Venice throws everything at the visitor – tottering ornate Gothic palazzi, metres of glittering gold mosaic, hours of meandering alleys for the romantic and pompous overpriced cafes for the extravagant. But some visitors remain just a little underwhelmed. Here are some of the greatest Venice cynics. A Moated Imprisonment of a Town Stinking canals, unstable… Read More “Streets full of water. Please advise”: Unimpressed Visitors to Venice
One year, post-final exam at university, I sat with friends on a wall of a college overlooking the Cam river, bustling with punting tourists. In between swigs from a bottle of cheap bubbly and various emotional outbursts regarding freedom, we found great entertainment in listening to the very creative ‘histories’ of Cambridge that the punt… Read More Hidden Venice: A City Built on Myth
It’s not just about what you see, it’s about how you see it. Starting in the grounds of the magnificent Villa Pisani, the Venice Marathon route passes some of the most elegant leisure palaces of the Venetian nobility along the Brenta River, including the aptly named Villa Malcontenta (discontent), and finishes with 14 tortuous bridges… Read More The Marathon: The Most Relaxing Way to Visit Venice?
A flicker of yellow light from a lantern down an obscure alley, an illuminated painted name board reflecting in the still black water, a vibrant noisy crowd squeezed in a pokey dim interior with a low ceiling of wooden beams – this is the Venetian aperitivo in the traditional bacaro. Most travellers to Italy will… Read More Hidden Venice: Have an Aperitivo like a Venetian
The Church of San Trovaso (located just off the serene Fondamenta delle Zattere that I mentioned in my previous post) adds a spice of historical drama to a Venice visit as it was cleverly designed to allow two rival Venetian factions to worship together in the same church without brawling. The nearby Ponte dei Pugni… Read More Hidden Venice: Chiesa di San Trovaso and Ponte dei Pugni
For a tourist Venice, dubbed the Serenissima, is not a particularly serene experience. Most tourists will find themselves frustratedly scanning maps for streets names that don’t seem to exist, because signs are written in dialect and maps in Italian. And even if the names did correspond the warren of dark alleyways would still be unnavigable.… Read More Hidden Venice: The Most Serene of the Serenissima
Le Zattere, or Fondamenta delle Zattere, is a wide promenade along the water’s edge, situated at the furthest end of the Dorsoduro quarter. At lunchtime the sun beats down unencumbered on groups of students huddled in the shade, elegant waterside restaurants and a scintillating stretch of water. Le Zattere runs parallel with the Giudecca island,… Read More Hidden Venice: Fondamenta delle Zattere
Light, the way it bleaches or caresses with soft golden touches, changes between continent, country and city. Ethereal and enchanting, the light of Venice might be characterised by its changeability. During the day it is often piercing as it refracts into scintillating mosaics on the water, while at dusk the rose sunset is mirrored, resplendent… Read More The Light of Venice