Saturday Snapshots #47

by Jeanne on July 18, 2009

in Photography, Saturday Snapshots, Travel - Italy

SanMarcoCampanileWeb

Venice – July 2009

The first time I visited Venice was in the depths of winter 2000.  We arrived late on a Friday night, arrived at our hotel and collapsed in bed.  The next morning we awoke bright and early and set off on the 3-minute walk to the Piazza San Marco.  We had gone only a block or two when our way was blocked by water lapping at our feet, seemingly appearing from nowhere.  We thought there must be a broken water main somwhere and tried another street – same story.  It was only when we got to the piazza (via the slightly higher-lying alleys!) that we realised we were witnessing acqua alta, the massive tide that occasionally submerges the streets around San Marco and the piazza itself. 

The image I have of people walking in wellington boots along low trestle tables to the basilica, and gazing at the floor of the beautiful loggia through a foot of water, could not be more different from the view that greeted me when I visited the city last week at the height of summer.  Opening the windows in the morning was like pushing through a warm, steamy soup (God bless air conditioning!); queues outside every gelateria; sunburnt tourists jostling for space to sit in every little patch of shade; sun twinkling off the carnival masks for sale; and gondoliers mopping their brows.  And through it all, La Serenissima remains as implacable as ever – as if she has seen it all before, and she will see it all again.

This is part of a series of non-food photographs that will be published every Saturday on CookSister. Click herefor a full list of photographs previously featured.  All photos featured in Saturday Snapshots are available to buy as greeting cards or prints in my RedBubble store.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bellini Valli July 20, 2009 at 1:12 am

I was 18 when I last visited Venice. I think it is tome for a lifestyle change:D

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nina July 20, 2009 at 4:24 am

How are you, dear Jeanne……settled?????Beautiful shot!!!

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Manggy July 20, 2009 at 8:10 am

So jealous you’re much closer to Italy than I am. Been in Venice only once, in 2004. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. Sigh.

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Kit July 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

Great image, Jeanne, both words and photo. I’ve been in freezing winter for carnival, when we spent most of our time trying to warm up in bars and in hot summer as a sweltering tourist. But I now feel on first name terms with Venice through reading the Donna Leon series of crime novels set there. I’m in love with it from afar aqua alta and all. Hope you had a lovely time there.

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Elizabeth July 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Lovely photo, Jeanne!
I STILL haven’t visited Venice, except vicariously. I first heard about aqua alta when reading Donna Leon’s novels featuring Guido Brunetti. Even though I’ve only read a a fictional account, I still have a vivid image of people slogging along cursing because the water has reached the top of their boots.
I wonder if there are little shops set up to repair Wellington boot punctures….

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Tina Pigors July 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I went there years ago and had my first taste of Italian fine dining – and ended up having to pay to use the tablecloth.

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Gill July 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Lovely photo! Is Venice not just too beautiful?! It was exceedingly hot when we were there too, but so, so beautiful!
Hope you had a lovely time there.

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