Photo Credit: http: stoper
Isn’t that what you think of when you think of Venice? A full moon, a handsome man at your side, bubbles in your hand and the gondolier paddling through the canals while crooning old Italian standards?
No longer. O Sole Mio is a Neapolitan tune and the gondoliers association has deemed it inappropriate. Oarsmen should be crooning Venetian songs to their passengers instead. Besides, isn’t taking a gondolier ride passe? A pricey touristy fancy that should be avoided as cliche? Not terribly authentic any longer and filled with fanny pack toting turista?
I don’t care! I want to go on one anyway. I’ll close my eyes and ignore the fanny packs and the funny visor hats with sequins on them. I’ll pay the exorbitant fee, clink my champagne glass, sit back and enjoy every minute of it. Sometimes you just have to embrace the cliche!
One of my favorite things to do, especially in larger cities or those with great history, is to take a walking tour. I know, I know…I’m supposed to be an independent traveler figuring it out on my own…blah, blah, blah. I’m a lazy independent traveler. I love having a guide who will fill me in on the history of a place, give me a sense of scale, tell me what’s worth seeing and teach me the local custom. How else am I supposed to know whether it’s okay to order a cappuccino after breakfast or which way to twirl my spagetti on my fork?
Photo Credit: shironekoeuro
Another classic image I have of Venice is of an artisan hunched over his art; shirtsleeves rolled up as ignoring the perspiration on his brow as he carefully sculpts a blob of glass before inflating it to its final form. The island of Murano, just off Venice, is the pre-eminent place in the world to experience glassmaking. I’ve seen the Murano glass ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and I’ve visited glass blowing studios on Granville Island in Vancouver. Watching this great artform take shape in such a historied location would be amazing.
I imagine that Venice is a photographers dream. Beautiful architecture, hazy light, canal reflections and iconic imagery. I imagine myself wandering around trying to capture it all and yet knowing that I can’t. I’ll try though. Pictures of waterways and bridges. Shots of old Italian women and their daily gelato (because if I was an old Italian woman I would eat gelato every day!). Photos of meals and wine as we enjoy them. Images of buildings from all kinds of angles. Close ups of quintessential Venice.
Photo Credit: http: wenzday01
I’ve read that the best part of Venice is the back canals and cul-de-sacs. Where we could make our way early to the market to get fruit and cheese and bread for a lazy breakfast. Where we could slip back to our Oh-Venice apartment for an afternoon siesta. Where we could find tiny trattorias to visit night after night to gorge on pasta and pizza and wine. That’s the Venice that I really want to see.
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