Tag-Archive for » Canals «

Apr
26

Venice is a prominent city which is the capital of Veneto, which is part of a province located in Italy. Next to Rome and Milan, Venice is one of the most well known cities in the country. It has a population of just over 270,000 people, and is a historical center of Italy.

For nearly a thousand years Venice was one of the most powerful seaport cities in the world. Today much its glory and brilliance have subsided, but those who choose to take a closer glance at the city will be able to see its beauty.

The city was founded in the year 568 by Lombard’s who invaded Italy from the north. The city was considered to be subject to the Byzantine Empire for quite some time, but eventually gained its independence and became a city state. Venice would go on to become a large sea power and the center of the spice trade and the Renaissance.

Virtually all seasons are great times to visit the city, but Venice reaches its busiest point during the spring. During the holiday season you may find it difficult to get accommodations. The summer is a terrible time to visit, unless you like very hot weather and large crowds.

There are many things to see in Venice, and you will want to take your time. The labyrinth of canals and tunnels will dazzle you. Those interested in Gothic style art will want to visit the Ca’ d’Oro, a galleria which houses excellent pieces of Gothic art from the 15th century, which includes works from the master Titian.

For people who enjoy swimming, Venice ironically has only a few good places. If you enjoy jogging, you will want to go to the Isola di Sant’Elena. When it comes to rowing, you can get more than you imagine in a city which is full of canals.

Venice has quite a few festivals and celebrations which may interest visitors. Liberation Day is a holiday which takes place near the end of April. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is held near the end of December.

When eating in Venice you can expect to have a wide selection of seafood to choose from. Many restaurants serve only seafood dishes. If you are looking for places, which serve dishes with more meat, you will have to travel farther inland.

Like other major Italian cities, Venice can be a bit costly. You are not expected to give tips beyond what you pay in service charges. If you don’t have to pay service charges, you may want to leave a small tip if the service was good.

Apr
23

Yes, Venice is a lovely city. In its own way though it is not much different from other European cities except for the canals. Europe is filled with history and you see it everywhere from the smallest villages to the biggest cities. To me, Venice is actually a kind of sad place because it is so filled with tourists for most of the time so how do they have any time when their streets are not filled with outsiders. I wondered this as we walked the streets looking for the ever important have to see places and the pieces of everyday life that we like to see when we travel.

As everyone sees, the shops are beautiful, be it glass shop, souvenir shop, flower shop; the churches and the opera house are very nice; seeing peoples boats(used as cars) moored along side the homes are unusual; seeing the garbage being picked up by boat is something you do not see everyday; watching children playing soccer in a large courtyard and having their ball get caught in the only tree around; watching workers hauling their cargo on small two wheel carts because that is the only way of getting around; all of these things are memories of Venice that will be with me always.

Apr
14

Venice was amazing. The architecture and churches were amazing and the people were wonderful. I ended my tour in Venice with an architecture tour to make sure I didn’t miss anything on my own. I stopped at the Venice museum of modern art and had a quick bite of pizza before heading off to Milan. I have to say that Venice is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The small canals, tiny streets and locals were something that I hadn’t imagined. I woke up early for a jog along the water and ended up dumbfounded at the beauty of the city, and the fact that it was 7am and no one was out yet. (People didn’t start heading out for work until 8-830). On my way to the train station, I opted to walk the 2 miles to get as much as I could from the city, since I had already had a tour of the Grand Canal. The woman at the information booth said that it would be easy – just follow the signs. It was 10 minutes into my walk before I noticed that the simple signs with arrows pointing to La Farrovia had been spray painted to point the wrong direction. 30 minutes later, I had made a complete loop of the city before humorously stumbling upon another group who knew the correct way to the station.

I took the two hour train ride to Milan stopping in fair Verona for a quick walk. The past 4 days have been without traffic, technology or hoards of people….then I got off the train in Milan. What a change that was…

I arrived at Milan Centrale to thousands of people scrambling toward the door. I can tell you now that I am so excited that I only have a backpack, because I would have lost any other luggage in the crowd. Luckily, my hotel is across the street from the station so I didn’t have far to navigate.

I spent the remainder of the day exploring the “Golden Square” where all of the top designers have their shops. Wine and a quick biscuit filled with “vegetarian prosciutto” made up my dinner and I headed back to the hotel for the night. The hotel staff are wonderful…this morning I woke up to a complimentary “full breakfast buffet” with salami and cheese, eggs, boiled prunes and olive bread. Moments after I put a small bowl of boiled eggs on my plate, a nice hotel staff member grabbed the bowl off of my plate and said, “Please to let me warm your egg…”. I smiled and explained in broken Italian that I prefer my eggs cold, he looked at me and said that I must be from the states because no where else would prefer cold eggs. He then went on to apologize for the descending value of the “American Peso” as he called it. He joined me for a couple of minutes to explain the sights of Milan before scolding me one more time for the chilled egg.

While the journey on my own has been a wonderful, safe experience, I am excited to see Emily today. We are planning a wine tasting extravaganza this afternoon and will prep for hiking in the Cinque Terre tomorrow. Please join me in hoping that the rain goes away for our hike…

Mar
19

I visited Venice last summer and I will never forget my first impression of the city. When you step out of the train station you are immediately confronted by the Grand Canal and the ancient architecture that lines it on both sides. Once you’ve remembered to breathe, roll your luggage several hundred feet along the uneven walkway and find a hotel. There are scores of them just around the train station and you don’t save any money booking ahead. This is one lesson I learned the hard way.

The area along the Grand Canal is completely geared toward tourists and nearly everyone you encounter speaks better English than most native English speakers. Menus in the area are available in English translations. The food is excellent but if you desire a more traditional Venetian dining experience, follow smaller canals until the hoards of tourists taper off. You may need to learn a bit of Italian to be successful in this endeavor but, after all, you are in Italy.

One my favorite moments in Venice was when, after wandering a ways from the concentration of tourists, I found a residential area. The road turned to hard-packed dirt lined by rows of brick buildings. People were hanging their laundry on lines that ran from window to window, building to building. A man was working on his boat. A group of school boys were playing soccer on a fenced-in field with the sea visible at the far end, and a few girls were watching adoringly. It was a perfect display of universal humanity.

The waterways are often described as the roads of Venice but Venetians don’t live the way we, in the United States, live. The sidewalks are more like their roads because they walk everywhere. The only people paying for gondola rides are tourists but seeing the city by water is certainly romantic, especially when the sun is setting. The rays reflect off the water and paint every building oranges and purples in a way that’s impossible anywhere else, even oceanfront.

Venice is a city unlike any other in the world and if you wander from the beaten path you can still glimpse the Venice of old beyond the glitzy tourist center.