How Canaletto saw it … some 300 years earlier.
Of course there was no shortage of other kinds of boats, from the vaporetti to gondolas. The latter seemed to be de rigueur for the many Chinese visitors there for Lunar New Year.
Life & Death
I heard the siren before I saw the water ambulance.
And then, by chance, turned around to spot a hearse and flower adorned coffin. Those who know me as a bit of a transit geek will be shocked to hear that I didn’t ride the Vaporetto. Even though I was tempted, I walked instead.
Venice: Decay by Design?
I managed to see a large part of Venice, warts and all. I’m still not sure just how much of the crumbling stucco was by design or natural decline.
I eventually found San Marco, having wandered all around the the Grand Canal and down not a few narrow calles—Sometimes not so gently perfumed with that unmistakable hint of sewage.
It’s true, there’s plenty of ‘deliberate’ decay. But I also saw lots of construction and restoration. Most buildings are are still supported by wooden piles. They have a surprisingly long life span, actually improved by being under water.
Occasionally those narrow alleys end in surprises, like this archway over steps right into the canal. Beware of taking the wrong turn when leaving the local trattoria …
My highlight of San Marco: the cloisters at the Doge’s palace…
On the way I stumbled across the Church of San Giacomo di Rialto, which dates from 1152 and is now home to a delightful musical instrument museum. With period music played over the sound system, it makes for a delightful break from the outside bustle.
It was damp and bone chilling. But I did miss the snow by a couple of days (fine by me); and found a good local bar close to Piazzale Roma (the bus depot).
What also struck me was the absolute rule of street life without cars or trucks. It all felt so natural, after just a few minutes. This street market seemed so ideally situated…
And, yes, there was radicchio …
You can wander the streets for days and always find something novel—like this al fresco store display…
For accommodation, I had only one night in the area. That was the last before flying home, which required an early start.
I opted to stay at an Agriturismo hotel outside of Venice, just minutes from the airport. I’d become familiar with them on my previous trip to the Veneto.