Street Artists in Venice
Buy a drawing or picture from a local artist in Venice.
Whilst in walking around the streets of Venice we came across a young male aritst whose name I cannot remember, drawing and painting street scenes. They really were beautiful pictures and I bought a small watercolour print from him. I cannot remember exactly how much I paid but it was less than £5.00.
I really love this picture and have often wished I had bought more from him.
No trip to Venice is complete without experiencing a ride in a Gondola. It is very touristy but an essential thing to do. Apart from the romantic aspect it is a great way to see another side of Venice - from the small canals.
As you are polled around you can see many buildings that are slowly being swallowed by a watery grave. Ancient doorways can be seen way below the waterline proving the rising water line.
Angie & I had a memorable ride with some Aussies around the waterways. Two of them were Italian Aussies so could translate the Gondalier's rantings as he manouvered his boat around the tight turns.
Gondola is undoubtely the most famous emblem of the city of Venice. These unique boats, which inspired the melodious song known as the barcarola, have acted as discreet witnesses to countless passionate love affairs, such as Alfred de Musset and George Sand, Eleonora Duse and Gabriele D'Annunzio, Lord Byron and his endless procession of concubines, and ........there is more of course.
Gondoliers: Symbol of Venice
Local legend says that Gondoliers are born with webbed feet which helps them walk on water. Of course, this is part of the mythology of Gondoliers; however, they do have intimate knowledge of the waterway's of Venice which is passed down from father to son.
As in the picture, the traditional dress of the Gondolier is the beribboned straw hat, the striped shirt, and the black trousers.
The Gondolier stands upright and pushes on his oar to row the gondola in the direction that he faces. His passengers sit on beautifully upholstered cushions and on low stools. His gondola is always black in color; (seven layers of black lacquer to give the glossy look); the ferror has metal teeth which symbolizes the six sestieri of Venice as are under the part that is in the shape of the Doge's cap.
The Gondola takes three months to build and costs 10,000 Euro or more. The woods that are used are walnut, oak, mahogany, lime, larch, fir, elm, cherry, and beech. These woods are then handcrafted into more than 280 separate pieces of wood!
So, when we gripe about the price of a ride on the gondola, it is good to know how expensive the boat and how expensive the upkeep of this beautiful, craft which is one of the oldest symbols of Venice.
When I saw this Gondolier, I tried waiting until he turned around, but finally gave up and took the picture from the back...I think I like it best this way..more natural.
A few things to make life easier.
Bring rolling suitcases. Yes, I know everyone says that you have to carry the suitcases up and down bridges. You do, but in between bridges, you get to pull them. Most importantly, if you are traveling via train in Italy, you have to be able to pick up your suitcases/packs, run up and down a flight of stairs, run out the front door down the driveway and back and up and down the stairs again. If you can do that (and not have a heart attack) you are ready to go. I saw people in flip flops. I couldn't walk down my driveway in flipflops! We wore brown walking shoes. I had New Balance. Mmy husband had Merrill's. We both had hysterically happy feet. We walked on average 7 hours a day in Venice and the CT. Anti-itch stuff of choice for bug bites. Flashlight- the alleys are REALLY dark at night. All the scary things one has been taught about not going into dark alleys has to be abandoned in Venice. After sun down, all the alleys are dark. The street signs which are mounted 10+ feet up on the sides of a building are nearly impossible to see after dark without some illumination. I took a tiny flashlight which clipped to my fleece zipper pull- convenient and effective. A compass is fun but certainly not necessary. It would be good for kids (or doubting husbands). Mosquito repellant, Tide pen (especially for gelato eaters), a good map (like streetwise) and day pack.