It’s hard to imagine a city with no roads. I always heard that Venice was nothing but canals, but it was impossible to fully grasp the concept until I saw with my own eyes. I figured that the middle of the island would be inundated with scooters and bicycles. Not so. (Please scroll through this post with your mouse pointed over the photos. On my computer, at least, the photos are brighter than they should be if my mouse isn’t over them. I’m not sure why.)
There are several modes of travel through Venezia. The most famous, of course, is the gondola.
Gondoliers are absolute pros. They steer these long boats through some incredibly narrow spaces, often in the path of much larger, motor-driven boats. All this with one paddle- while standing! If it were up to me to steer the boat, we’d be crashing into everything. I was so amazed, watching them.
This is the view from the Rialto Bridge. I could have stood there all day, just observing.
One of Venice’s many, many bridges. This is why scooters are bikes are unrealistic.
This canal seemed unremarkable until I noticed that shock of emerald green in the distance. The sun hit the water just right at that moment.
See that large boat on the left? That is a water bus, for budget travel. We did not ride one this time, but next time we certainly will. The water buses will take you directly from the train station to St. Marks Square and are significantly cheaper (and less romantic) than a gondola ride.
The canals bustled with activity.
Another popular mode of travel was the private motorboat. These reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Did you know that there are only approximately 400 registered gondoliers in Venice? To become a gondolier, one must undergo 6 months of rigorous training, pass difficult exams, and pay a rather steep licensure fee. These fellas also need an intimate knowledge of the canals of the area. Tourists can take gondola steering courses, just for fun.
Passing under a bridge.
The view from the backside of the Rialto Bridge. Much less crowded than the picturesque front.
Leaving Venice as the sun began to set.
This bridge was reserved for law enforcement.
Just like parallel parking on a neighborhood street.
Hands-down my favorite picture from that day.
Stay tuned for future posts about our visit to Venice.