Many foreign cities are instantly recognizable by an iconic landmark or characteristic. An image of Big Ben, for example, immediately brings London to mind, while the Eiffel Tower is a dead giveaway for Paris. And even with no gondola in sight, a scenic canal like that shown in the featured image should quickly conjure up thoughts of Venice.
Before the pandemic, partner Carol and I once spent New Year’s Eve in Venice, staying five nights before flying to Amsterdam for the second half of a canal-themed vacation. My expectations, to be honest, were exceedingly low – but as it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In a word, Venice is unique, as there is simply no other place in the universe quite like it. The historic center is a collection of tiny islands – 118, to be exact – separated by 150 canals and connected by 403 bridges and walkways. Since Venezia, as the locals call it, is completely pedestrianized, wheeled devices like cars, bikes, roller skates, and skateboards are forbidden – so people get from Point A to Point B either on foot or by boat. But if your bucket list includes Venice, please be forewarned that you’ll become hopelessly lost at least once while exploring the city’s narrow streets and lanes.
I snapped the canal image shortly after sunrise while standing in the middle of a small footbridge near the entrance to our wonderful accommodation. The Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo has an ideal location, close to the heart of the city but in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of tourists. The tariff for our five-night stay in January 2019 was 790 euros, which I thought was a steal of a deal. For fun, I consulted the hotel’s website and determined that a similar stay later this month would only cost 525 euros. In normal times, that might be quite tempting – but we obviously don’t live in normal times. Under CDC guidelines, all travel to Italy should be avoided because of Covid-19, but that’s actually a moot point because tourists from most non-European countries, including the United States, are presently barred by the Italian government. The current projection (hope?) is that nonessential travel to Italy will be allowed in the fourth quarter of 2021. In short, no gondola rides in the near term!
“Morning in Venice” is available in the Panoramas gallery of our online store in three different mediums (fine art acrylic/metal/canvas) and three different sizes. Shipping is free for those who live in the “lower 48.” We also have a nice assortment of prints from Italy – specifically, Venice and Florence – at our gallery on Bainbridge Island, so please stop by for a visit should you happen to be in our area. Though Covid-19 vaccinations are thankfully on the rise, Carol and I appreciate how most people are still hunkering down, so we sincerely hope you and everyone in your world are staying healthy, safe, and strong.
Ciao for now,
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh