Did you photograph your meals???? I want to see pizza! ha

  10. Nanny, I didn't photograph my meals but you give me an idea for next time! The pizza is thin, fresh and cooked in a wood burning oven. Divine!

  11. I cannot wait to get back to Italy. I may never leave. Do you have an extra bedroom?

  12. I love the way you describe the light, and I can just imagine how that would transform the city. Having read your words, I can see it in your photos.

  13. Lauren, I have an extra bedroom. I think we'd have a great time together!
    Nancy, The light transformed the city and the city transformed me. I don't often have that experience but I appreciated it.

  14. Beautiful photos. And the idea of no traffic and no traffic NOISE seems heavenly. The closest I've come to Venice is the Venetian in Vegas. Clearly worlds apart. :)

  15. Lisa, Haven't been to Vegas but the real thing is so, well, real!

  16. YOur photos are lovely! I have been fortunate to have visited Venice twice - once when I was 18 with my schoolmates, and again 30 years later with my family :) Both times were magical for different reasons, and I agree that there is no more beautiful place than "La Serenissima." I do hope to see it at least one more time in my life :)

  17. What a fabulous post!! Those photos are amazing! And there is something about the yellow house that I love too! Could it be the 'yellow'? :)
    Great post, my friend!
    PS Have you ever been to the Fortuny Museum in Venice?! I can't believe you were just there!! It's my dream!!

  18. Pat, If you visit again stop by here for a chat. My Honey is from NYC as well.
    Gabriele, Unfortunately, I didn't even know about the museum until your post but it's on my list for next time for sure. As an artist you'll absolutely love Venice!

  19. I love this story - I feel like I was there with you! What a magical way you have of sharing your travels - I think I'm really lucky to travel along with you. And now Kim wants to go to Venice *so bad*! I promised we would do it on our next visit ;)

  20. Judith, The city of romance! It's unique and just lovely.


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