Friday, September 21, 2012

A Glimpse of Venice

Gondolas on Venitian canal
We took an early morning vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal towardsd Academmia. The sun was just beginning to peak above the buildings and rush hour was in full force. Still not everything is moving quite this early as this row of gondolas attest.

I will have much more to say about our trip to Venice soon but I thought I'd share some photos now. Venice is greatly affected by the water that surrounds and infiltrates her geography. The water affects how they have built things and how Venetians move through their lives. The. canals make the city attractive. The light that strikes the canals is integral to this.

Venitian canal at dusk
I strongly suggest, as do guidebooks, taking a water bus (vaporetti) ride during the golden hours around sunrise and sunset. You will have to struggle to get a good viewing spot but if you manage it the rewrd is watching the play of light off the sky, water, and buildings that are anchored by Venice's intricate canal system. Since traffic is slow you have a chance to get good pictures even with a point-and-shoot like I used here (Panasonic Lumix LX5) and elsewhere.
Venice before a rain near Pietro di Castello
It was not always sunny. One day, in particular an afternoon, saw overcast skies. The leaning tower in the background may be tthe bell tower for San Pietro di Castello.
Rain in Venice
During the rain storm that lasted close to two hours we settled in for an exceptionally long lunch at AAcqua Pazza with some friends. For us a meal lsating an hour is lengthy but the rain kept us under the canopy and true to Italian form the restaurant was in no hurry to free up our table (i.e., kick us out). I had wondered earlier how well the paving stone sidewalks would drain as I saw no sign of gutters or drain grates. WHen we finally left the paving stones were wet but not flooded. I suppose the walkways slope slightly towards canals and maybe I just never saw any drain grates. The walks were also still easy to walk upon - not slippery.
Morning in Venice
One nice thing besides spying interesting views about a morning ride and/or walk along the canals is you get a chance to see the city come to life. Boats are dropping people off everywhere. They are also dropping off or picking up stuff up. Once material is off a boat it is moved through the streets, no matter how narrow, by people either working alone or in pairs pushing and pulling dolleys of carefully balanced items. Many of these dolleys have special little wheels in front that are meant to be hefted up each step of an arched bridge to aid in getting the loads from one side of a canal to the other. It must be a tiring job.


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