Header image by Natalie Rapoport. Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia. Barcelona.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Melting August in Venice

Gelato vendors prospered in the middle of an early August heat wave and cheerful gondoliers giggled at melting tourists.
Venice is still there! Not submerged into the sea, thanks God! Beautiful, mysterious, seductive and addictive with all those belissima and serinissima in place. Fantastic illusion, mirage in the sea, creation of minds and hands, souls and hearts. Architecturally a sporadic splash and unstoppable improvisation of inventive citizens famous throughout the centuries for their entrepreneurial talents and exuberant nature, curiosity for novelties and entertainment.

Though venetians were expert navigators and cartographers since early 13th century and soon after Guttenberg’s invention the best map printers  who shaped the knowledge of the world creating detailed picture of far away lands.  But nevertheless Venice is a “city where map and reality rarely meet”.* Absolutely!
Unmappable maze of calli, riva, sotoportego, piazzetta, campo, the narrowest alleys and whirling passages, unnamed, untamed. You simply can’t ask for directions because you most likely won’t see locals and fellow tourists are as admirably puzzled as you are. Even GPS  becomes so dizzy and confused that it looses a grip which drives some tourists crazy. This is fun. Forgetting the map and agenda is the only way to discover Venice or better to say to approach as it takes much more time than most visitors ever have just to feel the ambiance.
Venice is majestic! Especially on early foggy mornings…mmm….
…So after visiting San Marco, Rialto and surroundings, having traveled the Canale Grande enjoy to be lost in the labyrinth, preferably before darkness falls.
I can actually believe if someone claims to know Paris or London, Chicago or NY, Amsterdam or Barcelona etc. etc. as a palm of his hand. It’s quite possible to know one’s ways around the city and not only the tourist’s highlights or daily routs.
It’s possible when the city can be mapped. The layout doesn’t need necessarily be geometrically crisscrossed or centering around the historical town core. But there should be a plan, any plan, a terrain view. It could help when streets are visibly named and houses numbered.
This is exactly why I won’t ever believe even a venetian that he REALLY knows his/her city, maybe just a neighborhood. This is utterly unlikely. Impossible! Even for a private tour guides who are on a friendly ground within certain part of the city I won’t make an exclusion.
Venice is full of surprises, especially off the bitten tourist paths.
Even if you think you are following the most detailed map from those pitifully narrowing books like 10 TOP of Venice you’ll be surprised where you end up making lots of discoveries along the way.

Canals, gondolas, vaporettos almost sinking under passengers influx, arched bridges over smaller canals, weathered doors and seasoned walls, terracotta red rooftops, patinated stones and unforgettable unique venetian windows and balconies, the carved lace of venetian architecture, colors crumbling and fading away , and majestic eternal beauty resurrecting over the time again and again.
Venice is well-known to be so unbearably photogenic and rich on visual stories that you don’t even have to look through a viewfinder or even point to shoot. Just press the button in sync with every step might as well suffice. 

See you soon with more venetian posts  and I promise to invite you to beautiful Prague too.

Next time: Murano jewelry.

All images © Natalie Rapoport

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour,
    Comment ne pas être séduite par Venise ? J'en retiens des souvenirs merveilleux... Une ville attirante, attachante. On est obligé d'y retourner!
    Merci de partager avec nous un si beau reportage accompagné de magnifiques photos.
    Gros bisous


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