Venice. I love it! Venice, My love! 🙂
Yes, I know. Venice as a city of love is clichéd. Let me tell you that the first time I went to Venice I was just with a friend. And not with a lover! 🙂
The reason was because I thought that this was a bit clichéd: the gondolas, the canals, and all these images of entwined lovers.
Mind you, I had it wrong. It is alluring. Indeed, with Venice you are in delightful company, the city lends it, yet which (European) city does not?!
Venice has a lot to offer. Now I have been there several times and I can gladly go back many more. I cannot get enough of it.
What is there to be seen?
Everything is worth seeing:
- Piazza San Marco with its splendid basilica
- The Doge’s Palace where lived the Doges (the chief magistrates) in the old days of the Venetian Republic. It is a work of art on its own owing to the works by Veronese and Tintoretto
- The Rialto Bridge where until the 14th century an exchange took place (a market for the exchange of vessel parts)
- The Bridge of Sighs that prisoners were made to walk from their prison cells to the Doge’s Palace for a trial
- The Grand Canal
- The island of San Giorgio Maggiore
And plenty of other palaces, churches and cafes. All this is to be seen.
Yes. Yet I also mean the small streets, the ambiance, the markets at any street corner.
I also mean the Jewish Quarter.
This is a place which I find astonishing.
I will explain why. Actually, this recalls the history (it is unavoidable) because one can find there a big wall with barbed wire and a reminder, but that is not it.
This is a place that one can enter (through a type of door). Then inside … Everything is calm, one cannot find there the hubbub of the main areas. On can find cafes and small shops, small squares, schools and all is a reminder that one is in THE Jewish quarter. Since I am not a follower of this religion, I felt almost an intruder.
I am also thinking of an encounter with an ordinary elderly lady from here. I came across her on the other side of the Jewish quarter.
She talked to me about the ghetto (the old and the new one), of life in Venice before and now. She showed me a place: an old button factory, or rather the houses where lived the workers at that time. Today these are the most ordinary residences but at in those years that was a factory, as she told me.
I believe too that if there is time, it is a good idea also to visit Murano, the island where artisans manufacture the famous glassware. The Murano glass is well-known all over the world, so go visit its “homeland”.
Besides, this is the most colourful place! Simply magnificent!
I have fallen in love with Venice, as you have already gathered.;) Yet I asked myself the question: “How is it on the other side?”
And on the other side, the locals, do they like it?
I met people born here. They adore their city and are proud of it. On the other hand, the cost to pay has gone up: the price per square meter, the maintenance of buildings (water does not forgive), the hubbub etc, etc. It is so high that many locals feel obliged to “emigrate” to the mainland. But ok, never too far away because they love their Venice! 🙂