Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday Travels: Venice

We return to Italy for this week's Travels; specifically to Venice, that legendary city of canals, masks, and gondolas (or gondole, as the Italian plural form is, if we're being technical). I'd been there once before on a rainy day several years ago, and had been somewhat disappointed with the place, finding it rather creepy and claustrophobic. Things this time round were immediately improved by the weather; we enjoyed beautiful sunshine which naturally put everything in a better light - the plenitude of water in Venice which had seemed murky and sinister in the rain was now shimmering and benign. All in all, most ideal for a leisurely gondola ride down the canals - the perfect way to start our day of sightseeing in Venice.

{Say formaaaaggioooo!}

I don't seem to remember our gondolier being particularly lively (some serenade you but I think ours was pretty charmless). However, the sights we passed were entertainment enough...

{ these stunningly shabby old buildings...}

{...and this gondola full of very cheerful fellow tourists}

The disembarkment area happened to be right smack dab in front of a Hard Rock Cafe, and as we were already pretty pasta and pizza-ed out (although there is no such thing as being gelato-ed out, there just isn't), we decided that good American-style burgers and fries was exactly what we were craving. After this refuelling, we were ready to tackle the abundance of culture Venice has to offer...

{Venetian vista}

{Tucked away canal}

File:Venice - Piazza San Marco.jpg
{Piazza San Marco/St Mark's Square, the hub of Venice and pigeon playground}

{The Bridge of Sighs - so named (by Lord Byron) because it was the final view of the city convicts had before being imprisoned}

{San Zaccaria church - not wildly significant or anything but made for a beautiful backdrop}

{The Doge's Palace - the residence of Venice's chief magistrate until the 18th century}

{Everywhere you go in Venice you have these creepy masks staring at you - total Stuff of Nightmares, right?!}

{Venice is also renowned for its lace so we paid a trip to a Lace School (yep, that's a thing!)}

Because the city is so blatantly tourist-oriented, some of my favourite memories of Venice are not the countless museums and churches and other sites of cultural significance, but the random little diversions we had throughout the day, such as getting lost...

{...and turning into a little street only to be greeted by this gruesome sight}

And then searching endlessly for a public washroom and finally winding up in a little Chinese-run cafe serving Italian food, where there were no customers, just the family all sitting around chatting.  And Rihanna was blasting on the radio. It was one of those surreal moments, where we just thought to ourselves "How weird is it to be in Venice listening to Rihanna?!" I mean, in theory, it's not that weird at all, but when you've been surrounded by so much decaying grandeur and tales of prisoners being locked away never to see the light of day again, it was just kind of jarring. In the best possible way of course; we do like Rihanna's music. As did the super polite little Chinese boys who silently showed us where the washroom was whilst bobbing their heads to "Disturbia."

 And then, after a bit more wandering, we decided it was dinner-time...

{...and this happened...}

{...and this newly-bought, bird-in-a-cage necklace (named Donna) made her debut...}

 {...and Rebecca Saw The Light...}

And, as dusk fell, bathing the city in that golden light so typically Italian, we bade a fond farewell to Venice...

{Ciao, Venezia!}

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  1. Welcome in italy!!

    Nice post!!

    Kisses ! Have a stunning day!
    I wait for you for a very interesting post!

  2. Hey girls! Loved your post!
    Ejoy your time there ;)
    We are following your blog now, feel free to follow us at