As I said in the last post, today Venice is less oriented towards its canals, and that’s for a reason: Fewer and fewer people actually live there.
Venice has lost all its political power in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. It fell to Austria, and although Austria soon lost it to the newly formed Italian state, this state was ruled by a Piedmontese dynasty. The center of Italy’s political power shifted to Turin, Florence and finally Rome.
Of course Venice was still rich, had a peculiar architectural style and was full of the finest pieces of art, yes was a piece of art itself, and thus it became one of Italy’s most important tourist attractions. Over time though the rich people began to move elsewhere, following the power, leaving their palaces as museums and hotels.
While tourists still use boats, it’s mostly the big bus boats, the Vaporetti. Those are much too big for the many small canals, and that frequently renders the former main entrances useless. Life has shifted from the canals to the small squares again, and at night, when most tourists have left, Venice is almost empty, only a ghost of its former self.
The Song of the Day is the Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover “Otherside” by Ben L’Oncle Soul. I have it as track four of the German edition of his self-titled 2010 album. It’s not on the US version that I link to, but at least you can hear it on YouTube.
This is typically Venetian architecture. I suppose you can’t call it a palace, but it was (and is) undeniably the residence of a wealthy person. Today the front entrance facing the canal will only occasionally be opened, in those rare cases when the boat is used. Times have changed.
The Song of the Day, “Behind Closed Doors” from Dolly Parton’s 1996 album “Treasures”, has already been used in “1162 – Behind Closed Doors“, but that’s fine for me. Hope you don’t mind either 🙂
Sorry for that, but I just had to bother you once again with Venetian gondole.
They are everywhere and, yes, it’s kitsch, but sometimes kitsch is OK. At least it’s very original kitsch 😀
When I began processing these images, I asked myself, what will I take images of when I am the next time in Venice? Still gondole? Won’t I get tired of them? Won’t you?
But then it occurred to me that I have taken images of cars and bicycles for years. Few have complained, some seem to like it and I did certainly not grow tired of them. As with everything, there’s certainly more than one way to photograph a gondola.
One more time the Song of the Day is “Corso Delle Gondole” from the 1987 Rondò Veneziano album “Misteriosa Venezia”. Hear it on YouTube.
OK, taking a gondola, that’s one of the things that I’ve never tried. Many tourists do, and perhaps it is not such a bad idea at all. Going by boat, that’s what traffic in Venice always meant and that’s what the houses are built for.
Venetian houses and palaces, warehouses and stores, they all had their main entrance at the water side.
That’s where important guests arrived, that’s how goods were delivered. Thus, as much cliché as it is, taking a gondola may well be the most correct way to experience this city of marvels.
The Song of the Day is “Corso Delle Gondole” from the 1987 Rondò Veneziano album “Misteriosa Venezia”. Hear it on YouTube.
Venice is one of the most popular destinations in Italy, only second to Rome, probably rivaled by Florence and Naples, but visiting Italy and not going to Venice, that’s unthinkable.
Obviously Venice is crammed with organized groups, but that does not hurt at all. Just leave the tourist paths, go a few steps to one of the tiny bridges that are everywhere, and suddenly Venice is silent.
And that’s the best way to enjoy any famous city: Don’t search, let your eyes and feet wander, drift along and beauty will find you.
OK, I’m cheating. I’ve spent quite some time in Venice, I’ve read a lot of books about its history and architecture, I’ve seen the sights, I’ve been to all the famous places, but still, what makes me glad is drifting along 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Viaggi Organizzati” by Lucio Dalla. Hear it on YouTube.
Here’s another image taken in Venice. Well, it could have been almost any Italian city, no water, no canals, no specifically Venetian architecture in sight, but that’s something of a plus: When you’re there, you get everything Venice is famous for, and additionally you get all the typical beauty of Italian cities – for free. This image is from the bonus side 😀
The hot sun on warm walls, that has fascinated me ever since childhood, certainly long before I began taking photographs. Cozy human settlements, embedded in a rich and friendly nature. Yes, I know, there are volcanoes and earth quakes in Italy, but may I dream my dream of an ideal mediterranean idyll? Pretty please?
The Song of the Day is “Hello Sunshine” from the 1968 Aretha Franklin album “Aretha Now”. Hear it on YouTube.
Last week I’ve taken a day trip to Venice. It’s just little more than two hours by car from Carinthia, five hours from Vienna.
OK, from Vienna it’s too far for a day trip, but from Carinthia it was perfectly fine.
It’s funny, I haven’t been there in many years, and certainly these are my first images of Venice. Pretty stupid, I know, I ought to be there a couple of times a year, and after this experience, first time in Venice with a camera, I suppose I will come back very soon.
Venice is just too beautiful, a photographer’s paradise, if there ever was one.
Today’s images were taken from the Vaporetto, Venice’s closest equivalent to a bus. From where I sat, I was very restricted as to viewing angles, but it really does not matter. Just point your camera in any direction, subject matter is guaranteed 🙂
“I Cover The Waterfront“, the Song of the Day, was already used a few times on this blog, but I guess I didn’t have the Sinatra version so far. Hear it on YouTube.