"Amore eterno per Venezia la Serenissima :-)" Top 5 Page for this destination Venice by Trekki
Venice Travel Guide: 8,289 reviews and 21,969 photos
Update, June 2015:
Originally I wrote my Venice page in June 2007. These days my English was rather sloppy to say least. I was also rather cynical in my wording, something that pushed me off when I was looking at my page recently. My attitude and perceptions have changed in the meantime too, so I felt the urge to work on my page. This also because between my original writings and "now" eight years have passed and some things changed, websites changed, prices changed.
So here it is, my complete revised Venice page :-)
By now it is some years ago that I came back from my 12 days visit in Venezia and it is still there - the spell, this magic city poured over me. Anytime I close my eyes, it is there, it fills me with peace and harmony and the desire to come back. She is like a woman in beautiful veils and sometimes she is willing to unveil a bit. These are the moments when you can catch a glimpse of her eternal beauty and this is when she casts this spell over you, which plants that desire into your soul to return to see more of her beauty. This is when you get addicted and know that there is something you just cannot control. She tempts you, she wants you to come back, she teaches you things you never knew before and she makes you do things you never did before. She changes you. There is nothing you can do against it, you will find yourself sooner or later again in one of the boats or busses that bring you there
Well, this is at least what she did to me. I was surrounded with her beauty. Every moment, I looked into her face, I discovered more beautiful details, more secrets, some of which I even don’t know that I have discovered them. For example, I was never specifically interested in paintings and nothing would have scared me to death more as, let’s say, the prospect of queuing for hours in front of Louvre gate to squeeze myself through the masses, hardly get a glimpse of famous Monalisa and listen to the unavoidable talks of art lovers about this or that paint brush. And then I was standing in front of or beneath paintings of Tiepolo, Bellini, Tintoretto, Canaletto, Veronese, which are all embedded in their original places like Sala del Maggiore Consiglio in Palazzo Ducale or Chiesa Santi Giovanni e Paolo, and I marveled at them as if I never had seen a painting before.
I had a similar feeling with all the buildings. Everything I had visited before was somehow wiped out from my memory. These buildings, all of different styles from Byzantine to Baroque, these most immense treasures in palazzi, galleries and churches, plus Venice's unique position on more than 100 islands, erected on wooden poles – this all makes her so special, so magic, so… well, to fall in love with forever.
So there I was with this - very untypical for me - wish to visit Venezia. I knew I had to go there, because so many “events” in my recent past just pointed to Italy and to her. Partly I was horrified (of the mass tourism, including me adding to it), but I wanted to see Venezia with my own eyes, see it, feel it and find out if, what has been written about her since ages by very talented writers and not so much talented ones, is true for me or if and what I would perceive different. See if I would start screaming, once I’d be squeezed on Piazza San Marco or see if I would find the city I was looking for – La Serenissima Venezia.
Well, to summarize “my Venezia”, I’d say:
* I found the most beautiful and magic city on our planet,
* I found so many prejudices absolutely not true, so that I will be quite sarcastic in some of writings and try to “clean up this mess” from my point of view :-),
* Since ages, it was the first time for me that I was really away and immersed into the place I visited. No single thought of anything at home, job or private environment slipped into my mind (oh, stop, that’s a lie - there was occasional snail mail between Christine and me, but we had an important “Venetian business” to solve, haha),
* Some days after I was back home I realised that I could write a book “how do you know that you are long enough in Venezia?” – whenever I saw a (construction) crane, I asked myself how it got there… without water channels,
* I never ever perceived Venezia as a gigantic open air museum or as a dying city with morbid charm. For me she showed herself as a very vibrant city with very friendly locals, beautiful houses, decorations, plants, marvellous food with busy markets and charming campi and cafes and traffic on water rather than on weird streets and highways,
* I fully understand and support Venezia’s and her officials’ arrogance towards the chaotic day tourism and the high price level around the neuralgic spots. If someone sees Venezia as a big open air museum and that “it can be done in 1 day”, well, there is a price for that! If the price is too high – these masses should simply not go. It is our own choice – to walk for some metres away from the neuralgic spots and find normal price levels, well price levels, Venetians pay (they are higher than on mainland, but I’ll explain this all later).
* I was so ashamed about my own arrogance all the years before that prevented me from visiting Venezia, because I also saw it as a huge open air museum with the squeaking masses I never wanted to be part of. But as said above – it is only some metres to walk – and off they are and here she is, this magic city and her locals.
I thought about it back and forth if and if how I would write about magic Venezia.
So many good advice is already written in books, websites and here on VT – so what could I add and furthermore, how do I believe I can add anything that has not been written yet. Finally I came to the conclusion to describe this magic city as I have perceived her in May 2007 (and updates to follow after my next visits). I will be quite sarcastic from time to time, mostly in the general section, as here I will reflect on the city and her exposed position in the lagoon, how this influences the life of the locals, how bad our own (as visitors) impact on the locals is, finally, and how much this all reflects in prices, entrance fees and other things. I do not want to deliberately insult anyone but inspire and give room for own thoughts and considerations and maybe even bring some perceptions into another angle. Well, I strongly hope to be able to do this, as neither Venezianos nor Venezia deserve to be called scammers or one big tourist trap.
Before I come to an end in my intro, I would like to give my acknowledgements to especially Cristiano, Lidia and Paolo Riccio, who told me so much about their marvellous city and through whom I felt at home during my stay (even if I didn’t stay in their hotel the whole time), to the nameless guide for Palazzo Ducale’s Segreti Itinerari tour (on May 8, 9:45 a.m.), who told us so many secrets about the Palazzo, the city’s history and who gave Christine and me the most important hint for our search for background of the animal ornaments, to Toni Sepeda, who took me on a walk in the footsteps of Commissario Brunetti and of course, to Christine and Sandy for inspiring me to go, with their writings and photos.
And also thanks to Irena and Vladimir who have fallen under the same spell and gave me more inspirations for my next time. Make sure you look at their page as well, they are the real kings of off-path Venezia :-)))
Finally, to my beloved camera which had to work like mad in all these days.
How to “read” “my Venezia ?
I am well aware that it will be a lot once I am finished (which might be never). My page is the result of 12 incredible and very intense days. So you might like to know beforehand where to look for which kind of information.
Things to to: will contain all attractions I personally perceive as important walks and sights. In my opinion Venezia just cannot be “done” in 1 day, as Christine already wrote. I’ll start with the islands and subsequently arrange my writings according to the sestiere: starting with Canaregio, Castello, San Polo, Dorsoduro and finish with the highlight of San Marco. (I was not in Santa Croce and on La Giudecca).
Local customs: will be my biggest section, these are all the details that make Venezia so charming and that explain so much of how life was and is on the islands.
Off path: are sights or places which I finally indeed consider as off path. Here I’ll write about the locations of the Brunetti books and TV series by Donna Leon and other old famous movies.
All pictures have been taken by me, if not marked otherwise.
Please do not use any of them without my permission.
The same applies for my writings here.
- Pros:A magic city - most beautiful of the world :-)
- Cons:... if there weren't we all - the mass tourists :-)
- In a nutshell:Don't "do" Venezia - travel there and feel the real atmosphere
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Written Jun 8, 2007
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