It’s true what they say about Venice, you know.
It is magical.
It is also exciting, immensely overcrowded, occasionally smelly, ridiculously laid out, touristy, inconceivably beautiful, and only equal in it’s beauty to it’s expense. Our three days in Venice were some of the best days we’ve had so far in our trip, and we can’t wait to return.
We were picked up from the train station by our friends Anna and Sebastiano, who we stayed with in the neighboring land-based city to Venice, Mestre. They drove us to their (stunning) apartment, where they welcomed us in the typical Italian fashion – with wine, proscuitto, cheese, salami, and pasta. If you’ve never mixed your tomato sauce with a dash of pesto, try it. It’s magnificent.
After our snack and a nap, we headed into the city. There is something so spectacular and so utterly weird about walking into a city with boats instead of cars, where all of the “yards” are bits of canal, and a traffic jam involves a multitude of water vehicles, people, and usually some dogs, wandering around the deck, wondering what the heck all the fuss is about. It was so strange to see a UPS boat, loaded with boxes in the open air…
and a grocery boat, piled high with cartons of oranges and bottled beverages…
and a furniture boat. That’s how people move in venice, via flat-bed boat.
We spent the evening as everyone should once in their lives – wandering through the back alleys of Venice. We had no agenda, as all our sightseeing would wait until the morning. We just wandered, stepping into the mask shops and watched the painters create their ancient and original craft for Carnivale.
We admired the truly beautiful (and some absolutely awkward) glass work, ranging from magnificent champagne flutes, to vases, to little statues of a water tap with a fish coming out of the water droplet. I mean, who would buy that? (I almost did.)
We stopped for a coffee for me, and a gelato for Anthony. We watched an old man read a newspaper with a magnifying glass and drink an espresso slowly, with great respect for the divine beverage.
We saw the giant Moors clock, with the bells being struck every 15 minutes by two statues of greenish men. Then, we went to a very mediocre dinner (our first in Italy – it had to happen sometime!) and spent of the rest of the evening crossing bridge after bridge, and following windy path after windy path. It was a perfect first evening in Venice, in the moonlight, under the stars.
All Photos Courtesy of Anthony van der Hoorn, my love and photographer extraordinaire.