In 2007 I went back to Italy for two weeks but this time with Paul and my cousins, Don and Chris. We flew first to Venice and then traveled south. I had been to Venice once before but for a very short time. I had been reading about the city since my first visit and was very anxious to go back and see more.
This is Paul at one spot where you can access a gondola on a back canal. The flowers all over the city were lovely.
A fascinating and enchanting city, Venice can also be a maddening place to try to get around. As you probably know, the streets of Venice are mostly canals. In fact, there are no wheeled vehicles of any sort in the city. You walk or take a water taxi or water bus to get around. And it can be very confusing with its maze of streets and web of canals and lots of dead-ends. Even with a map, it's a difficult place to navigate. And good luck asking a Venetian for directions!
This is the Grand Canal and truly the Main Street of Venice. This might have been taken while standing on the Rialto Bridge.
No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola ride, despite the price. These photos were taken from the boat as we glided through the back streets of this unique and romantic city.
Balconies were full of flowers AND hanging laundry in many cases.
You see boats of all kinds tied up to the buildings. They are the only method of transportation other than walking. And, of course, commerce moves on the water as well. Monday morning when we left, there were all sorts of work boats and delivery boats navigating the canals along with the taxis and personal watercraft.
See the flowers. And the crowds! We stayed right in the city which is the only way to really get a feel for Venice. Most tourists come into the city for the day and then leave in late afternoon on the Vaporetta (water bus).
In the gondola on The Grand Canal. That's the Rialto Bridge straight ahead.
This is taken from the Campanile or bell tower which is the tallest structure in Venice. The current tower is a 20th century recreation of the 8th century original which collapsed without warning into a pile of bricks in 1902.
And here we are leaving the city in a private water taxi taking us to the train station for points south. Venice is truly an enchanting place. You have to see it to really understand it.