p: Colors of Venice

I know I am taking you all back in time (to last week!!)  But my head is still swirling with the images from our trip to Venice.  I am struck as I look at my photos from our time in Venice (we had only 24 hours) how saturated the colors and the experience was.  I hope you enjoy!

We took the first morning train from Bologna to Venice.  From the hustle of the Santa Lucia train station we grabbed our day bags and stepped out into the sunshine, squinting as I took in the scene.  There spread out before of me — Venice — Eye-popping, jaw-dropping, gob-smacking gorgeous.

Images in my head are spilling over.  There are not the right words to describe the colors — aqua, scarlet, ochre, mustard, teal, azure; I’ve fallen into a paint box. The jewels of Venice dazzle and astound.

Gondolas with their wet black shine, each one carved and decorated with mermaids, cupids, or water-serpent, and golden mascots on the bow jauntily wielding the Venice flag.

I was told not to bother with a map in Venice.  Each neighborhood — sinistre — has the same street names as the next.  The footpaths between the canals are as twisty and convoluted as the water running alongside.  I used landmarks and signposts to find my way in the maze — crossing up and over bridges then back down always looking to see if there was a gondola traveling beneath for a perfect photo.

I was very interested to see the glass making on Murano.  So we took a vaporetto over for a couple of hours and wandered around the town.  It was quite a tourist experience.  When we had enough we hopped back on the boat and took the longer walk to the city center.  Along the way we discovered a back alley with a little workshop.  Inside was a master artisan making glass animals—he specializes in birds and insects.  Hundreds of perfect creatures in glass cases looked back at us.  We watched him create his little pretties with a torch and molten glass.  Just pull here and dab color here and heat and twist.  With ease of an artist with over 50 years experience he created a perfect shore bird in 15 minutes… then as he showed it to us, it shattered.  He was not ruffled at all and explained the glass must have had a bubble.  “Again later,” he said.

Traveling on the water is exhilarating.  To be part of the scene and witness the art that is all around is quite unforgettable.  Emma was very excited to take a warm summer night cruise and see the canal with the lights glittering and reflecting on the water.

Venice is a city for lovers.  There is a tradition to declare your unswerving devotion and place a lock on the bridge to symbolize your love, and then fling the key into the canal.  Max was particularly fascinated with this collection of love locks and couldn’t help but fiddle with them every time we went over the bridge.

Emma and I rise at 5 am to see the light of the sleeping city.  The blue of the sky touching the water is astonishing.  I am shaking from the sharpness of the beauty.  I take over 80 shots of the slumbering gondolas.  The city is silent, streets empty, as if holding its breath for a moment to make a wish.


2 thoughts on “p: Colors of Venice

  1. Dear Patty,
    Thank you for this oh-so lovely post about Venice! The words and images are beautiful and make what you saw come alive in my mind’s eye. I’m enjoying your travels vicariously (trying my best to not be too envious).

    Lots of love,

  2. Patty and all;
    Your photos are splendid and wandering the canels and the streets for that oh, so short time sounds like the experience you were looking for.

    The picture of the birds is one I would love for Kathy.

    Your artful descriptions of a city I have never visited carried me there (and will again, when I reread your blog.)

    thank you for the flight of fancy,
    Love you all

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