Venezia, Ti Amo

by Johnny

I’ve been struggling with how to communicate the wonder that is Venice through a blog post. Somehow my usual “amazing,” “beautiful,” “incredible,” and “awesome” adjectives wouldn’t seem to do the place justice. Then my mom nailed it…Venice is enchanting.

We rented an apartment (Ca’ Venexiana) surrounded on two sides by canals…like the coolest corner lot you can imagine…in Venice’s lesser-traveled Dorsoduro district, a quiet area of the city we came to love. It wasn’t uncommon to be enjoying a glass of wine in the kitchen while a gondolier rode right past the window. A truly magical spot. We spent most our days wandering aimlessly throughout the city, both on foot and by vaporetto, Venice’s water bus system. With our 24-hour vaporetto passes, we were able to cruise down the Grand Canal, hop off to explore whenever we wanted, and then hop back on for more cruising. If you’re ever in Venice, I highly recommend buying a vaporetto pass for the duration of your stay…it’s a perfect way to see the city.

Venice is, well, enchanting. Every twist and turn through its labyrinth of canals offers such unique beauty. Half of the time we felt like we were transported to the 14th century. The other half of the time we felt like extras in a James Bond movie. Venice also has its own unmistakable architecture, Venetian Gothic, characterized by Gothic lancet arches combined with Moorish and Byzantine influences.  Most definitely a city like no other.

The outdoor patio at our apartment
Where’s Waldo? (Hint: hanging out of our apartment)
Typical alley in Dorsoduro Venetian Gothic
Wandering around the canals Tiny bridges everywhere
Big Jay and Linda on Ponte dell’Accademia
Big Jay and Linda Johnny and Anna
Ponte dell’Accademia Piazza San Marco and Doge’s Palace from the vaporetto
Riding the vaporetto Riding the vaporetto
You serious, Clark?
Walking home along the Zattere
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…
Riding the vaporetto at night Wandering the chilly streets at night

When we weren’t purposefully getting lost all over Venice and spending time in favorite piazzas, Piazza San Stefano, Campo Santa Margherita and Piazza San Barnaba, we caught some of the city’s premier sites.  We spent a lot of time in Piazza San Marco, toured Saint Mark’s Basilica and rode to the top of Saint Mark’s Campanile.  The Sherwoods love food, so it’s no surprise that one of our favorite places to visit was the Rialto market, where locals have been coming to buy their fish and produce since 1097.  That’s a long time.  We also stumbled into some delicious and noteworthy restaurants for dinner, Osteria 1518 and Ristoteca Oniga.  Side note…check out the place my brother will be spending  the next three months training as a chef.  Villa Crespi, ooh la la.

Another highlight was taking the vaporetto to the island of Murano, famous for its glass making.  In the late 1200s, all glass making in Venice was moved to the island of Murano due to risk of fires from the furnaces.  Glass makers on the island who tried to leave were viewed as traitors and were assassinated to protect the secrets of their craft.  Needless to say, glass making on Murano is serious business.

Doge’s Palace Saint Mark’s Basilica
Pigeon feeding in Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco At the top of Saint Mark’s Campanile
View of Doge’s Palace from Saint Mark’s Campanile
Inside Saint Mark’s Basilica
Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica Piazza San Marco at night
Ponte di Rialto from the vaporetto
Grand Canal from the Ponte di Rialto Ponte di Rialto
Rialto produce market
Rialto fish market Rialto fish market
Murano has its own beautiful canals

Anna and I have been in Western Europe for over four months now, and I’m embarrassed to say that occasionally the “wow” factor of being here wears off.  This old church looks a little like that other old church, this piazza like another piazza, this old building like that old building.  But then comes a city like Venice that totally sweeps you off your feet.  We’ll definitely be making a return trip one day.

Cheers Venice!
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4 Responses to “Venezia, Ti Amo”

  1. Looks like you guys had an amazing time in Venice!!!! Makes me want to go back already :).

  2. Johnny! You should be paid for these blog posts! I always get a healthy dose of the best medicine — laughter! Anyone reading them also benefits from all the valuable info you share, with enchanting photos to back it up! Notice the non-stop exclamation points… Thanks for giving us a peek at Jay’s new restaurant — the dishes look a little like those we sampled in Portland together. Keep having fun…

  3. Dear Johnny and Anna, we’re so glad you enjoyed your stay with us during your visit to Venice. Next time we promise not to lock you in! Here’s to a safe and wondrous travels during the rest of your adventure. Best wishes!

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