“If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you imagined. Venice is- Venice is better.” – Fran Lebowitz
12th May 2017
If you follow us over on our social media, you’ll have seen that we recently took a trip to Venice. Having never been before, we weren’t sure what to expect, and as the title of the post suggests- it was way better than we could have ever imagined. If you’ve never been, it’s a must visit destination- around every corner you’ll be getting your camera out your bag and snapping away as it really is the prettiest city ever, the slow decay of the buildings adds to the charm and suddenly you find beauty even where a building elsewhere would look like it needs a good old paint!
Since we visited in early May, we weren’t sure of the weather, and were pleasantly surprised to find it super hot- though towards to evening and especially in the shade, it cooled off, so having a jacket on hand was important. We therefore found a pretty Brother Rabbit William Morris long handled tote bag was a necessity to carry bits and bobs we’d need throughout the day, complimenting our outfits as well as carrying a camera and various bits of shopping we found ourselves doing throughout the day!
The Bridge of Sighs, as photographed below, was built in 1600 by Antonio Contino (his uncle Antonio de Ponte had actually designed the Rialto Bridge.) The enclosed bridge is built from white limestone and if you walk across it (as we did), you’ll be able to see the stone bars across the windows, linking the New Prison (Prigioni Nuove) to the Doge’s Palace interrogation rooms, crossing the Rio di Palazzo. The view from the bridge, looks back over Venice, and was called as such because of Lord Byron given from the Italian, “Ponte dei sospiri” and shows how the view was the last one prisoners would see before being taken to their cells after their interrogation- giving a sigh at their last glance at beautiful Venice.
Below is the view from the Bridge looking out. Interestingly, the famous Casanova himself was one of the only people to escape this prison. His escape is a fun read if you have time to Google it, he used a sharpened an iron bar and through one way or another a few of them escaped via carving holes in the ceilings, he left behind a note, “117th Psalm (Vulgate): “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord”.”
Italy is famous for it’s coffee, so stopping for multiple coffees throughout the day was a necessity! Perhaps there was also a pastry or two involved…
Whilst on a walking tour of the city, the tour guide drew our attention to the wells. There’s many throughout the city and once you’re told to look out for them you’ll notice even more. The wells are in many a courtyard as there was a shortage of drinking water in the city (ironic for a city build on water..) and so there was filtration systems built to catch the rainwater for these communal wells placed in the ‘fields’- what we’d call a square but in days gone by were grassy areas. The rich had their own well, and walking down a narrow street we noticed a private well- also notice how beautiful this staircase is!
These colourful houses caught our attention, the colours in this photo are beautiful!
This photo was taken in the Doge’s Palace- the whole palace is incredibly decorated, from the staircases to the ceilings- the Venetians apparently didn’t do understated! If you have time on your trip in Venice, it’s well worth a visit! Unfortunately on this trip, due to the long wait time, we didn’t get to go to the St Mark’s Basilica- an incredibly stunning cathedral which was built as a resting place for St Mark after they recovered his body from Egypt. On our next trip (we loved it so much we have to go back!) this will definitely be the top of our must do list.
Typical of Italy, the food was amazing, and there was much of it! With bars, restaurants and cafes around every corner there was no shortage of good food- it was so fun to sit and watch them bringing in the beer and bottles into the city via boat- a much more complex operation than our motorways as we watched the delivery men pulling beer barrels off a boat!
Here are a few other photos we wanted to share with you, some are from a gondola ride! What did you love about the city if you’ve visited, if you’ve not, would you love to go? Let us know!