A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Everything in Venice is three bridges away

Venice is not a city that I ever had a burning desire to see. I'd heard it smelled bad, was really crowded, very expensive, and just not worth it. But other people said it was their favorite city in Italy! My son went there last year on his honeymoon and enjoyed it so we decided, what the heck, we'll take the plunge (notice the clever use of a water word) and add a couple of days to our trip this year.

OMG, we loved the place. The photo above is one of my favorite (we took a little over 600 photos just in Venice). The city is magical. If you go in the Spring or Fall, the air is cooler so no bad smell. And the crowds are lighter. In Spring everything is in bloom and, except for a little rain, it was really wonderful.

This is such a typical scene in Italy. We were having lunch, three men were serenading us, and a sweet little Italian woman stopped right there to feed her dog.

We walked out butts off and, of course, with all the bridges it was constantly up and down stairs. Which is a good thing because the pasta, seafood, and gelato were all within easy reach and much to difficult to resist. One thing we noticed is that apparently no matter where you want to go in Venice it's only three bridges away. We heard this when we asked about the hotel, the boat dock, the place to buy train tickets, a good restaurant. I think it's like in Myrtle Beach where everything is 1/2 mile away, in Austria everything was 5 minutes walk, and for my grandfather everything was "just around the corner".

This is a street where we had dinner the first night. Nothing terribly special about it, but I loved the two men sitting on the benches with their legs crossed. Everywhere you turn there are more streets like this, more piazzas, more wonderful alleys that, no matter how narrow, manage to have hotels and restaurants.

Italians have a thing for hanging their laundry outside their windows. I remember my grandmother in Chicago doing this in their tenement apartment. Ed decided to get a picture of the laundry (if you squint you can see him under the arch). Of course, just as he was mid-shot someone came out of the apartment to find this guy taking pictures of their shirts and underwear. Probably the type of thing that gives tourists a bad name.

Here we are on a bridge. The weather was cloudy most of our time there so the colors aren't very bright, but in person it was stunning.

This is a farmer's market Venice style. An old man was selling fruits and vegetables off the boat. The box in the foreground was filled with fresh herbs.

And the gondolas. They were everywhere. There were wide canals and very narrow ones. Each one more charming than the other. And gondoliers trying to get riders. Below is a cool shot of one of the gondoliers letting the potential customers discuss the ride while honoring us with a smoldering Italian look.

So, we loved Venice. We will definitely go back.


ira said...

Lovely! :)
Is Ed fine now?
you've been having one hell of a time!! I'm all nervous about going. New place..although yeah..LA's gonna be fun!
And I finally get to live alone!! :)
Where do you live? kNow someone in LA?
take care..!

Sandi said...

Yes, Ed's fine. I love in the San Francisco area and don't know anyone anymore in LA. But you'll have a wonderful time and make friends fast, I'm sure.

namaste said...

wow sandi! these pictures are amazing. i can't tell you how jealous i am. italy is my DREAM destination! thanks for sharing.




I'm with Namaste....Italy is my dream destination also!!! The gondola's and the small alleys intrigue me!! I wanna goooooooooooo!!

MMrussianadoption said...

one day i will get there. i want to see all of europe. hopefully soon