I am so behind! I know all you hundreds of people reading this are heartbroken by my recent blog absence. Let’s get you guys updated!
When we stepped off the airport shuttle and were officially on the island of Venice.. I was already in awe of the city built on water. No joke- I was instantly in love with the bridges and waterways in the place of streets and roads. Venice is so unique in it’s structure and we have never been anywhere like it.
It took us a while to get to our apartment. We have three bags and a backpack and always look a little silly toting 100lbs worth of stuff through the narrow European streets. But this time was different since we had to go up and down bridge after bridge to get to our apartment- making for lots and lots of sets of stairs! Once we finally arrived and settled over the next few days, we really began to enjoy exploring every alleyway of this island city.
The Grand Canal is the main waterway through Venice. Think of it as the interstate. It is packed crowded with taxis (boats), buses (boats) and gondolas (boats.) And of course… tourists. Many shops and restaurants line each side of the Grand Canal making it a key place for the tourists to crowd. Of course, it is colorful, wide, and beautiful making the draw to it apparent. We loved finding little alleyways that led to viewpoints of the Grand Canal- without having to take a boat on this crowded highway.
Ironically, the photos below make it look deserted! Don’t be fooled- we just found a rare peaceful moment 😉
A lot of the narrow streets actually END at water. They literally just drop off into a canal! No stairs, no barrier…
I took a ridiculous amount of photos of canals and bridges. And gondolas of course (more on them later.) When visiting Venice, I really recommend just giving yourself a day or two with absolutely no agenda. There are sights to be seen, of course, but some of our best days were just wandering aimlessly through the cobblestoned streets and accidentally ending up with a sidewalk that ends in water!
We have all heard that “Venice is sinking,” but no really… Venice is actually sinking. The water gets higher and higher each year and the foundations of the buildings settle into the earth just a tad more. It’s very minimal, but how long can a city built on water sustain… being built on water?
They actually have a name for a time period later in the winter called “Acqua Alta,” meaning “high water.” So many of the shops and homes regularly flood they have little garage-door-like barriers they install on their doors to hopefully minimize the entrance of the canal water. They also build walkways throughout the entire city for pedestrians to walk a few feet above the flooded streets. I couldn’t even imagine this until I saw photos! Check it out here.
Between pizza, pasta, canals, and granita slushies… Venice has been good to us so far! More to come soon! -R&B