Venice : Can falling in love and getting lost become the same thing?

Venice Travel Blog

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On the final approach to Venice Saint Lucia train station the woman the other side of the isle suddenly chirps out “Are you American sir?”.  I inform her I’m not but English.  “Oh…”  Disappointed.   “Do you have any American friends back home?” I inform her sadly not. “Oh…it’s just I’m out here for the Democrats campaigning for Barrack Obama…just tryin’a get those overseas votes in ya know”.  Jeez, what kind of a ticket to ride is that?!  I can see just about eeeeverybody’s hand reaching into the air when Barrack’s aides are handing out these gigs.

  “So who wants to canvas overseas votes in Baghdad?… uh, ok, no takers on that one. Uhh, Venice anybody?”   “ME ME ME ME ME, PLEASE SIR, PLEASE SIR!!”…”NO ME SIR, I GOT MY HAND UP BEFORE JOHNNY SIR!!”.  Jeez these politicians have got tooooo much money to burn.  Yeah, ya better get those crucial Venice swing votes in guys an’ gals.  Your holiday could make aaaaall the difference come election day.  Whatever!

 

Anyho, movin’ on.  It’s 10.30 in the a of m.  I’m in Venice and the sun is blazing right on cue!

 

From the moment I step out of the train station onto the Ferrovia bank of the Grand Canal I just feel utterly transported to another world.

(Gondola) Muju [www.mujuworld.co.uk]
  There’s happy bustle everywhere, a large white stone bridge spans a waterway just as busy with activity as the promenade with boats and other water-borne conveyances of all shapes and sizes zipping up, down and across it.

 

For the one and only time I allow myself to use a map today I guide myself over the bridge and through countless meandering paths, canal banks and alley ways as I head towards Fondementa Zittare, the waterside promenade where I will catch my first Vaporetto, the innumerable and highly convenient water-buses that move on and around Vencie’s waterways and islets all day long.  It’s to Giudecca I must get where the Venice Youth Hostel International is located. Giudecca referred to as ‘The Spine’ of Venice is the large island that hangs to the south of the main body of the city.  Have no fears of the Hostel being off ‘the main land’ as the Vaperettos leave most stops every 10 minutes or so.

  For a price you are best off paying for a 1 or 3 day unlimited travel card called a ‘Rolling Venice’ card.  For 3 days it’s 31 Euros for those over 30 years old, and a bargainous 22 if you’re under.  Well worth buying as although one of the greatest pleasures (I think anyway)  to be had in Venice is endless rambling and directionless plodding through and along the infinite calles, campos, cortes, fondementas, palazzos, viales, palisades and ramos of the city labyrinth you will also want to hop around on these fantastically convenient little buses as much as your time and inclination permit.  Bear in mind these passes will also get you out to all the surrounding lagoon islands too including Murano, Burano, Torcello and the famous Lido beach areas (immortalised in Thomas Mann’s ‘Death in Venice’) as well as others.

 

One vaporetto skip later and here I am, the  main promenade (by the Palazzo Duccale and Piazza St.

The Palazza Duccale and the side of the St.Mark's Basilica.
Marco), today absolutely rammed with happy tourists, but it never feels too oppressive.  The day is so perfect, so glorious that everyone’s just happy to see each other happy and magically transported within this place.  THERE THEY ARE! “Wow!”, there really is something great about setting eyes on your first real Gondola bobbing upon the sungold-glittered surface if the water.  LOTS of them too, some inhabited.  Some not yet.  A couple of newlyweds disembark.  All together now… “aaah, how romantic!” This place really does feel like some kind of fairytale destination that you’ve been staring at in an old book, and then all of a sudden you slip and find yourself tumbling into the painting, and “HERE you are! Venice!“ Not just your dreams, but a real place in a real world! J You may now proceed to get lost and fall in love! 

 

I get straight on a Linea 1 vaporetto now to glide slowly up the Grand Canal, the arterial waterway that snakes most of the length of Venice’s principle ‘landmass’.

Grand Canal bridge (abstract)
  This is one of the true ways that you MUST see Venice as some of it’s most fascinating and picturesque building façades are ONLY visible from the Canal.  Almost all buildings along the Grand Canal accordingly back straight onto the water, often with ‘front’ doors and steps right into (or sinking into) the water so again only to be viewed by taking this trip.  Try with a little cunning and patience to get into the smallish (8 seats or so) open rear areas of these vaporettos as then you have fabulous and unencumbered views of the scenery as it glides by.  As the weather is so incredible I don’t want to even risk not making the most of this opportunity so when the vaporetto reaches it’s terminus I step off, and practically step right back on to its sister boat heading right back the other way.  I dash out the back and again enjoy the true grandeur of the Grand Canal, however this time staying on beyond St.Marco and heading out over water to the Lido area of the lagoon.

 

This is pleasant amusement for an hour or so.  A stroll down the Grande Vialle de Santa Margaretta (or some such name) all the way to the beaches that line its far coasts.  Plenty of happy sun worshippers today and I too have a great sense of pleasure and relaxation by once more being by a coastline with the sea breeze playing upon all my senses.  Europe has been incredible so far but my route’s kept me pretty landlocked away from those green-blue horizon lines that I occasionally crave so much having grown up on the south coast of England.

 

Vaparetto number 1 again aaall the way back to St.Marco and now time to do some more wonderful maoless wandering through the streets of the city.

The Rialto Bridge (over the Grand Canal)
  Something new, be it grand or the tiniest most incidental detail to capture and amuse your eye at every winding turn.  Some of the little corridor/ passageways between the houses you wonder that there were ever people so diddy that they could fit down ‘em!  There is the famous (and overbusy) Rialto Bridge that spans one point of the Grand Canal and upon it holds many little market-shops and also great viewing balconies to look up and down the canal.  Quite a miracle of a bridge actually.  So many people and so much activity on such a small structure.  This has always been the thronging, throbbing heart of Venice’s market area and life and turns up often in artistic representations of the city.

 

I drift for several hours.

Venetian Masks.
  I could not tell you where, in what directions or how I found mayself orientated back home.  Yes, there are often quaintly ’home made’ looking arrows and signs scrawled or pinned to street corners indication the vague direction either of the Rialto or Piazza St.Marco but unless you really need or want to go there just ignore ’em and keep walking is my advice, as long as you’ve the time on your hands.  I chomp a gelati and a pizza slice and eventually find my way back to the St.Marco vaparetto stops for a sun-down final trip back across to Giudecca and the HI.  It has been an incredibly beautiful and special day and even now, my clothes rumbling and tumbling in the laundrette down the way I sit in a happy trance by the water’s edge with my bare feet dangling over the side.  Reading by street light as an old man fishing for squid for his tea shuffles towards me through the early night shadows and passes his line over my head, proceeding hopefully in the direction of where the sun was last seen being swallowed by Venetian waters.

TravellingAuntie says:
awesome photos!
Posted on: Feb 16, 2010
Saladin79 says:
I'm sure Sheffield is just as rainy and cold as when I left it. Pleased to say I'll be spending my second successive winter a long way from Blighty. God knows where I'll be for Xmas and new year though - hopefully near a beach! Later. D.
Posted on: Oct 27, 2008
Stevie_Wes says:
LOL, cheers Dave! Yeah, you & and the rest have got to keep the 'fine tradition' of Brit travel-writers up I guess :D How's Sheffield at the mo, it's been aaaages since I was there!
Posted on: Oct 14, 2008
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(Gondola) Muju [www.mujuworld.co.u…
(Gondola) Muju [www.mujuworld.co.…
The Palazza Duccale and the side o…
The Palazza Duccale and the side …
Grand Canal bridge (abstract)
Grand Canal bridge (abstract)
The Rialto Bridge (over the Grand …
The Rialto Bridge (over the Grand…
Venetian Masks.
Venetian Masks.
Stepping out into the sunlight and…
Stepping out into the sunlight an…
Bridge over the Grand Canal: Ferro…
Bridge over the Grand Canal: Ferr…
My first view of life upon the wat…
My first view of life upon the wa…
Chiesa di San Geremia
Chiesa di San Geremia
My first sighting of an active Gon…
My first sighting of an active Go…
Gondolas!!!!! :))))
Gondolas!!!!! :))))
Newly weds disembark from their go…
Newly weds disembark from their g…
The Palazza Duccale.
The Palazza Duccale.
I love these ornatemented street l…
I love these ornatemented street …
(St.Marco) Muju [www.mujuworld.co.…
(St.Marco) Muju [www.mujuworld.co…
A bride on high within the Palazza…
A bride on high within the Palazz…
St.Marco vaparetto stops
St.Marco vaparetto stops
Torre dellOrologio.
Torre dell'Orologio.
Bridge over the Grand Canal (abstr…
Bridge over the Grand Canal (abst…
A relatively new bridge over the G…
A relatively new bridge over the …
Gondolas and the Rialto.
Gondolas and the Rialto.
Grand Canal mosaicd building faca…
Grand Canal mosaic'd building fac…
Fab architecture down the Grand Ca…
Fab architecture down the Grand C…
Mirror reflection of Grand Canal (…
Mirror reflection of Grand Canal …
Approaching The Lido island on vap…
Approaching The Lido island on va…
Curious bull by the beach, The Lid…
Curious bull by the beach, The Li…
Contemporary art (Buddha in Glass)…
Contemporary art (Buddha in Glass…
Lido Beach viewing platform.
Lido Beach viewing platform.
The Lido.
The Lido.
Lido viewing platform
Lido viewing platform
The throbbing crowds upon the Rial…
The throbbing crowds upon the Ria…
Um?  Church!
Um? Church!
Um?? Another church!
Um?? Another church!
Grand Canal facade (abstract)
Grand Canal facade (abstract)
Umm?  ANOTHER church!
Umm? ANOTHER church!
Venetian church interior... they a…
Venetian church interior... they …
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute…
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salut…
Chiesa di S.Maria della Salute and…
Chiesa di S.Maria della Salute an…
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy