Venice

September 14, 2010

Venice! Gondolas, masks, winding alleys, beautiful bridges, and pigeons...we loved all of it and more. I have to admit that I went to Venice with low expectations. I had heard complaints about how it is over-run with tourists, it's dirty, it's sinking, it's expensive, etc. And with those criticisms echoing in my head, I was caught off guard when the city began to work it's magic on me. I think it started with our first night when we attended services at the beautiful Spanish Synagogue. Just as with the city, I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed the service which was Sephardic Orthodox...entirely in Hebrew, separate seating areas for men and women...something I had never experienced before. Following the service we attended a lively dinner at Gam Gam, a local Kosher restaurant. We ate family style with Jewish ex-pats and travelers (from Australia, London, the States, France, Israel) and locals. We sang, swapped travel tales, and exchanged e-mails. As the evening came to an end, we wound our way through the Jewish ghetto back to our apartment, the streets were surprisingly empty and it felt as if we had the city to ourselves.

My favorite moments were echoes of that first evening. Wandering the quiet streets early in the morning or late at night. Venturing into little nooks and crannies which held surprises. Meeting new people in unexpected spots. Avoiding the tourist masses as much as possible. Watching the kids chase pigeons. Being surrounded by water. Reminding me of New Orleans with an alluring mix of decay and decadence; fantasy and gritty reality....all seen from the canal view in our apartment....gondoliers singing to tourists, men unloading plumbing supplies, a boat full of soda and wine, a couple kissing in the alley across the canal, laundry drying. Venice was the perfect place to celebrate the start of a new year.
Emily said...

I'm so glad you guys had fun! Thanks for this lovely description!

boatbaby said...

L'Shana Tova to you! I LOVEloveLOVE your travel logs. You have such an eye for capturing a place and such a way with words in bringing us virtual tourists to where you are. I am ready to book my ticket to Venice now!

Melissa said...

Gorgeous photographs, as always, Lucia. Makes me wish I were there, too.

House Mother said...

Beautiful visuals of Venice. Thanks!

haitianamericanfamilyofthree said...

I lived in Venice (campo santa margarita) for four months in 2006 while studying design/culture and loved it so very much. At night time the locals take back their lovely city and the feeling of peace is amazing. We took our daughter there last summer and it was awesome! So glad your taking your little kids around the world to see all the beautiful things there are.

katy said...

wait, wait, wait. Aren't we missing details from England :)

Manny said...

Lucia! So great to see this post - gives me motivation to finish my Venice blog entry, going on now (count them) 4 years.... I wish I had your energy. Hugs to the family, hope you're well. Not sure we're going to USAFP - might be taking a vacation in...Italy!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Emily, I remember how much you guys loved Venice. Hoping we make it back for Carnivale...isn't that when you went?

Boatbaby, L'Shana Tova to you! Yes, Go to Venice...I know you would love all of the boats!

Melissa, thank you. You would love all of the amazing little bookstores. I'll post more about that soon.

House Mother, thank you. Hope you are are doing well back in the States.

Hatian American Family, how wonderful to have that experience and then to be able to share it with your daughter. It is a great place for a family trip.

Katy, you make me laugh and feel guilty at the same time...yes, I still have England posts to do! I just had to post Venice while it was fresh in my mind. Have you taken your girls to Venice yet? I know they would love it and I highly recommend the apartment where we stayed. They gave us a great last minute deal.

Manny, you're kidding right? maybe we should do a house swap? We are hoping to make it to USAFP, but it wouldn't be the same without you guys there.How is ship life?

katy said...

Lucia - I'm glad I made you laugh and didn't mean at all to make you feel guilty. I wrote that fully understanding how hard it can be to write about big trips. Often by the time I'm back, the photos are uploaded, so much new stuff has happened it is terribly hard to look back to a trip. Look at me dragging my feet about Ireland. . .
We haven't been to Venice yet, but it is on my MUST see before we leave list, right next to London. I'd love the apartment rec.

likeschocolate said...

Great photos!

Dawn said...

Lucia... I do love reading about your trips. Your descriptions matched with your pictures... magic.

Cami said...

Gorgeous as usual! IT sounds amazing.

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