Monday, 10 March 2014

Venice Part 1: Lungo il Canale


Arriving in Venice for the first time is akin to being thrown inside a giant kaleidoscope full of magical buildings, palaces, statues, bridges, turquoise canals, stripes, flags, posts, boats...all tumbled together in the most perfect random arrangements. Street after street, alley on alley, lane after lane and always water on your left, no right, no I mean straight ahead! You wonder, could there be a more perfect arrangement of  architecture and waterway than the one you are currently marveling at and then you cross an impossible tiny stone bridge or turn the tightest corner and there is another...and another...
 
The colours of Venice are divine...the combinations. Venice is rose and teal. Darkest green and turquoise. Terracotta and soft grey. Blush and faded Shrimper sail red.
~~~
I love to get acquainted with new cities. "Before you get your eye in" as Mr.Lane would say. 
All is new and wondrous, it is a heightened experience, like being a child again.
I am most alive when I am noticing. The smells, the sounds, the people. 
The market is invariably the starting point. 
Head to the market and all will be revealed.*
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I have long associated Venice with two incredible films. 
Visconti's Death in Venice starring Dirk Bogarde, adapted from Thomas Mann's masterpiece, with that ravishing Mahler score. And Nicholas Roeg's chilling adaptation of a Daphne Du Maurier story, Don't Look Now starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. I wondered if I had too many preconceptions to really see the city for myself. Imagine the thrill of seeing Venice for the first time with no prior knowledge! I needn't have worried... there is so much more to discover beyond the tourist trail.
~~~
Venice beguiles you, being at once familiar and yet tricksy to navigate. We stayed in the quieter area of Santa Croce and wandered the narrow streets unflustered, knowing eventually we would spot a landmark and navigate from it. If all else failed we stopped for coffee or gelato...
At times it seemed the Gods were gently turning the kaleidoscope a quarter turn and all the streets were shuffled, just as you think you have the hang of it.
Meanwhile, back at the Lane, it seems a corner has been turned...there is blossom and birdsong...
--x--

Post Script: I changed the title of this post several times, feeling I sounded rather Cecil Vyse. Then, on reflection I realised I probably am a little Cecil ( sans the pince nez! )
* Back soon at the market!

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Venice is so wonderful; I hope I get the chance to go back there someday. Love your words and your images :)

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  2. Morning or rather Evening Natasha! I remember your Venice pics very vividly, simply gorgeous. We have so many places in common! Lovely to hear from you --x--

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  3. Such a wonderful place to vist, you have captured it perfectly. I had a great time there 20 something years ago now.

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  4. very magical place and city very special 3 years ago i was there also its so pretty hope you have a nice stay and trip leon10

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  5. You describe your first visit to Venice so well! It's magic, beguiling, mysterious, & even a little menacing, isn't it. But, it's the breathtaking beauty that stays with me most of all.
    Blessings,
    G

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  6. And your photos are so lovely!
    G

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    1. Gigi...you are absolutely right...I didn't write about the strangeness (menacing is true!) I couldn't quite process it...the masks are extraordinary but not for me. The whole city shimmers with a peculiar energy. Thanks for your kind words --x--

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  7. Hmmm... you were sounding rather 'Elinor Lavishe' to me! ;) I have been to Venice twice! Once with Mark Twain in 'The Innocents Abroad' and, almost simultaneously, with Jane and Lance Hattat who magically appeared at the same time - what a coincidence and merry meeting! Now, I've been a third time with you and I have to say that all of the stories corroborate! Venice is an odd, quirky, beautiful city with lots of unbeaten paths who's magic shows up at unexpected moments. What a fun adventure!! :)

    xo

    btw, congratulations on spring! :) Another foot of snow expected for us on Wed. :)

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    1. ...I protest...I would never snitch on the stolen kiss...I would, however, Cousin Charlotte like, insist on paying Freddie back for the cab and get in awful muddle :) Hey, a foot of snow in March! That's rough, although I sense we are not out of the woods yet. Humming o mio babbino caro super badly, help.... --x--

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  8. Beautiful description of a beautiful city. I was just 9 years old when I visited Venice and I still remember it vividly!! I am now longing to make and adult visit ... soon.

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    1. Oh Jane, like my Mum, I have a beautiful black and white photo of her as a little girl in a practically deserted St Marks Square...you must go back --x--

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  9. What a treasure box of colour Venice is seen through your eyes, your descriptions are so beautiful. Looking forward to the next postcard from your trip.
    Lisa x

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    1. Thank you lovely Lisa...it's feeling a bit surreal now I am home. I was half thinking I might bump into him! ( It is the sort of place a Police Box would blend into perfectly! ) --x--

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  10. Incredible photos. You do Venice justice.

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  11. aaaahhh, we were there last summer to celebrate 20 years married! I was totally blown away - and it is now the place I can't wait to go back to. It was the nicest place to wander around - something to see round every single corner.
    Your photos bring back lots of lovely memories...fee x

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  12. I went to Venice many many years ago - and I expect it hasn't changed one little bit. Your photos certainly do it justice. The picture with the gondola could almost be a painting. Ciao.

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  13. Oh, what lovely photos.

    I have never been to Venice and you make we want to be there.

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