Shelley likened them to ‘moths of which a coffin might have been the chrysalis’. Travelling down the Grand Canal on a vaporetto is wonderful, but the gondola is the ‘crème de la crème‘ of the water craft. To simply sit in one of those beautiful hand-crafted vessels is to feel like royalty. In the sixteenth century there were ten thousand gondolas in Venice. Today the … Continue reading The Gondola.
‘She would go to the piazza from where the doges had once set out to wed the sea with rings’.* Like Miss Garnet, we headed first for the piazza. It seemed the natural place to begin. A public space so grand that no other square in the city was thought fit to bear the name – all the others are campi or if they are … Continue reading The Piazza.
Byron swam home along it, George Elliot’s husband fell in it, Robert Browning lived in a palace along it, caught a cold and died by it. A hawker once towed a dolphin up and down it; and in the fourteenth century an earthquake drained it and left it dry for two weeks. The Grand Canal, at two miles long, and seventy-six yards wide at it’s … Continue reading The Grand Canal.
Ponte Ruga Vecchia, 1446, was our destination. Billed as ‘room apartment in Venice heart’. We wanted to live among the locals, away from tourist thoroughfares. Ten minutes walk from the railway station, down narrow calles and over hump-backed bridges. Shops, a beggar woman with outstretched hand, crumbling bricks, and pale rippling water – it passed by in a blur. But it’s beauty struck deep. I … Continue reading Our House In The Middle Of Our Street.
Ernest Hemingway described Venice as a ‘strange, tricky town’ and walking in it as ‘better than walking crossword puzzles’. ‘You stay one month’, Nicola spluttered, ‘what are you going to do’? We want to walk, and walk, and then walk some more, I told him. There’s nowhere in Venice that you cannot reach on foot. A tiny city, only twice the size of central … Continue reading Walking
Tuesday 11 December. ‘Get ready for the coldest day of the year’, announced the ‘Daily Mail’. We weren’t leaving the cold weather behind, Venice will hover slightly above freezing point – ‘but it’ll be prettier’, joked the taxi driver. 7am, cold and dark, and we were on our way to London – the first leg of our journey. Boston train station is never a hive … Continue reading Arrival in Venice.
But it’s etched deep in my memory…. ‘You’re going to Venice when?’, stuttered my sister, ‘but it’ll be cold and flooded and awful’. I’d read an article in a travel magazine that said winter was the time to see Venice at its moody best. Michela, our host, echoed this sentiment and told me – ‘this is Venice of the Venetians, my favourite time’. Not having … Continue reading It’s Five Years Since We Went To Venice….