Montag, Oktober 25, 2010

Standing up in the boat

In Venice--in Venezia--everyone stands up in the boat. Gondoliers, motor boat drivers, little old ladies using the gondola ferry to cross the Grand Canal. If you're sitting down, you must be a tourist.

Gondolas

It is strange to be in a place where there are no cars. The night is silent.

View from Ponte dei Pietá

In Venice you take a boat to the airport, to the train station, to the hospital--the ambulanza is a boat, too, of course.

Distances in Venice are measured in bridges--"cross three bridges, then take the first street on your left." The streets can be measured in bricks--4 1/2 bricks wide at this end, 7 1/2 bricks wide at that end. Look sharp or you will miss your street entirely. In Venice, the cracks between the houses are the streets.

Sometimes the distinction between the canals and the streets blurs. Given some rain and a high tide, the canals ignore the distinction. *Acqua alta*, they call it in Venice. It's synonymous for winter.

Inside Vecchio Murano in high water

Like the water, the names of Venice roll and flow and pour. The sestieri: Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Marco, San Polo, Santa Croce. The islands: Murano, Burano, Torcello, Lido, Mazzorbo, San Michele, San Giorgio Maggiore. The churches: Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Basilica Cattedrale Patriachale di San Marco, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

Heavy with the weight of great age, solemn in its stillness, dolphin-shaped Venezia floats in and under its lagoon. What race of sea-people dreamed this city of boats and music and glass? Did they, too, stand up in boats?

Kommentare:

KnitNana hat gesagt…

Hello!! Hello!!! I can't believe it's a post...are you in Venice??? How delightful...you've been missed.
(((hugs)))

Tola hat gesagt…

ive never been, but want to.

No tickers