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The Luxury of Venice – Part One


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One of the world's most beautiful Cities, and one which seems to be in constant fear of just floating away on the flood tides.

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One of the world's most beautiful Cities, and one which seems to be in constant fear of just floating away on the flood tides.



GO WHILST YOU CAN!  Yes, this magnificent City has withstood hundreds of years of floods and rebuilding, but as the earth slips increasingly towards climate change disaster, those dire predictions might come true sometime.



VENICE is hundreds of years old, and has been captured, conquered, occupied and released so many times over those hundreds of years. It is the sheer majesty of VENICE that captures your heart the first time you see her, usually from the water.  It is a confluence of art, history, religion and politics that shape it.  St. Mark's Square, named for the Church and Tower dominate the skyline of VENICE. All canals, waterways, roads and bridges lead to the center, where the Doge's Palace still has a commanding presence.  You need sturdy shoes to get around this city, and either an amazing sense of direction or a GPS on your smartphone. Again, there are no parallel streets, everything twists and winds in and around it.  Some ___ bridges span the waterways, and ___ gondoliers ply the waters and wait for tourists.  The vaporettas are at strategic points and shunt thousands around the city every day.  Take as long as you can to see Venice by water, it will be an amazing reward for every traveler. The Grand Canal, made famous by Canaletto and other artists, is still wide, grand and majestic. Palazzo's and Grand Hotels line both banks and one steps back into the pages of literature and history when you visit a hotel on the Grand Canal. Some are still owned by Princely and aristocratic families and remain private. But, visit the Guggenheim Museum and catch a glimpse of the architectural and artistic splendor of the place Peggy Guggenheim called home for decades.




The Gritti Palace Hotel, the Danieli Palace greet 21st Century visitors with 15th Century elegance and grandeur. Sitting at the edge of the Grand Canal for breakfast, lunch, drinks or dinner is a superb pleasure. You watch the world go by, and the looky loos look at you enviously.  You barely have to walk anywhere to be in St. Mark's in moments. There, an afternoon Cappuccino at Cafe Florian is another reason to watch the world go by. The Square, one of the world's largest, plays hosts to thousands of visitors every day. Walking tours of the City for the tourist market are spread around the square, coming and going with a cacophony of sound and colored umbrellas for the guides. Rich Venetians on their way to work or play or simply window shop mix in with the local/visiting crowd sitting at tables for hours, listening to music and singing from a nearby cafe. There can be nothing rushed in Venice, it's almost against the law.



Let's pause a while, get our bearings and plan the rest of the trip. The flight comes into Marco Polo; a vapretta hastens one to your hotel, or the luxury hotels all have their own boats.  If by land and train, the train station deposits you near the Grand Canal and the rush for boats is on.  Venice is a city in a hurry, possibly going in and out with the tides. But it is not a calming city, not a place to reflect, simply a place to wonder at man's ingenuity when building this temple to his own imagination and skill.



We'll look at some more hotels, trips, shopping and events next time.


June 13, 2023

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