Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Life in Venice

It's evident the moment you step out of the rather spartan Santa Lucia train station that there's nowhere else in the world quite like Venice. Water, water everywhere indeed. Immediately there's a sudden awareness regarding the startling lack of paved streets around; even more so the improbably paucity of any vehicles with wheels.

Well apart from the wheeled luggage bags attached to the the thousands of dumbfounded tourists streaming out from the main terminus to the breathtaking wonders of La Serenissima.

Another thing that struck me were the multiple signages around the train station. Rather than the usual automobile signs for taxis and buses, over here in Venice the large signboards had little ship logos to signify the traghetti and the vaporetti. Certainly a different world from what we're all used to as we lugged our cumbersome suitcases onto the bobbing landing platforms to catch the public transport on the waterways - the ubiquitous vaporetto which is basically a waterbus.

Of course there's always the world-famous gondolas available for a ride but that costs almost its weight in gold. 

Unlike our usual Italian medieval towns with narrow alleys that nevertheless have to be sufficiently wide enough to make room for the odd horse and wagon, Venice obviously needs have no qualms to accommodate such common roadway frivolities. Hence the disquietingly cramped quarters at every turn - some corridors just wide enough to fit our shoulders with barely enough for our baggage - as we made our way through the bewildering labyrinth of passageways with the limited directions available to our secluded hotel.

Which also had me wondering why there just aren't more deaths in Venice; what with the terrifyingly treacherous corners and dark crossings - talk about perfectly set for a murderous assassin to lie in wait for his or her victim.

Dizzily twisting left and right amongst nondescript buildings had taken its toll and it was with more than a sigh of relief that we dropped our bags on the doorstep of our little palazzo that overlooked a tiny patch of grass hosting one plucky little tree. Hard to find all that much real estate in a city made up from shifty islands of mud and muck.

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