History. Architecture. Food. This place is like no other. Three things that I love combined makes for a city that I dream about visiting again. With a legacy of riches and power as it once sat as the world’s largest trade city(especially the spice trade), a style of architecture unique to Venice alone, and Tiramisu that still lingers on my tongue. What a place!
Coined as “Venetian Gothic,” the style combines influences from Gothic arches to Byzantine and Arab/Islamic influences from Moorish Spain. These are some of my favorite lines in architecture all combined into one style, I just love it! Feminine and graceful curved lines juxtaposed against geometric patterns are a hallmark to this style of architecture. My favorite building in Venice just happens to be an excellent example of this Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance architectural style. It’s the Doge’s Palace in St. Marks Square.
Pointed arches were utilized during the Gothic era since it was discovered that they give structures amazing strength to be able to hold up the roof with less walls, so walls were thinner, giving more of an open elegant look.
This style of arch was influenced by the Islamic and then Byzantine architectural style. Here is a beautiful window on a building on the island of Murano in the shape of the classic pointed arch.
I don’t normally like the hustle and bustle that comes along with big cities, but this small city of Venice with it’s 117 small islands it’s built on, 150 canals and 409 bridges seems to give me a sense of calm and relaxation. My eyes feasted on the vivid hues splashed throughout, as if a painter shook his brush above the city and let the paint fall like raindrops splattering about. The sweeping bridges and streets made of water give it a serene feel that can soothe any stressed out American. This city is like no other in the world.
I had the privilege of visiting this wonderland in the Summer of 2009. The three short days I spent there felt like mere seconds, only long enough to whet my appetite for a now insatiable craving for more. Having just completed my last course in design school before this trip on the history of architecture covering sections in the styles of architecture influencing Venice, I now had eyes giving me a new perspective on details I wouldn’t have noticed before.
Venice is also known for it’s glass, made in the tiny island of Murano. Glass shops are lined up one after the other, containing every color, shape, and pattern of glass that you can imagine that glistens, sparkles, and reflects the light, reminding you of the city itself. Truly a jewel that catches your eye!
We arrived in Venice in the late afternoon, at the onset of a storm. The mystical feel of the city combined with the warm rain, booming thunder and electric lightning gave me an awesome first impression. Venice was putting on a show that started with a bang. Huddled under our umbrellas, we strolled through the streets in search of a warm place of shelter, and more importantly, a place to eat.
It was dinner time, and a long day of traveling (from Rome) left us with empty stomachs ready to fill up with Venetian delights. A small inviting restaurant was around the corner, and let me tell you…it was love at first bite. The fresh pasta was the ultimate comfort food on a stormy night. But I wasn’t quite expecting what came next. Dessert. Hands down THE BEST Tiramisu I have had. We even went back the following night for more. Light, creamy, rich and decadent…I could go on with more adjectives to describe it but I thought a picture would be better.
The next morning was bright and sunny. The sun sparkled on the water, the air was fresh, and we are ready to begin our day. Right as we came out of out hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to see in front of me Italy’s finest in a colorful farmer’s market with fresh produce arrayed like bright blossoms covering a garden. Just as beautiful in my eyes.
Here are some more of my favorite shots from Venice. I hope you are able to make a visit to the “City of Lights,” and if not, I hope I am able to share with you the taste and experience through my eyes, as a place I will never forget.
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