Thursday, April 20, 2017

VENICE 2017: The Chimneys


How about something none of us expected!  I guess when you're always looking up for weathervanes...but don't find them...you're happy to notice what IS there.

So I collected them!

How can you not be mesmerized!

Almost as elegant as any ornamental tower.





Don't you love the tiny roofs?











These were at the end of our wee canal near our B&B.
They remind me of trumpets tooting their horns.

I know.  Silly me.  But I had to collect something!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

VENICE 2017: The Gondolas and Gondoliers


There's just waaaaaaaay too much to show-n-tell about Venice (and Verona) without tackling it willy-nilly, if you don't mind, going with whatever strikes my fancy in the moment.

In this case, it's the gondolas and gondoliers.  Since we saw them every day in Venice, it makes sense to make a separate post of just them, to give them context.

First of all, our mode of transportation throughout the week was by vaporetto/waterbus.
At €60 each for 7 days, we could hop on-n-off at any time, anywhere.
That's when we saw most of the gondoliering in action...passing them while on the vaporettos.

We're talking about on the Grand Canal, of course.
It's 4 km long and can handle a lot of gondolas.

You'd expect certain landmarks, like the Piazza San Marco, being the gondola hubs.
The gondoliers thrive on tourist attention at such places.

It's hard to miss them.

But they're also at lesser-known stops...

lying in wait.

I suppose it's like taking care of one's car?

Except for when it rains and you have no customers.
But you still have to protect your asset!

The maneuvering comes with practice, of course.
Practice makes perfect?

Speaking of which, traffic can be a challenge, even if you're talking only about the gondolas.
But of course, the gondolas have to share the Grand Canal with everyone. 

On our walk of the Accademia area we just happened upon the squero/gondola boatyard,
next to the Church of San Trovaso, the only place where gondolas are now made and repaired.
In Venice's heyday, 16th century, there were 10,000 elegant gondolas plying its waters.
Today there are 350-ish, from a profession passed on from father to son.

And daughter?  We also happened upon this female gondolier,
one of two official female gondoliers in Venice now, she said.
To become a gondolier, you have to be licensed, passing theory and practice exams.
It's considered a high honor.

Someone asked us the other day if we did anything romantic while in Venice.
In a past life, I did, in fact, have a gondola ride...at night.
But Astrid and I had no inclination to treat ourselves.  Just call us cheap (at €80/30 min.)?
Or maybe it's just that we really did have more fun watching...instead of being watched!

[In case you want to know more about gondolas and gondoliers, you can read it here.]