Chilly Venice

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

One of the benefits of living in Europe is the close proximity to other countries.  Over the winter holiday break, we spent a couple weeks visiting Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Venice.  Here are my favorite photos from our New Year’s visit to this city on the lagoon.

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Gondoliers are especially photogenic.
Gondoliers are especially photogenic.

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Fishing village of Burano Island
Fishing village of Burano Island
Torcello Island
Torcello Island

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14 thoughts on “Chilly Venice”

  1. Nice shots! I’ve never liked Venice…after my first visit, I swore I wouldn’t go back. Then, I went back anyway and wondered why I did so. Ended up leaving the city early. Now that I’m older and wiser haha, I don’t think I’d mind a return trip. Third time’s a charm, maybe?

    1. I don’t know about a third time, Ryan. This was our first visit and while I’m glad I saw it, I don’t think I’ll be rushing back anytime soon. We visited during “down” season and it was still completely overrun with tourists that I can’t even wrap my mind around what the place must look like in the summer.

      I’m not sure I can put my finger on it, but the whole place just seemed like a big theme park with everything just catered to tourists. I guess that what happens when a place meant to house 40K locals gets overrun with at least that many visitors *every day*.

      I wish I could hop in the DeLorean and see it 100 years ago.

      1. At this point, I guess I couldn’t agree more. There’s a wealth of places to visit in Italy, and I haven’t been to most of them. I think I’d rather pass and see some other cities that I haven’t gotten to just yet.

        Calling it a theme park is dead-on! I’ve said the same thing in the past and your comments seem to validate my tainted opinions. High five heh.

  2. P.S. Those pigeons are nasty and seeing your kids playing with them gives me the heebie-jeebies. That’s so nasty, man! On one of my visits, some jackass threw a bunch of food or whatever in the air. It landed on me and all the pigeons descended upon me. That was a thrilling moment, to say the least. And by thrilling, I mean enfuriating.

    1. I’m with you. Pigeons are just big flying rats as far as I’m concerned. You didn’t see me any where near this scene. The only consolation was they were wrapped head to toe in winter gear because it was so damp and chilly. I think I would have made a bigger stink if they were in shorts and T-shirts.

      You know what though? Our boys won’t remember much about Venice, but they sure will remember those birds flapping on their heads.

  3. Agree it’s much better offseason. I’ve been to Venice twice, once in chilly offseason, other time almost into summer. Overall much better visit, and less off that so-acccurate “theme park” feel, in the offseason visit.

    In general, I prefer exploring European cities in the late fall, winter, or early spring. More of real life, less of the tourism-industrial complex and the wandering hordes.

    1. Yeah, really a catch-22 with timing. Summer is when people usually have the time off but you’re right, those shoulder seasons are usually best. Thanks for stopping by, Mark.

  4. Beautiful! I love the first picture (with the arch) and the last picture. It’s a shame about Venice being like a theme-park: I’ve wanted to go for years, but I hate touristy cities that feel like they’re pretty much existing for tourist money, instead of being their authentic selves. If you have room in that DeLorean, I wouldn’t tagging along!

    1. If you have the itch to see Venice, I would go see it. It really is like nothing else. I think there is a general discussion going on there about when is it “too much” in terms of tourism. As I mentioned, there are more people that visit the island each day than actual locals that live there. They also modified the lagoon to let in more cruise ships which is also stressing the system. It’s a difficult discussion because they don’t appear to have much in the way of an economy outside of tourism.

  5. Great pics! Skimming the comments, my question has mostly been answered. I’ve heard more negative than positive about Venice and figured it might be worth skipping (in favor of more awesome places) if/when we visit Italy or Europe. Or maybe worth a night just to be able to check it off the list?

    Funny about the pigeons. My 2 year old noticed a pigeon for the first time while we were in Nassau, Bahamas last week. He called it a duck (which we see all the time near the house on the lake or near the creeks in the ‘hood). When it’s just one pigeon, they aren’t as gross. Too bad they aren’t all ducks.

    1. I can think of a few places I’d put higher on the recommendation list over Venice including but not limited to: Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, Positano (Almalfi Coast), Pompei, San Gimignano (in Tuscany), etc.

Your Thoughts?