When one is visiting the city of Venice, a gondola ride is expected. A gondola ride through the Grand Canal. You would pass by every iconic building that rose to it’s grandiose style in the Italian Renaissance. These waterways are some of the most famous in the world. Hollywood and dreamers believe that Venice is the hidden jewel in Italy that one should visit before their demise. Do I agree with them? Well the only way I was going to solve this question would be to go on my own gondola ride through the water ways of Venice during my stay in the city of masks.
My personal favorite spot to start a gondola ride is off the St. Mark’s Square facing the beautiful Rivera with rows of gondolas docked. From there, we passed under the Bridge of Sighs, and each bridge is packed with pedestrians passing and going. As we puttered along the quiet canal more and more gondolas joined our touring party. It was like a water parade without the fanfare usually parades have. The withering old bones of a sinking city stood tall like giants the further we ventured into the canal.
The buildings carry accents of the Middle East within the frames of windows and doorways. An influence not seen in many other places of Italy. Venice was the home to many merchants, who were influenced by their travels. Each home connects itself to the lively water ways via dock or steps. Some homes carry large mosaics that gleam and shine under the glaring sun for on lookers to gander at. Cathedrals and churches peek their heads between the brick buildings that congregate along the way. If you removed every sign of modern improvement, you could almost see the ladies and lords dressed in their fineness wandering the winding streets. Their images are hazy and faint like the sun glare had simply conjured them but their presence had left it’s mark.
I can see why so many have dreamed and portrayed this city on water. I truly felt at times like I had stepped back in time or on a movie set with the city being almost frozen in time. The bones of the old homes such as the Mansion of Marco Polo now a theater have taken a new life in the modern age. Tourist may seem like they over run the city (and they kind of do), but the city still captivates. It just shows you the power of Venice. Now all I can do is sign off by saying Venice is a gem. A gem that is slowly sinking and has the potential to disappear. Therefore, I think that one should at least step foot in before it takes on a new life form or vanishes in the age. So, walk. No. Run with fever to the city of bridges, Venice, and be spell bound.