Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Venice: Lonely and lively in the city of love

Rarely am I at a loss for words. But Venice, Italy? It's tough to describe.

On the one hand, it's winding alleyways, bridges and boat rides invoke something childlike. Imagine the glee I felt at having to get on the water taxi each day. I mean, I had to go for a boat ride to get from my hotel to where I was going. How great is that?

This guy beside me doesn't look as pleased as me to be on the water taxi.
The water taxis end around midnight, which means everyone has to get where they are going, including most of the people who work in Venice. That means all the restaurants take their last customers by 9:45 p.m. so they can can serve the meal, clean up and high-tail it out of Venice.

The result is a eerily quiet ghost town.

The mornings are full of workers schlepping items into Venice.
I wish they were playing poker. That would have made this scene perfect.

The afternoons are full of tourists.


And the evenings?


Very lonely.
The streets of Venice are empty and quiet in any place that isn't touristy. Sure there is the odd couple walking hand-in-hand on their honeymoon. And me wondering why they look so bored. But other than that? Ghost town.

One can't help but feel melancholy in this town. The fading pastel buildings are slowly sinking into a verdant watery grave. There are no right angles in the maze of alleyways where not a soul dares venture except a lost tourist. Yet, right around the bend is a crowded touristy avenue where you can ride a gondola for 100 Euro per hour.

It's all a bit depressing.

Yet, at the same time, it's beautiful.   

One of my favorite moments of Venice was walking along the canal at night. I was alone. I mean, really alone. I saw one couple walk past me during my walk. On the one side of me was the canal with the quiet sound of boats buzzing by. On the other side of me was a hedge of jasmine. It was a warm night and the jasmine fragrance filled in the air. Venice really is lovely, even in the lonely parts.  

Rather than have me struggle with describing Venice further, take a look at the wee photo gallery below.
Lonely but beautiful.

Yep, I'm in Italy.
The canals are a labyrinth of canals and bridges. As reader Blakeroo says, "it has that magical Harry Potter moving staircase charm."

Parking lot.

Lonely during the lively.
Back on the taxi after the action dies down.

Little known fact: The Japanese are expert tour groupers. They stay together and walk quickly despite the obsessive photo taking. It's the North American tour groups that act like a slow moving amoeba or like someone is trying to wrangle cats.
Hi there stunning architecture.
Scenes like this make me smile and think, Ah I'm in Italy.
Lonely again.

Lively again.
Livelier still.
Official Venice schlepper.
Chucking artichokes!
Lonely but lovely.
Just lovely.
Looking for love in all the wrong places.
How can one feel lonesome when there is a water taxi ride involved? I love me some water taxi. 


  1. Beautiful pictures! And I love your description of the jasmine moment. Sounds wonderful. Glad you enjoyed this more than Florence.

  2. Mahalo for sharing your photos and experiences...so FABulous...an inspiration...beauty is found in the most unusual, sometimes lonely/alone moments...travel with aloha....

  3. Mama mia, you're good.

  4. Do you know that the word "lonely" does not exist in French? You can say solitaire or seul, but it does not have the same meaning. Maybe loneliness is an anglo thing?


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