Saluti!! Buongiorno a te! La rivista di miss-avventure continua con l’ultima rata del viaggio italiano; Venezia!
(Good morning to you! The journal of miss-adventures continues with the final installment of the Italian journey; Venice!)
“Venice is the gondola capital of the world, where lovers come to be serenaded by Italian crooners making their way through the narrow passages of this historic city surrounded by water. It is the artistic haven for Venetian masks and where the majestic tapestry, the Birth of Venus resides.”
“Venice is the capital of the Vento region. The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and a staging area for the Crusades, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance Period.”
Venice was the last stop on the Italian journey, a destination filled with promise and one that I was so looking forward to photographically. It is a city for the young and young at heart and not for one unwilling to explore the “side roads” or step off the beaten path. Much is known about the canals but little is mentioned about the small alleys that lead you through the maze of the city infrastructure. And a maze it is, reading maps is like working a Ouija board. Days were filled with walking, photography, pasta and wine. Nights were filled with walking, photography, pasta, wine, more wine and shopping. One of my most memorable adventures was walking over the Rialto bridge and running into the early morning farmer and fish market. It was amazing to see the variety of fish then listen and watch the negotiations and hand gestures between the locals and the merchants. It was a true throwback to ancient times of bartering in the square. It was delightful to think I just might be eating one of those fish in the local establishment that evening.
One of the most unbelievable aspects to the trip was a chance meeting with some friends from Alabama; first on a bridge in Florence, then at a gelato shop in a small alley way just meters from my hotel in Venice and then lastly, on the plane trip home through Amsterdam. I ended up in the same row with Carolyn and John Moorehead. What are the chances that could occur? A few have suggested I should buy a lotto ticket.
There is a pageantry of dance and patience that is exhibited between the motorized water taxis and the gondolas in these narrow waterways that is a site to behold. To imagine that in the early times gondolas had the canals all to themselves and now see the water taxis share the “streets of Venice” is in itself a marvel. Add to that the history, the art, the fashion, the architecture and the people and you get a city that is a visual delight.
So, to say it was a trip of a lifetime would be a gross understatement. I owe an extreme debt of gratitude to my travel partners, David and Kelly Vann for being such a huge part of that experience and, sad to say, having to put up with me and the exhausting cold I experienced during the entire two-week trip. It was definitely not my choice or desire to do so but I hope we all prevailed in spite of it. The memories and laughs we shared will last a lifetime and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to have had such the posse to travel with.
The Italian journey was a dream come true. Without the photographs it would be hard to not think otherwise – Just a Dream. I think NOT!!!!!
In the end, if I were to have to select the city of choice, I would have to give Florence the nod. It was by all accounts, the city we all agreed might just require another visit.
To journeys filled with surprise and exploration! To taking the paths least explored! Many happy returns! SALUTI! ARRIVEDERCI!
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