In November of 2007, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Venice, Italy for two wonderful weeks . Although this was my third visit here, I honestly feel that this was the first time that I was able to see and experience Venice in the way that this beautiful and unique city deserved to be seen and experienced.
For months, I had day dreamed many times of walking in the small and narrow streets of Venice in the early morning and late evening hours each day and spending a lot of my time sitting in San Marco Piazza, soaking up the experience. Before my trip, I read an interesting article entitled “Venice: Off the Beaten Path”, which was written by Shannon, a Slow Traveler. In the article she recommends seeing Venice at night (as something unique to see and do). With that thought in mind I stumbled upon an awesome YouTube video called : Venice at Night . I literally watched it daily for months leading up to my trip and I couldn’t wait to experience it first hand. Here’s what I wrote:
I like the idea of seeing Venice . . . when all the crowds are gone, when shop owners have closed for the day, when most bars and restaurants have served their last meals and drinks for the night, when the hustle and bustle of day trippers have all but dissipated and there is nothing left but the stillness and quiet beauty of Venice! I can literally visualize myself walking late at night in the quiet calm of the small calles or into the enormous emptiness of St. Marks Square.
I honestly didn’t realize when planning this trip how very different my perception of Venice would be? As each day during my stay passed, I begin to understand and embrace the quiet and elegant beauty of Venice. Instead of being spoon fed what life in this unique and beautiful city is like, I took my own time to explore, discover and experience Venice for what it truly is.
Venice is a beautiful and unique city, filled with interesting, friendly and hardworking people, a city with a long and fascinating history full of special celebrations and traditions, a city with fabulous cuisine and wine that are unique to the region, a city full of beautiful art that can be seen in their great museums as well as in the many churches located in the small and welcoming neighborhoods, a city with beautiful winding canals connected by the more than 400 bridges, a city with century old buildings and narrow calles, a city with these wonderul intimate campos where locals gather to socialize and where families can bring their children to play and a city with these great historical palazzo’s that line the famous Grand Canal. I read many guide books, trip reports, photos and videos about this beautiful city and they all do a great job in their attempt to describe Venice. However, to truly describe Venice is simply impossible to do. After this third trip I am convinced that for one to really understand and “get” Venice, one would simply have to experience it!
On this trip, I was able to live out my dream by spending many hours during the early and late evening hours walking around in the nearly empty but inviting calles throughout Venice. I really enjoyed walking around and photographing the many beautiful canals and bridges throughout Venice.
I have to thank Slow Travel (founded by Pauline & Steve Kenny) and that wonderful and generous community of Slow Travelers for the inspiration and gentle guidance in developing my awesome itinerary. A special thanks to those individuals whose travel notes, trip reports, photos, blogs, articles and advice I read and listened to. I just couldn’t have done it without them.
On this trip, I have come to realize that Venice will always be for me, one of those rare places on this earth that leaves me always wanting more. I know that I will return to Venice again and when I do I want to savour it in the same manner. Slow, steady and with great admiration and love . . . .
I decided to write this report not as a day to day account (my fault for not taking better notes), but as a summary of my trip highlights and my personal insights of my experiences as I re-discover this beautiful city! Where I lack in details in my report I will include reference links for you to get a little more indepth information on what I saw or experienced.
I hope you find it somewhat interesting. Thanks for stopping by.