Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ponte de L'Accademia
I was surprised by how beautiful Venice was. I know, I know... everyone says how wonderful it is and it's supposed to be sooo romantic. But I had been reading a lot of Donna Leon mystery novels--with her cynical Venetian hero, Inspector Brunetti--and I had this image of a sinking, decaying ruin overrun by mobs of tourists.
Instead, I was enchanted by Venice; a fairy tale city on a human scale created for the appreciation of beauty by some real optimists (who builds a city in a lagoon??). And once you get away from St. Mark's square, the tourists thin. As we wandered the impossibly narrow twisting streets, every turn brought new views of the canals and worn buildings with flowers tumbling from window boxes.
In the evening we dined at a restaurant with tables at the edge of the Grand Canal, overlooking passing gondoloas and vaporetti. The light was soft and golden, and the palaces opposite were all warm shades of yellow, ochre and bone. To our left was the market area where the Venetians shop daily, which that morning had been filled with fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. But in the evening the stalls were empty and, fortunately, the smell of fish was gone.
Click here to purchase a giclee print of this watercolor.