Wednesday, November 30, 2011

La Serenissima


Venice is beautiful at all times, but the nights, with their desolate streets, tiny alley ways, beautiful lights, blustery passages are what make Venice her most radiant.  There weren't many tourists when I was visiting due to the time of year, but when they left with the sun, the city completely changed.  In 'The Aspern Papers' Henry James wrote that Venice was like a large apartment, with it's streets as it's hallways, it's piazzas and courtyards it's rooms.  You never really leave the apartment.*  And that feeling really is true.  As I was walking down a tiny, dimmly-lit street back to my hotel (after a last minute decision to go to La Fenice!), passing an odd Venetian returning from work, it really felt like I was just in the back passage of an old villa passing a fellow worker.


I spent too long a time trying to capture the spirit with these pictures.  If you had been on the Grand Canal last week you would've found a boy laying stomach-down on a dock trying to set the shutter and capture a pleasant view at the same time.  But alas!  no one was around to find him there, which made him love the city even more.


*Read this lovely quote in 'Venice is a Fish' by Tiziano Scarpa.  If you go to Venice, I highly recommend you make this book your first companion as I did.

8 comments:

Bourbon&Pearls said...

What wonderful description of Venice, i was there in June, I would love to go back in winter, stay at the Danieli and wait for snowfall.

helen tilston said...

Venice is my favourite city - I particularly love it in winter time (it can be very cold)
What opera did you see at La Fenice -
we saw Tourandot when there a few years ago and it was truly magical. It was one of the best nights and I hold dear memories.
I have ordered the book, Venice is a fish, at your suggestion. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

My best
Helen xx

Helen

David Toms said...

it is amazing that in a different light without the tourists how haunting it looks.

Jay said...

You're killing me. I wannnnnnna go to Venice. Now. :(

Daniel-Halifax said...

Bourbon & Pearls-I couldn't agree with you more! I think I want to return early January, I'm hoping for snow as well!

Helen- It wasn't an opera but a concerto, featuring a truly talented quintette. The experience was magical for me too, but I'm sure an opera is leaps and bounds more spectacular!

David- It really is haunting...when you're in an alley way for a few minutes by yourself it's easy to think that waiting around the corner is another time.

Jay- Do it! Buy your ticket! I've even found this inexpensive hotel on a lovely little side street. In fact, I'll meet you there!

sarah said...

i was in venice on new year's eve. my friend and i were escorted around the city by some elderly venetian gentlemen who never made it to the midnight fireworks because they had to go home and call their grandchildren.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Gasp. Too evocative, too beautiful

Reggie Darling said...

fabulous fhotos -- dreamy, evocative, thought-provoking, sexy, and ephemeral! Lovely! Reggie