ITALY : : VENICE

Final Leg : : Venice

Venezia…you took my breath away.

I sensed it the moment we began making our way across the causeway….that Venice would be a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming kind of place.

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

It’s surreal…this city that appears to float on water.  And nowhere is the illusion greater than along Venice’s main thoroughfare, the Grand Canal.  After disembarking the train, we boarded a vaporetto, the city’s version of a public bus. Taking in the sights along the way, we traveled the full length of the canal before landing at Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

Passing under the Ponte dell'Accademia, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the background
Passing under the Ponte dell’Accademia, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the background
Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

Gondolas jockey for position with vaporetti, pleasure boats, small commercial barges, and Carabinieri. Buildings, centuries old, appear to be sinking into the sea.

Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy
Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy

Upon arrival in Dorsoduro, we pretty much tripped over ourselves in awe.  One of six main districts, or sestieri, Dorsoduro is quieter than touristy San Marco across the canal.  Our hotel, fronting both the canal pictured above and a narrow pedestrian corridor linking the Salute and Accademia vaporetto stops, was centrally located to restaurants, museums, art galleries, and glasswork ateliers.

Ponte dei Pugni, Dorsoduro District, Venice, Italy
Ponte dei Pugni, Dorsoduro District, Venice, Italy

Quieter yes, but there’s still very much an energetic and engaging quality to the neighbourhood. Guidebooks say to get lost in Venice, and it was here in Dorsoduro that we wandered…along picture perfect canals, tiny side streets and the Zattere, a wide promenade overlooking the neighbouring island of Guidecca.

Gondola Crush, Venice, Italy
Gondola Crush, Venice, Italy

We had so little time in Venice and, more than any other city, we had to edit, edit, edit. Sorry gondoliers, but riding in a gondola didn’t make it to the top ten…or to the list at all.  Simply seeing them was a list maker.

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy

We toured Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco. All impressive yes, but, it was the other Venice that truly captured our hearts. While we were woefully lax in the museums and galleries visited, it is without exaggeration that I say…beauty is everywhere. Did we walk a lot? Absolutely…accruing more mileage by day than in any other city! But we rewarded ourselves daily with delicious Venetian pastries.

Dorsoduro District, Venice, Italy
Dorsoduro District, Venice, Italy

Last, but not least, Venice was home to one of my favourite composers, Antonio Vivaldi, and we attended an Interpreti Veneziani concert one evening. Without a doubt, it was the highlight of our stay in Venice. Below is an excerpt from the programme.

STAY : :  Locanda Ca’ Zose

EAT   : :  Corner Pub  : :  Taverna San Trovaso

People ask which city was my favourite…the one I’d go back to. And…honestly…each has it’s own one-of-a-kind identity; I love them all. That being said…and…keeping in mind that this might be pie-in-the-sky day dreaming…and…allowing myself to have a change of heart…I’ll say this…

There’s just something about Rome that speaks to me. The city transcends tourism.

I would love to visit Tuscany, the area surrounding Florence, and…ahem…that trip would incomplete without a side trip into Florence for ice cream.

Cinque-Terre is very neatly wrapped up in a romantic little memory. The word perfect comes to mind. I’m not sure I would risk another visit…for fear of losing some of the magic.

And Venice…well you took my breath away. I actually rather like the fact that I didn’t see all of you. The thought of visiting again, for a similarly brief stay, sounds decadent.

And…that’s a wrap. Ciao Italia!

{Feature photo : : Gondolas at rest, Venice, Italy}

36 Comments

  • Reply audrey December 8, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Lovely to hear about your trip ,hope you can go back someday

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 10:59 am

      I’m happy you enjoyed it Audrey. I would love to go back…there’s so much more to see of Italy.

  • Reply coco December 8, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I’ve so enjoyed your pictures and commentary – beautiful. My late (well, he passed in 1986, a long time ago…) husband and I made a similar trip together in 1983, and I treasure the memories.

    thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

      You’re so very welcome Coco! I think it’s lovely that you and your loved one were able to travel together to Italy…{sometimes the early eighties feels like yesterday to me.}

  • Reply Curtise December 8, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Such beautiful photos, Cousin Sue! What an amazing trip you’ve had, of course you will return to make more memories! xx

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thanks ‘cuz! I would love to return, but….cross Atlantic travel comes at a price and there are so many, many places to see! We’ll see…

  • Reply Tasha December 8, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Absolutely beautiful!

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thank you Tasha!

  • Reply Val S December 8, 2016 at 8:47 am

    So, so dreamy. Your photos are wonderful – I can almost feel like I’m there. I was too rushed when I was in Venice, so I definitely need a trip back!

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:13 am

      That seems to be a common thread…feeling rushed in Venice. I think, perhaps, I had the idea that Venice had almost become a bit theme park-ish? So a quick in and out visit would suffice. I think any major tourist destination can have that element, but Venice has so much more to offer…we only reached touche the surface.

  • Reply Mel December 8, 2016 at 9:08 am

    It’s a great weird feeling to know I have a friend who has sucked up such incredible beauty, as though somehow this has become part of you and the essence will wipe off on me too when we meet. Hahaha. Can’t help it. Do people who live there know their privilege? I guess that can be said of people anywhere, so easy to become accustomed… Thanks for sharing this trip here, Sue. So happy you got this immersion into art.

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:15 am

      It was indeed an artistic immersion! So inspiring! You know…I was oohing and aaahing all. the. time. And really…the view is not too shabby here, yes? I do need to appreciate our mountains and coast so much more!!

  • Reply Sheila (of Ephemera) December 8, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I’d love to go back to Venice and explore more – we only had 1 full day, and it felt very short. Looks like you had wonderful weather while you were there! Awesome pictures, Sue!

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

      We’d like to go back too. We didn’t see any of the other islands or the Lido. We had a little less than two full days, so not enough time for everything. And yes…the weather gods were very, very kind to us!

  • Reply Flo December 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! I just had a friend tell me last week I needed to see Venice. Now I think he’s right!

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Kismet! Now. You pretty much have to go, LOL! Something tells me you would be mesmerized by all the Venetian masks. They even have ‘make your own’ mask workshops available. 🙂

  • Reply Cheryl December 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Ahhh…what a fabulous trip!

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:22 am

      YEP! Now what?

  • Reply Sharon December 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    This sounds so dreamy and wonderful, thank you sharing, enjoying my lunch seeing your Venice was very enjoyable.

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Aw..you’re very welcome Sharon! Happy that your lunch hours were accompanied by some armchair travel!

  • Reply KaSchu December 9, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Beautiful, beautiful post. I have loved all your posts about Italy but this one was special. I think Venice is wonderful and after two visits I still haven’t seen enough. Thank you for your lovely pictures and commentary.

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Thank you so much! Similar feelings about Venice…difficult to explain, but there is an enchantment about it.

  • Reply Sabine December 9, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Beautiful pictures of that magic place, dear Sue! I love the vibrant city life in Venice and the special light in the laguna. Your pictures make me wish to go there again soon.
    Sabine xxx

    • Reply Sue December 9, 2016 at 11:30 am

      OH YES…the light is so beautiful…the water, the sky…so magical! Hope you get to go there again, and soon!

  • Reply Glenda December 10, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Thank you for being our guide for this most glorious trip to Venice. I’ve never been to the Real Venice, just the Venice California replica and the Grand Canale Shops inside the Venetian in Las Vegas, complete with gondola ride.

    • Reply Sue December 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Hey Glenda! So nice to know you enjoyed the ‘trip’! I’ve been to Manhattan, Redondo, Marino Del Rey, and Santa Monica beaches. Why have I never been to Venice Beach CA? I think it would be really fun to visit there one day!

  • Reply Suzanne December 10, 2016 at 8:04 am

    What photos! My goodness : )

    Florence and Venice were my two favourite spots in Italy. I think you might have been there at a choice time since when I was there it was so crowded it was difficult to walk at times.

    There is something truly magical about catching a Vivaldi concert in a church in Italy. The Four Seasons by Vivaldi is one of my all time favourites.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I can see I need to return.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • Reply Sue December 11, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Suzanne! I have to agree…our timing was good. We were prepared for autumn weather which can be rainy at times, but we were very lucky with excellent weather and fewer crowds than May-September.

      TOTALLY mesmerized hearing Vivaldi in the {once} church! It was riveting.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion December 16, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Fantastic, I have never been to Venice and through you I can see so much. The photos really tempt me to visit this city. Everything in Italy is so nice, I wouldn’t mind living there I think. And I don’t say this easily as I am very fond of my own country. Perhaps a second home? (I can day dream too.)
    While I am typing this I am listening to the Vivaldi video you included. I love Vivaldi too. Haven’t got much classic music (I am a cultural barbarian), but I do have Vivaldi.
    Greetje

    • Reply Sue December 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

      I wonder if Venice is a little like Amsterdam {and possibly The Netherlands in general}? The canals, the boats, the cobbled streets, and the cafes…

      Haha…I have a few classical favourites with Vivaldi at the top of my list, and I have enjoyed many live concerts over the years…but I am NOT knowledgeable about much of it, so we can be cultural barbarians together.

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista January 12, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I have never been to Italy, so I thoroughly enjoyed being able to visit vicariously via your photos. I would love to go, but I don’t know any bloggers who live there, which seems to be my criteria for travel plans these days.

    • Reply Sue January 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Happy to have provided a little armchair travel for you Shelley! Meeting blogging friends adds a unique and enjoyable aspect to traveling! Pretty brilliant criteria if you ask me. 🙂 I know two Italian bloggers…Silvia from Sewing Princess, whom I had the pleasure to meet with here in Vancouver and Dan from The Pretty Cute. They both live in northwest Italy and, SO REGRETTABLY, we did not make it to that part of the country. The silver lining is that it gives me the opportunity to plot a return trip to a most beautiful country!

  • Reply Vicki February 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I’m way behind on my blog reading, so I’m just catching up on your trip now, and it’s giving me wanderlust. I lived briefly in Rome when I was 21 (working illegally at a pensione) and I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Despite the crowds, Italy is easy to fall in love with!

    I’ve only been back a few times for quick trips, but haven’t yet taken the family or done a proper grown up trip (without youth hostels and sleeping on trains). You’ve inspired me to think of it.

    Looks like you had fantastic weather too!

    • Reply Sue February 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      It would surely be a memorable family holiday! So much to see and do….and eat, LOL! Funny, but I don’t recall seeing a lot of families…but that could have been the time of year. Well into the school term pretty much everywhere….

  • Reply Crystal Hammon June 14, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Ahhhh, your pictures take me back to a trip I made in 2007–unforgettable. My pinch me moment was in Montepulciano as I walked uphill toward the cathedral. I thought, “Is it possible that I could get lost from my group and some sweet Italian family would take me in?”

    Another beautiful post! Thank you! P.S. I love all the shirtwaists I’ve been seeing. It’s the dress that flatters me most. Love ’em.

    • Reply Sue June 14, 2017 at 11:58 am

      So happy you enjoyed the armchair travel. I too, have been taking myself ‘back to Italy’ just from looking at my photos. I’d love to see Montepulciano. I think this is the town very near to Debbie Travis’ retreat. She is a popular Canadian design guru. I know my husband would go back to Italy in a heartbeat…so much more to see and experience!

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