Saturday, October 19, 2013

Windows on Venice

View from our window
Venice is actually built on a large group of lots of small islands, islands that originally started as farm land for Italians escaping various conquerors routing through the country. Eventually they stayed, building their homes and towns. The result we see is an interconnected, random web of streets and alleyways with innumerable bridges, large and small, over the meandering canals.  We wandered round and round, getting lost, finding ourselves, even making a full loop, unexpectedly being deposited on our doorstep. The best part is that there are no cars to dodge, no bikes racing down the paths, only a few little scooters for the smallest kids. A very addicting lifestyle!

The Turkish influence
Wow – the views of Venice are many and varied! There’s no telling what you’re going to be viewing on the next corner, though I will say there were lots of canals, brickworks, fascinating windows and colorful clothing just hanging around. I’m going to start with views of windows here. Venice was an extremely successful trading hub at one time. The hundreds of different settlers and merchants brought with them their origins, their concept of what buildings look like. Since many were very wealthy, large palaces sprung up all over the islands. What is left is an amazing array of buildings across the town. 

An upper floor apartment - with a nice view
2nd story window - reflecting the
walkway below
Many of the buildings, particularly those that are found along the Grand Canal (the major, widest canal through Venice) were the old palaces. Anyone with money would build their rather large home prominently on the main canal. I don't know that many of them have a single family residing in them any more. Many of the ones we saw have been put to multiple uses with restaurants or other shops on the ground floor, and apartments places above. Some of the grandest palaces have been turned into hotels, catering to the tourists - the main source of income for the islands. Check out the reflections on the right - there were quite a few windows that picked up unexpected views of the surrounding area.

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