There are very few cities in the world that when you see them, you know exactly on which continent they are from. Take for instance the Giza, you see the pyramids and you know in a second Egypt => Africa. Same goes for the Great Wall of China or the Red Mountain Uluru from Australia or the kangaroos and so on and so forth.
For me, Venezia or Venice is the symbol of Europe. Is one of the few places on this old continent that says Europe more than any other. It has many architectural influences, lagoons, bricks, gondolas, gondoliers, paintings and so on.
Like I said before, on road to Milano, from Verona, the fast Italian train, Frecciarossa, had on board time schedules of all the trains on that route and not only. There I found out that Venezia is not so far away, in fact at just 2 hours and a half. So at my second day of stay, I booked a ticket.
So here I am on the magnificent Milano Centrale train station on the day of departure.
The trains are beautiful, both old and new ones. But the FRossa is not just beautiful, but also fast and very comfortable. The seats go upwards and downwards to adjust to your height. And because they have a metal shell in the back, if you let you seat maximum down, you do not upset your neighbor in the back.
So after a 2 hour and 30 minutes journey, I stepped down from the train and on the platform of Venezia S. Lucia, the platform of the city I saw only in school books, literature books, art, movies, games and music. Now it was real.
My number one plan was to get to a Gondola. And that is no easy job, unless you have a gps map. This city, has very tall buildings, narrow streets, canals and only in some places, bridges to cross them, meaning you take many turns to get to some place. There are no cars, no bikes, no trams and no subways – just narrow streets.
As this edifice was unveiling, so did the Gondola Round-trip station. In fact is just a small place, where every time, a few (in my case 2) gondolas come to get more tourists to a 80 or 120 euro trip. I took the cheap one since I was thinking is enough for me.
I don-t know for sure why is Venezia so different in a gondola. Is more beautiful, it starts to make sense, you understand all the hype. I think that taking just a regular boat or just walking in the city is just like eating a hot-dog without ketchup + mustard.
I can tell you, this trip is quiet and for a small extra cash, the gondolier will present the things that we see. (it also helps break the quietness of everything.
The entering on the Grand Canale is breathtaking. From minutes on narrow places with tall buildings on each side, to a dense and very opened place. I know that we say in Venezia there are hundreds of castles but I never thought they would look so ordinary from the Grande Canale. I think the venetian designation of those castles as just Casa (house) is more appropriate.
Away from the noise of boats and taxis (boats), away from the waves and away from the bright sun, the narrow canals are more intimate and more interesting as well.
For me, to taste the experience of going on a gondola in Venezia, the 80 euro trip was more than enough. I don’t say, that if I had more money I would not take the other trip, but this one was just as great.
Next I took a pizza and an Italian beer. Again no ravioli.
Venezia has beautiful or just specific areas that speak about this great lagoon city. So because they were so many, I lost track of them, and also because there are too many tourists, sometimes you cannot stop. Is just like on a huge museum with constant crowds (in the summer).
But what I wanted to say, was that the spiral painted posts in the water, the decay in paint on buildings, the lighter colors on the windows frame ant the wooden curtains are repetitive. But once in a while you peak a garden or a tower or a busy market place.
Or even a dragon, holding umbrellas.
Or a set of columns. These details, that are not repetitive, tell a story on how Venezia is unique actually.
Another image of the Grand Canale.
The entering to Piazza San Marco. As narrow as any other place, but with a white gate, and a stellar watch.
No movie can ever show someone how great this place is, and how small someone can actually be.
St. Mark’s Basilica. White and very beautifully ornate. Too much I think, but looks great anyway! The shadow on the right site is from the tower Campanila San Marco.
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
Merceria Orologio. This place has a cross, a bell, 2 statues, the Generally symbol, a Saint Merry, a clock, an horoscope, and an arch. … But it looks very beautiful, with all the mixture of time, money, Christianity and tradition.
I don’t care if people find churches very beautiful and unique… the only huge line I stood was here in Venezia at the tower Campanila San Marco.
From up here most small canals disappear. It looks like any other European old city, with churches as the tallest buildings. Also in the distance we can see the Alps.
While editing and cropping in the image, I saw this shipyard, so beautiful and so well hidden. Unlike most shipyards, with huge cranes that make no sense, this one has a black one, with brick foundation, next to other brick buildings, in a brick lagoon.
This is the place where the Gran Canale ends and the big ships enter the lagoon. On the right we have the church Santa Maria della Salute. Far to the left is Chiesa del Redentore and I think that in the distance is JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. Yep, all that island.
The island San Giorgio Maggiore. I think all the residents of Venice must live on it, taken the huge number of sail boats.
The passing of a ship in the Canale (on the left is Santa Maria della Salute).
As we took the elevator down from the peak of the tower to the busy plaza, I was more eager to take my desired photo of a gondolier and his gondola.
Instead I found this busy Canale with more than 20 gondolas heading towards the same direction. I was lucky for I have taken my trip in the morning.
From every river there are Gondolas heading into the open and parking themselves on the shore.
There, at the shore, huge ships make the gondolas dance of joy, for that more and more tourists will enjoy a round trip in them.
Monumento Vittori Emanuele II.
The sun setting down over the lagoon, and also a tower that looks like it will fall.
View over the island San Giorgio.
One of the three tilting towers in Venezia: The Campanile of San Giorgio dei Greci.
This following image is missing only the spiral painted posts, but other than that it reflects the todays Venezia. Quiet, even with the huge amount of tourists.
The illuminati church (at least it has its symbol on every entry.
With this final view, I said goodbye to Venezia. A full one day spent here, two great meals and a great gondola trip.
So for now is back to Milano…