October 9 - My Impressions of Venice
Venice is one of the most spectacular cities we have visited so far on the
trip. Its narrow streets and meandering canals create an unforgettable memory.
The gondolas, small bridges, glass and mask shops, and cathedrals are truly
When looking at a map, it almost seems as if Venice is a tiny island is the
middle of the sea. It actually sits on 120 islands, connected by 410 bridges,
crossing 117 canals! The only way to get into the city is to drive on an extremely
long bridge that connects Venice with the mainland. There are no cars permitted
in the city, so you must walk into it and take a water taxi (boat) to your
hotel. If you attempt to walk, chances are that somewhere
along your trip you will came across a dead end that leads right to the edge
of a canal, then you're stuck. I loved riding to our hotel and admiring all
the gondolas (fancy flat bottomed boats) skimming the water and paddling in
and out of the canals. Homes are built right up the water's edge, so you must
have a boat outside your front door to get out! If I lived in Venice, I would
like to have a house like this, overlooking the Grand Canal (major river/highway
through Venice) with a gondola to ride in and out of the city. The good thing
is that it only takes 10 minutes to get out to the sea and fish. I would love
We decided to count how many bridges we walked over in a day, and discovered
that we crossed over 50 bridges. There are only three bridges that cross the
Grand Canal, which is two miles long, so it takes some planning to get to
one of these bridges if you need to get to the other side. The mot famous
bridge that spans the Grand Canal is the Rialto. This bridge is always packed
with tourists and photographers. It has 24 shops on its edges, which sell
anything from glass to gondola hats.
To get a feel for the city on our first day, we decided to take a gondola
ride through the city. The rower wears a striped black and white shirt (very
traditional) with a hat. He stands up on the back of the boat with a huge
paddle, and steers his long gondola through the canals. There are two really
comfortable seats lined with cloth and two wood seats (very uncomfortable)
in the gondolas. Of course there was no chance from the very beginning that
I would get to sit in one of these seats. My dad immediately took one with
my mom, while me and Katie where stuck in the wood seats. We couldn't walk
around much since the boat was really wobbly and easy to submerge.
thing I enjoyed was just wandering through the narrow streets without any
specific destination. Exploring the shops and restaurants around our hotel
was fun, and we always found something new each time. St. Mark's Square is
one of the most beautiful sites in Venice. The Cathedral in the square is
covered with gold mosaics dating back to the 12th century. Frescos could not
survive long with the damp weather conditions, so mosaics where made everywhere.
There were also hundreds of pigeons in St. Marks Square, eating the corn kernels
sold in the square to tourists.
My mom liked seeing the long rows of clothes hanging out from building to
building over the canals. If you don't use strong clothes pins you can say
goodbye to all your clothes!
I enjoyed visiting Venice because of how different it was from any other
city we have visited. I have never visited a city built on islands with canals
weaving in and out of it. I will never forget this marvelous city and the
adventures we experienced there.