sienamystic: (Venice)
[personal profile] sienamystic
Well, she said, I'm back.

I've been back a little over a week. The trip was pretty great, went differently than I expected (but don't they always?), and seemed to pass so quickly that I'm vaguely startled that I have proof that I actually was there, and I'm already wondering how and when I can get back.

I keep thinking that lots of stuff has changed, but I don't know if that's true or not. English certainly is more present there. 15 years ago, I think even in the big cities you encountered people with little to no English, and here it was just everywhere. My scant handful of Italian helped on a few occasions, but most of the people we encountered spoke English that was lightyears ahead of my Italian.

There seemed to be more street vendors - or maybe my frustration at having to decline the purchase of a selfie stick every five minutes just made it feel that way. There were moments that I was just worn out by them. There also were just as many people there - if not more - as in the height of July, which surprised me. I suppose everyone's figured out that if you can visit when the weather is a little cooler, you should do it. Venice was particularly overstuffed, even past the "well of course Venice is crowded standards (partly by, I think, some Italian tourists there for a breast cancer awareness group parade) and because of how things worked out we didn't get to push past the main streets and off into the more appealing less populated zones. I think my sister was a bit shocked by the graffiti we found everywhere (and perhaps it just looks more startling in elegant Venice) but you also get the impression that Venice is really struggling to keep up against the tide of tourists and their trash. I know there are concerns with turning Venice into some sort of artificial Disneyland by limiting the amount of tourists permitted per day, but let's just say that I have different feelings now than I had previously.

I had an afternoon, night and morning in Venice before meeting up with my sister. One of the first things I did was get myself to San Marco to see the Tetrarchs. The two times I've been to Venice previously, they were hidden behind some scaffolding, but at last, I can see my sweet babies.


Granted, I had to wait for a giant tour group to finish with them (after their guide's spiel, every single person in the tour group had to have their photo taken in front of them, one hand planted somewhere ON the sculpture to, I guess, prove that their encounter wasn't some sort of elaborate photoshop joke.

And I always like looking at the capitals on the Doge's palace.

Venice, Sculpture capital at the Doge's Palace

I didn't go down to the area where the majority of the Biennale exhibitions were, but there were pavilions throughout the city and I ended up, among others, in the one for the Philippines. Lots of fun, and always nice to see modern art in a palazzo setting. And being in Venice, there were some spectacular glass chandeliers to look at.

Palazzo Mora

The day after my sister and brother-in-law joined me, we went to the Cemetery island, Murano and Burano. I don't think I need to go back to any of them, and Murano was basically a very nice mall of glass shops, but Burano was indeed full of beautiful colors that I enjoyed taking photos of, and which make the perfect computer wallpaper.

Colors, Burano


Also on Burano was this cat trying his best to telepathically have this diner tip over his plate of seafood.


And, you know, Venice is pretty stunning, full of tourists and trash or no...

Venice, behind the Ghetto by the Fondamenta Ormesini

Next, Ravenna, by fast train to Bologna (and lord, the fast trains may have some issues re: affordability for the average Italian, but they were a deep delight to travel in) and then slow train to Ravenna itself. People tend to visit Ravenna in day trips, as I have previously, but staying overnight was quite nice and hotels aren't too pricy. I think I will post photos later when I see what my sister took with her nicer camera, because neither of my two (cellphone and small pocket shooter) were able to do much. But I think if I could up sticks and move to Italy, Ravenna might be one of my top choices for city to relocate into. We had a fantastic dinner there, too.

Wait, here's a photo my sister took of the more modern side of Ravenna mosaics!

Ravenna 8 bit graphics

I think I'll post this and then do Florence, Perugia and Rome in another entry.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-11-02 10:59 pm (UTC)
akamarykate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamarykate
Oh, how *fun*! Thank you so much for sharing your photos. I shall live vicariously for now. I always waver, with travel, between wanting to see the places that speak to my heart (Venice is one; the Galapagos Islands is another) and the worry that I'd add to the crush of tourism. (but mostly that's an excuse for my own lack of inertia :). I'm so glad you had a good experience and can't wait to hear about the rest of it!


sienamystic: (Default)

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