Friday, June 10, 2011


Finally Blogger is working again for me!  I've had a couple of posts lined up for a couple of weeks, but unfortunately my pictures just couldn't be uploaded.  So these next few posts are a little old, but there are still some great pics from my trip.


So I'm not sure how many of you have seen the recent movie The Tourist with Jolie and Depp, but if you have, let me just say that my train ride from Florence to Venice was freakishly like a scene from the movie, or at least it felt like Depp's doppelganger  had taken a seat only a couple rows in front of me.  A youngish gentleman walked on the train, wearing a dark somewhat disheveled three-piece suit, had chin-length wavy dark brown hair, the same facial hair, similar rounded horn-rimmed glasses, and a mysterious slightly disturbed demeanor.  It was scary. I honestly felt like an Angelina doppelganger was going to walk on to the train at any moment.

Nevertheless, it made for a pretty good start to the last leg of our trip. And then we got off the train and tried to find our hotel.... it was not easy.  At that point we had also filled our extra duffel bag and guess who had to carry that up and down all the bridges.  I had the large duffel, a rolling suitcase, and my giant Lands' End tote, along with the map (which wasn't all too helpful).  Thankfully the hotel wasn't too far from the train station, and we did eventually find it (and luckily there was a lovely wine bar next door with delicious Prosecco to ease our troubles).

Our first morning we decided to take the vaporetto (water bus) and just cruise the Grande Canal, taking in the sites and getting an idea of the layout of Venice. We landed in Piazza San Marco.  It was the perfect moment.  As we walked onto the piazza an outdoor band was playing "How do you solve a problem like Maria" from the Sound of Music (it's one of the many songs people will sing to me once they learn my name is Maria), with waiters in three piece suits with white jackets, carrying trays of espresso and  San Pellegrino.  Even the pianist and violinists were dressed to the nines.

 Of course my mom and I took a seat, ordered a round of espressos, peopled watched, and enjoyed the glorious Venetian sunshine for a couple hours before heading into St. Mark's Basilica.

While I was mesmerized by the many frescoes in the cathedrals and churches of Rome and Florence, I was incredibly impressed by the mosaics in St. Mark's.

The gold pieces shimmered, causing the pockets of glowing space where the sunlight hit.  On the second level we were able to get really close to the mosaics, close enough to touch them (I swear I didn't though!) and close enough to see all the individual pieces.  Although I tend to prefer the style of the High Renaissance, I think these Byzantine and late Gothic frescoes were among my favorite works that I saw on my trip.  

We of course made a trip to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. If you ever find yourself in Venice and have even a slight interest in modern art, I most definitely suggest you stop here!  It has a good sampling of all the big names (Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp), as well as temporary collections that really delve into some of the more obscure movements more deeply.  It's not a large museum, so it's not as overwhelming as some other art galleries.

Our last days we mainly took the vaparetto and wandered around, soaking in the beauty, getting lost crossing the small bridges above the mini canals, made a trip to Murano to visit some glass studios, enjoyed delicious seafood, and sat in coffee shops writing postcards to send to friends and family. After two weeks of intensely running around cities, attempting to hit every major point of significance, we wanted a serene end to our trip to reflect upon everything we saw and get a last chance to soak it all in.  

I was certainly blown away by the beauty of Venice, and now understand why it's the backdrop for so many magazine editorials and movies.  Now every time I see a model sporting an enchanting gown on a gondola floating down the Grand Canal in Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, I'll feel a subtle warmth in my heart and will fondly recall all of my wonderful memories.  


1 comment:

  1. I dont know if you know but the latest issue of Belle Inspiration will be all about Italy! I did a piece on Venice :O)