There are many cities that have been have been called the 'City of Love'.
Paris is one that springs readily to mind.
But then Rome, Prague, and Vienna have been given that title.
Now I see that Glasgow wants to reinvent itself and become Scotland's City of Love…
And then there is Venice.
Venice: With it's colourful history, it's masques and gondolas, it's carnival celebrations, and canals both large and small.
Red-haired Antonio Vivaldi called Venice home. So did the composer Albinoni and the artist Tiepolo.
Venice. A city that seems not quite European and not quite 'Oriental' but something in between. A child of east and west.
In his 1767 Gazetteer, the English writer, Dr, Richard Brookes write simply that Venice is 'superb', and I agree.
I love going to Venice and have been fortunate enough to go there several times with AGA for extended periods.
So, here is my Valentine's Day present to you: Grab your hats and come with me on a tour to this magical and romantic city…
Venice is a city of canals.
And some small:
But all have a certain something about them. A magic that I don't think could be replicated elsewhere:
And bridges: Everywhere there are little humped back bridges:
Look at this: You could have been transported back 500 years:
In some parts, the city seems to float upon the waters:
And then there is the lagoon which surrounds the islands upon which Venice stands:
Wonderful both in the daylight. . .
. . . and in the evening.
Of course, Venice isn't only canals. Does the absence of cars add to Venice's air of romance?
Or is it the wonderful St Mark's Square?
I love the domes of St Mark's. There is a sumptuousness about them that remind me of a Caliph's turban:
And the interior takes one's breath away:
(One isn't permitted to take photos within St Mark's and I took this one not realizing the fact but the guard kindly said that I did not have to delete the one I had taken.)
Standing in St Mark's Square one is surrounded by history.
Here are 'The Four Tetrarchs' (taken from Byzantium and placed here) on the corner of St Mark's Basilica. I like the fact that they are hugging in friendship with one hand while the other hand firmly grasps a sword.
(You can see that part of the far right foot is missing and has been replaced. I have seen part of the missing foot in the Archeaological museum in Istanbul)
Here is one of the entrances to the Doges' Palace:
The remains of the evangelist St Mark are buried within the Basilica and his symbol (the winged Lion) is everywhere.
I stood with my back to the portal of St Mark's Basilica to take this photograph:
That tower is the Campanile (the Bell Tower). it was rebuilt after collapsing in 1902. The flag is the flag of Venice.
Here is another view for you, in the late afternoon sun:
Of course there are other famous landmarks such as the: the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, the Ca' d'Oro, and the interior of the Doges' Palace itself; but I think that I prefer to end this little tour by showing you some less well known things that make me love this city so much:
The unexpected views one gets while walking through the narrow lane ways:
This painting on the underside of the Rialto Bridge:
Pigeons. Pigeons are everywhere!
The shops selling glassware:
The lions heads on the doors into St Mark's Basilica:
And their sumptuous Interiors:
The Statue of the Winged Lion of St Mark, in St Mark's Square:
The pink tinted glass of the street lanterns:
The unexpected treasure to be stumbled upon without knowing they were there:
Watching the gondolas in the narrow canals:
This impromptu Tango exhibition by the local tango club one summer's evening:
And the fact that I was able to introduce my nephew and niece to this wonderful place!
(W is being a typical teenager. A is being a typical princess with her fancy straw hat!)
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Venice.
Have you been there?
If you did, do you have a special memory?
If you haven't been there yet, is there something that you would especially like to see?