Unconventional informations source
For those who are good in reading italian (even if i admit veneto language would be best for some part of it!!) the site %L [www.venessia.com] www.venessia.com is a real gem! Be aware, it is kind of "goliardico" (in italian means something like student's jokes kind of thing) and some part are a little "harsh" and can get kind of indecent, but it have tons of funny story about Venice, its traditions and its people. Also there are several itinerary (also in english and frech), many curiosities and restaurants and caffes tips.
I use to read part of it just for fun but often i found some real good advice for my next exploration of this wonderful and unconventional city.
I hope you will enjoy it ;-)
Travel writers say that one of...
Travel writers say that one of the top 10 thrills in the world is taking a gondola ride through Venice. Hire one with your own private opera singer and take an evening cruise. Imagine life in Venice throughout the centuries, the city hasn't changed much.
You have to take a ride in a...
You have to take a ride in a gondola! It is a great way to get a different perspective of Venice, and also the most traditional method of transport. And yes, the gondeliers will sing! You may have heard that the water here carries an unpleasant odor...I assure you these rumours are true! A small price for visitors to pay for the mystique and beauty of this city.
Read Donna Leon – before, during, after
If you like thrillers or atmospheric books, I can highly recommend to read Donna Leon’s books, if you don’t know her yet. She is US American, is teacher in English and English literature and has worked in Swizzerland, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia and came to Venezia in the 80ies. As a magnificent observer of details, she has created her protagonist, Commissario Brunetti in 1992, and since this time, each year a new book is released. Each of the books is dealing with a specific theme, either related to Venezia or society in general, such as the opera house (Death at La Fenice), Acqua Alta, poison dumping (Uniform Justice), the fake product dealers (Blood from a Stone) and Murano and the glass blowers (Through a Glass, Darkly).
With her observation skills, it is very much easy to follow Brunetti’s footsteps, as her books interweave Venezia and the events. And, the characters are brilliantly described so that already after 3 or 4 books, you know them and how they will react – they transform into real persons in imagination.
Read on the website of her publisher Randomhouse about her and the books:
Or this one with a bit more of a personal touch about Donna Leon:
Donna Leon at Groveatlantic
Or what Wikipedia tells about her. Now we German speaking are lucky as well, as her books are made into a TV series and are running (and being repeated) since 2000. Of course we can discuss about the choice of actors (I prefer the second Brunetti but the first Paola), but the makers of this series did capture the atmosphere of the books quite well and it is almost as if submerging into the city and her beauty.
Naturally, the locations of books and series are not always the same, and quite often the sequences are illogical (if they take a boat from the questura to somewhere or they walk from A to B, they take different canales or calles as it would be the case in real Venezia), but… the heck.
I know all of her books, had the 2 newest ones with me while I was there, including the Murano book, which I finished before I went to Murano. It was so much fun to read them at the “location”, and very often, when I was walking in some calles, heard something, saw something I thought oops, I just read about this or that in the book.
And of course I was also looking for the locations of the series, and found questura and their house. Same here as with the books. I was standing in front of the “questura” (which is in fact an old palazzo and most probably not inhabited), I almost expect Commissario Brunetti and his sergente Vianello to step out of the door.
Don't forget to look up...
While touring Venice on foot, boat, or gondola, don't forget to look up at the Venice that remains authentic. Yes, there is grafitti, laundry, and, more importantly, life. It turns out, not everyone is a tourist (although sometimes that is hard to believe). While riding in a gondola ride I got to capture this photograph that really represents the real Venice to me. The Venice that is full of passion, history, and magic.
There are people who live in Venice, mostly working with goods and services targeted at tourism, but citizens nonetheless. The Italian culture is something I aspire to adapt. The lifestyle to watch the world go by outside your window, while watching from the balcony. Ce La Vie...Oh, how I yearn for my life to be that free of stress.
Also while looking up don't forget to see the Venitian flower baskets. They are somewhat of an icon. Almost all of the flowers I saw were blooming beautifully. It really is a great indication that Venice is everything you dreamt it would be.