Bella Italia - Andiamo!
Together with France, Italy is one of my favourite European countries.
As a jewellery designer and former "TV Bling Babe" I often visited the jewellery fair in Vicenza which is located between the pretty towns of Verona (Romeo & Juliet) and Venice.
By this way I got to know and love Northern Italy. Follow in my footsteps... I’ll show you around!
The famous Rialto Bridge over the Canale Grande in Venice is one of the most well-known sights of this amazing city. In the past there were often rich merchants’ houses and shops located on these types of bridges and for a long time the beautiful Rialto Bridge was the most important connection between the buzzing quarters of San Polo and San Marco and the financial heart of the powerful Venetian City State.
The first highlight of our visits to Venice is the trip in one of the wooden private water taxis from Marco Polo airport to our hotel in Dorsoduro. A little luxury. These boats are called “vaporetto” in Italian (what a lovely language - everything sounds so much more romantic and ‘splendido’). Often the captains liked to press the pedal and deliver you speedily and with a smile directly to your hotel’s front door!
Our charming hotel is one of the oldest in Venice and luckily far away from the tourist crowds around St. Mark’s Square. And right outside is the best restaurant in Venice (at least I think so).
Purple is the colour of luxury! And the glamorous costumes people wear for Carneval are simply stunning and very eye-catching.
After Rio de Janeiro, Venice has the world’s biggest and most visited carneval. This magnificent tradition was mentioned in official records for the first time over 900 years ago. Celebrations and indulgence before the meagre time of lent...
Accademia is one of Venice’s most colourful quarters which always attracted us to stroll through its narrow streets and quaint piazzas.
Could one possibly cram in any more souvenirs into these tiny shops or onto the shelves outside???
This lively part of town is also full of quirky art galleries and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is amongst the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the 20th century.
A boat trip on the Canale Grande is definitely a "must”. Especially when the weather is fine.
The façades of the many Venetian palazzos are a dream in contrast, I guess, to the nightmare for the vast basements, ancient vaults and cellars at times of “aqua alta” - high water!
Rich Patrician ladies tended to wear over-shoes with high platforms to protect their fancy
Together with picturesque Murano, the small island of Burano in the Venetian Laguna makes a perfect day trip when staying in Venice. Burano is well-known for its bright-coloured fishing houses and its delicate lace whose production goes back to the 14th century. From there we took a boat to the tiny island of Torcello which these days only has 25 inhabitants.
In the 10th century though Torcello boasted a proud population of 10.000 to 20.000 and was much larger, more influential and consequently much more important than “Bella Venezia”. Its fortune changed dramatically in the 12th century when Torcello suddenly declined and fell into obscurity.
Nowadays you could call it a “hick town” (or a bit kinder perhaps just utterly sleepy and provincial) but it has a so-called Devil’s Bridge, a small museum next to the remnants of an old church and the rumour that once upon a time the throne of the mighty King of the Huns Attila stood here.
Buon Appetito! The Italian cuisine is simply “molto bella”! Opting for a starter and main course consisting of pasta and a delicious sauce is not uncommon in Italy.
From an early age I loved spaghetti! In fact all kinds of noodles you can ‘play with’ and twist around your spoon creating a nice pattern of sticky tomato stains on the formerly boring white table cloth. Mamma mia!
After a relaxing tasty lunch - un pranzo saporito - one tends to feel a bit lazy and dozy. Especially during the hot summer months.
You can see the side arm of the Grand Canal in the background - the Giudecca Canale - with one of Venice’s four-hundred plus bridges. Time for “una bella pennichella” - a little siesta with Amore Mio until it is a bit cooler in the evening.
The historic Doge’s Palace is definitely worth a visit. The picturesque façade is very elegant and glamorous. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful profane buildings in Venice.
Originally constructed as a fortress around the year 814, this impressive building has seen many changes and alterations due to devastating fires, plunder and revolts.
During our tour the chatty guide told us that here the dungeons were not - as commonly practised - located in the dark damp basements but right under the eaves above the magnificent banqueting hall which we were walking through at the time admiring its splendour. So apart from the punishment there was also the stifling heat in summer and the constant waft of delicious food, music and laughter and dancing signorinas. All totally unattainable for the condemned but all so terribly near…
In the Middle Ages and the following Renaissance there were many fierce rivalries between the powerful orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans which were also called “God’s Dogs” in a witty wordplay - Domini Canes in Latin.
Witness the many opulently decorated churches in Venice which still have a great purpose today as cool shelters from the afternoon’s heat…
I love this unusual photo of St. Marks just off the world-famous square in soothing gentle colours - almost monochrome. It looks rather remote from the loud and lively reality and stands in stark contrast to the never-waning tourist waves visiting Venice all year around. A bit like in a dream.
This famous square goes back to the 9th century when it was mainly used for proclamations and official announcements of the Venetian Government. St. Marks has also seen countless festivities its citizens enjoy with gusto like the Carnevale.
Oh, mio Dio - what wealth and splendour inside St. Mark’s Church. I don’t think heaven itself could be more golden!
AVANTI! Si accomodi - pronto!
I’ve always liked old doors and gates (maybe part of my curiosity what could be behind them perhaps…?) Like Tallinn in far away Estonia, Venice has very impressive front doors and door knockers like this one in a maritime style. Perfect for me as an Aquarian!
Permesso? May I enter? Grazie!!!
Ciao, bella! Venice is always inviting & welcoming. A presto!
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