Thursday's Child: View from a Gondola

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In some ways, Venice is the city that every other city wants to be. When we visited Ljubljana, that town was described as "The Venice of the Balkans". Similarly, both St Petersburg and Bruges were called "The Venice of the North". They are all wonderful cities, with their own enchanting qualities. But there's something special about Venice. Whether it's the history (gateway to the Orient), the art (Titian, Tintorello, Murano's glassmakers), or the romance of those beautiful canals, there is no city like it.
One of the highlights of our visit in 2009 was a gondola ride so we could explore those beautiful canals. Our gondolier was Adriano and, like his father, he made his livelihood from helping travellers explore the place that Lord Byron called "a fairy city of the heart".



We travelled up the Grand Canal, admiring the glorious palazzos that lined its sides, including the magnificent Ca d'Oro. The Rialto Bridge, built in the late sixteenth century, remains the focal point of any trip along the Grand Canal.



But the labyrinth of canals that lead throughout the city were just as enjoyable. We saw La Fenice, Venice's famed opera house, from the gondola entrance, and many smaller bridges and paths. Although these buildings didn't have the glory of some of the regal structures along the Grand Canal, our slower pace made up for it, as Adriano regaled us with stories of the city and his life. The crumbling bricks and peeling paint on some buildings only added to their sense of mystery and antiquity.





19 comments:

yummychunklet said...

Those gondola rides look fun.

Claudia said...

I never did the gondola ride. I have to go back - that's all. The combination of old-world, decay and busy markets makes it a city like no other.

Gloria Baker said...

I love Venice sounds wonderful!!

Elzbieta Hester said...

I agree about Venice. Un-motorized, quiet streets, low buildings and the feeling the you would definitely get lost without a map...Haven't taken the gondola ride though - maybe next time. Your family looking really nice there! :) ela

Mary @ The World Is A Book said...

Beautiful photos! We didn't do the gondola ride but hoping to go back soon to do them. We did ride the vaporettos a lot. Venice is one of my favorite cities to get lost and explore.

Ely-Viaggio e Assaggio said...

Venezia è veramente una città meravigliosa. Venice is really a wonderful city

Barbara said...

Love Venice. Have been several times and took my granddaughter recently.
(Ft. Lauderdale always boasts it's the Venice of the south. :) )

bakewithjill.com said...

Beautiful! I hope to visit someday.

Valerie Gamine said...

Just the sort of lovely post I needed on a bone-chilling February afternoon. (I'd give just about anything to be in Venice right now!) :)

Chris Scheuer said...

What an amazing city and what a wonderful time you've had traveling with your sweet family Beth. Thanks for sharing - your daughters are beautiful!!

Guru Uru said...

It is such a magical city my friend, I love how gorgeous the view looks :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Joanne said...

I went to Venice years and years ago, but I defintiely need to go back. SO much beauty!

Bonnie said...

Oh how I would love to venture off to Venice. I am catching up with everyone this morning, and I see some food follows this post. Portuguese and soup....yum! Have a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

Monet said...

I went to Venice with my parents when I was a girl. I still cherish those memories and I know your children will too! Thank you for sharing Beth!

allieksmith said...

Wow! Gorgeous photos. I feel like riding in a gondola is something everyone would want to do at least once in their life. Venice seems so beautiful :)

I Wilkerson said...

I think gondola rides make for some of the best photos!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Venice is such a glorious city! One of my favorite places in the world. Great place to eat seafood! Lovely pictures -- thanks.

Liz Berg said...

We have fond family memories of Venice and our gondola ride, too... Thanks for sharing yours with us all.

Angie Schneider said...

A really beautiful city! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

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