As you might suspect, going about daily activities in a city built on water, a 1500 kilometer network of canals, that encompasses 117 islands with over 400 bridges can be difficult to say the least. The challenges it presents are many and very unique.
I visited Venice for the first time in 2015, and while I realized that things were difficult, I had no idea what that really meant. I would imagine most of us don’t. After all, we are there on vacation. To enjoy the beauty of this amazing city unlike any other in the World. We don’t think about the ‘how’ of things. At least I didn’t.
I have but 2 days left in Venezia. It has gone by much too quickly. I can feel that she is beckoning me, ‘Stay. Don’t go Rae.’ I know that she has much more to show me. But alas, reality comes slamming back into view and I have to return to work. If I don’t return to work, how will I afford to visit next year? It is that thought, knowing I will return, that will get me through these next 48 hours. Come, come with my on the final leg of my journey through Venezia.
Categories: Italy, Italy Updates, Travel, Venice
Tags: Camp San Barnaba, Camp Santa Margherita, Dosoduro, Italy, San Trevaso, Santa Maria Novella, Scuola Grande Dei Carmini, Travel, Venezia, Venice
Sunday Sept 27, 2015
It’s a beautiful, sunny day as I throw open all of the windows in my room, open my arms wide and exclaim, ‘Buongiorno Venezia!’ ala Katherine Hepburn. As I gaze down the canal what do I see? What is this? Oh no………. a behemoth of a cruise ship slowly passes by in the distance, towering over the buildings, obstructing any further view and shattering the serenity of the moment. Damn! A few minutes later, another makes its way through the Giudecca Canal across my field of view . Double damn!
View from my bedroom
View From My Bedroom
View from the Kitchen
I have been reading about the outcry of residents on this subject. There has been much written about these giants and what they are doing to the city of Venice, aesthetically as well as the damage they cause to the environment, and the fragile, historical structures. Many would like to see them banned from using the Giudecca Canal and use a different route. In November, 2014 such a ban was instituted that restricted ships over 96,000 tons from using the canal. Unfortunately Venice’s Regional Administrative Tribunal has since thrown out the limit. The Italian Transport Ministry stated it will appeal the decision to the Council of State. But I digress…..
Categories: Italy, Italy Updates, Travel, Venice
Tags: Basilica di San Marco, Dosoduro, Grand Canal, Guidecca Canal, Italy, Piazza San Marco, Santa Maria della Salute, St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Campanile, Travel, Venezia, Venice
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I was the first one up this morning, Richard was awake a little later and then he woke Dennie. Good thing because Emanuele arrived 15 minutes early for our Rome apartment checkout. Thankfully, Richard had realized that I made a 2 hour mistake as to when our train to Florence was. I called Emanuele yesterday afternoon and he was able to rearrange his schedule. He did a quick check through the apartment and finding nothing amiss, he returned our Security Deposit. Woo hoo.. a little extra cash to spend on the rest of the trip. It was a cloudy day and looked like rain with it being the same forecast in Florence. Our little elevator was stuck for the first time since we arrived. Richard carried his suitcase down the stairs and Emanuele carried mine. Dennie waited for us to get downstairs and send the elevator back up for him and his suitcase. We were going to walk over to the Piazza and catch a cab, but decided to just have Emanuele call a cab for us and we were on our way to Termini Train Station. We had 90 minutes before our train would leave for Florence.
Categories: Florence, Italy, Italy Updates, Travel
Tags: Arno River, Florence, Florence Cathedral, Italy, Oltrarno, Palazzo Pitti, Piazza della Passera, Piazzale Michelangelo, Pitti Palace, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirtio, The Accademia, The David, The Duomo, Travel, Uffizi Gallery
September 20-22, 2015
First full day in Rome is a beautiful sunny day with nary a cloud in the sky and temps are to be in the mid 80’s. I saw from the terrace that there were very few people on the Piazza del Popolo, I thought this would be a perfect time to visit and get some photos without scads of tourists in every photo. It is the one thing I hate about travel photography – I don’t like people in my photos and I have been known to wait, and wait, and wait, with my camera held up to my face waiting to hit the shutter button at that precise moment when everyone is outside the viewfinder. Of course, tourists will pose a problem all over Italy, oh, wait a minute, I’m one of those tourists! I do try not to linger if I need to get up close for a shot so as to clear the way for that other person trying to get the “just so” shot 🙂
On two occasions while in Rome, I was on the receiving end of kindness, understanding and compassion from 3 total strangers. 1 who spoke no English and 2 who spoke limited English, one more so than the other. I was a guest in their country after all and there was no reason for them to speak my language. And yet, each of them showed me that kindness and compassion can still be found in this oftentimes crazy world that we live in. It was so refreshing to witness first hand and especially in another Country in which I was a guest.
While Rome was not my first choice of places to visit in Italy, I tended to agree with the sentiment; ‘If you are going to Italy, you should see Rome’. So see Rome I did. Well, some of it anyway. One of the reasons that I wasn’t real interested in the city was I knew that it was going to be very busy, congested, loud, crowded, lots of traffic, did I mention lots of people?!? I am not a crowd type of person. I don’t have the patience for it. Nor do I like feeling as though I am part of a herd of cattle. I don’t like the ‘every man for himself’ concept of pushing and shoving. I don’t like the rudeness that it brings out in myself as a result of this. I just plain don’t like crowds.
I started planning the trip a little over a year before we were to leave. Considering the cost of airfare, it seemed that to only travel to Venice for a week wouldn’t be cost effective. Why not include another stop as well and make it a 2 week trip? But where to go? Of course the Big Three are Rome, Florence and Venice. But I started looking at other locations like Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Salerno, and The Italian Riviera. Yes, I was all over the map until common sense, logistics and cost won out and it was decided that the Big Three would be the perfect trip. However, I really wasn’t too excited about Rome. It seemed so spread out, so busy, so much traffic, but I would concede to the idea ‘It would be silly to go to Italy and not see Rome.’ I had a feeling that Florence would be more my style but, the real interest for me was Venice.
When you visit Venezia you must take time to appreciate the city from the water. It is after all, a city of islands. Water water everywhere, it is an integral part of Venezia. I found the Gondola is not an easy thing to get into or out of. At least not for me, I am too unsteady on my feet, I found it to be quite awkward. Depending on the tide, you might be stepping up or stepping down a foot or more. The one time that I rode in one, there was a guy who stood on the “dock” and held out his hand as assistance to get in, and the same thing for getting back out. But that was the extent of the help for anyone in our Gondola – or that I saw on others. The Gondolier stood in back and verbally directed us where to sit. – but do take a ride at least once.
While I unfortunately didn’t have much of an appetite while in Italy, I did sample a few dishes in each city. I still cannot figure out why I wasn’t hungry. That is normally a non-issue for me. I had been looking forward to all of the fantastic, fresh food I’d be eating in my 2 weeks in Italia, but sadly, it just didn’t happen. But that is just one of the many reason for me to return! And this time, with a HUGE appetite 🙂