Friday, May 31, 2013

This is Venice

Throughout our stay in Venice I was snapping pictures constantly, trying to find the one that would speak a resounding, “Venice” without words. It is more difficult than you can imagine to capture the beauty and the romance of the city. The depth of feeling in the mere waterways, people, the hustle and bustle, is truly unfathomable and unexplainable. I feel that our gondolier put it very well when he said Venice was part of his heart. You can’t help feeling that once you have been.

And so I have compiled a few pictures that capture as best I could the feeling of the city. Some will be repeats and some will seem odd, but to me they speak “Venice”.

From the Canals to the Colosseum

Cory and I are comfortably situated in a speedy train and currently making our way through the Italian Countryside. There are so many beautiful sights to see as we go through fields, farms, and towns. I just wish I were able to take pictures of some of the wonderful sights. But, I will have to save the countryside for our next visit to Italy.

I could definitely get used to this mode of transportation. Someone drives me at a fast pace wherever I want to go, I have beautiful views, and I can write or read as I choose with “Dustland Fairytale” blasting in my headphones. Yes, life is good. 

We took a lovely walk in San Marco’s Square last night to get gelato and commemorate our final evening in Venice. It started to rain so we were not able to take too many pictures, but I got one that will at least demonstrate the lovely lights and ambiance. According to our gondolier, it has been raining here far more than usual for this time of year. Although I love sunshine, the sound of the rain on the water right outside my window at night has been lovely as well.

This morning I felt quite sad as we closed the door of our little Venetian home for the last time. We carted all of our bags through the numerous winding streets to the train station. Fortunately, thanks to Cory’s studied knowledge of the canals, we only had to cross six of the 400 bridges in Venice en route. 

It was a rainy morning and I confess I was paranoid the rain would hurt my beautiful new purse the whole walk (but it has since dried out just as Cory said it would). We left ourselves ample time to stop over at our favorite café for delicious cappuccinos. 

And so we said farewell to all of our newfound friends in Venice, not the least of these being the shops and canals, the pasta and the pizza, and the owners of our two favorite establishments. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Pleasant Place of all Festivity

Our time in Venice is rapidly drawing to a close. We have very diligently seen all of the important sights and explored the city. 

We both agree that the best part about this city has been wandering through the streets, going over bridges, happening upon shops, and ending up in a little café by the water. The romance of the city is so poignant wherever you are, provided you are willing to feel it. 

Yesterday I had a very important task. Cory insisted that we could not leave Venice until he bought me an Italian leather purse. My patient husband walked with me into shop after shop, trying on purse after purse, modeling them in the mirror to see if they “spoke to me”. Well, Cory is thankful that I found one I love and we are done with our serious shopping…till Florence. 

Today was spent in visiting the last great church on our list, having cappuccinos at our favorite café, and walking the now well known routes around our residence. 

We will truly miss this place. We have made many good memories and have lots of great pictures to remind of us of our happy week wandering the canals of the romantic watery city; "The pleasant place of all festivity, The revel of the earth."

Inside San Marco's Basilica

Cory and I have spent many hours wandering the streets of Venice. We have seen all of the amazing big churches, and many of the small ones as well (there are well over a hundred in the city). 

There have been a few churches that have struck us with their magnificence, history, and beauty. At the top of the list is certainly San Marco’s Basilica. 

The walls and ceilings are covered with the most beautiful mosaics. These mosaics are the most amazing works of art that have been added to the cathedral over a span of nine hundred years. I have never seen familiar Bible stories portrayed in such an inspired and stunning array. 

We meandered through the church, saw the view from the upstairs balcony, and visited the museum portion enclosed within the building. We are continually amazed by the historical background here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Most Beautiful Viewpoint in the City

Today was the chosen day in which Cory and I took part in one of the most well known and romantic experiences.

When we got on the plane for England over three weeks ago, Cory put a sealed envelope in my hand. It was a card from my dad, entrusted into Cory’s care to be given to me when we were in the air. 

Needless to say it was a personal note that made me cry. Enclosed was money and instructions to use for a gondola ride in Venice. And so, my wonderful, wonderful parents treated Cory and I to the most AMAZING experience on the canals this afternoon. 

Our gondolier was a very nice young Venetian who spoke English very well. I asked him how long he had lived in Venice and he said that in order to be a gondolier you have to be born and raised a true Venetian. I asked him if he liked living here. His answer in a wonderful Italian accent was, “I love living here. Venice is my city. It is part of my heart.” I thought that was a wonderful answer. SO our gondolier gave us a wonderful time on the canals, answering questions, telling us history, and making us laugh when he shouted out random Italian words to the other gondoliers and passers by. 

We came into a few close shaves with walls and boats and bridges, but I think that is fairly normal because our gondolier didn’t even seem to notice (except one time when a rude taxi cut us off, apparently the gondola’s are supposed to have priority on all the canals but the taxi guys are rude). 

I think that Venice is a wonderful and amazing city. The views from San Marco’s clock tower are wonderful, the views from the street are wonderful, but no view compares with the one we saw today. While wandering through all of the tiny canals today we really felt all of the culture of the city. It was so wonderfully romantic; A truly amazing experience. 

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