Venice is extraordinary and it is hard not to be beguiled by the many charms of this city built on water. It was a powerful republic built between the sixth and eighth century and for eleven hundred years the Government of the Venetian Republic was housed in the Doges Palace right in Piazza San Marco on the Grand Canal. That legacy and the fact that no cars have been here, helps to keep the old world ambiance.
One often hears that Venice is filthy or stinky, but we did not find that to be true. There was one far away back alley that had a foul odor, but then that could be said about any city in Europe or other wise. I am not sure if it is worse at some times of the year than others, but during a heat wave in the last days of May, 2007 it was no problem what so ever.
Perhaps Thomas Mann had it most accurate with his “half fairy tale and half tourist trap” description about Venice’s “flattering and suspect beauty”. I will leave you with a few pictures and a few quotes about Venice that I hope captures a little of this unique, magical place:
“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go”
“A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him”
“White swan of cities, slumbering in thy nest So wonderfully built among the reeds Of the lagoon, that fences thee and feeds, As sayeth thy old historian and thy guest!
“I loved her from my boyhood, she to me was as a fairy city of the heart, Rising like water-columns from the sea, Of joy the sojourn and of wealth the mart, And Otway, Radcliffe, Schiller, Shakespear’s art, Had stamped her image on me”
“This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty this city, half fairy tale, half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tone of somniferous eroticisms”
“Venice - the only place where you can get sea sick by crossing the street”