Sunday, July 25, 2010

Venetian Gondola, Italy 2010

Venice, Italy 134
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Venice was remarkable, a beautiful conclusion to our mini-tour of Italy where we visited the Cinque Terre, Rome, and Venice.

Personally I found the Cinque Terre to be the most charming of our many stops on the European Rail Adventure thanks to smaller crowds and more wild lands and the beautiful hike between the five cities, but my daughter felt Venice was the highlight of the trip.

The Venetian labyrinth of canals and walkways makes for some of Europe’s most intriguing and wonderful strolls, though you also will find it’s very easy to get lost here, where few paths are straight and even many of maps seem to lead you astray. I found intuition combined with the many pathway painted signs to big locations seemed to keep us on track better than our map.

Still, getting lost in what many consider to be the world’s most beautiful city is fun and has some advantages. Around almost every turn there would be new shops, restaurants, and pretty canal scenes.

On the down side of having a beautiful water world, Venice is struggling with the environmental pressures of a subsiding landscape, leading to seepage and flooding in much of the city, especially in the fall. Even during the summer trip we found the Piazza San Marco half covered in water - something that happens regulary and begins with just a small seep in the lower areas as in this picture I took in late June: Flooding in Venice