It’s not just the stunning sights in Venice that have the power to take your breath away like no other city.
There are also the many stairs to get up and over the bridges crossing the waters of the Venetian canals.
These bridges are just one element of Venice’s unique relationship with water.
There is the distinctive and colourful buildings contrasted with the serenity of the canals. The sing-song way in which the locals speak, seemingly in tune with the lapping of the water. The inimitable façade of San Marco Basilica, it’s pieces having come from many shores by merchants descending upon Venice. Market stalls held on boats bobbing along the shoreline sell fresh produce direct to passers-by. Garages hold boats instead of cars, with locals running their errands in a little run-about that buzzes along the waterways. Lovers kiss mid-bridge, standing in the middle of each overpass to gaze as longingly into each other’s eyes as along the canals before them.
And then there are the gondolas.
It all combines to make a visit to Venice a must on any decent bucket list.
Then there is the regular flooding of the high waters that the locals just take into their gumbooted stride…
Seeing this city during high waters is truly a wonderful and quite peculiar experience. Waters rise up several times throughout the year, flooding the charming streets, the must-see main piazza of Venice – St Mark’s Square – and even the St Mark’s Basilica therein.
At these times, platforms are put up around the city to serve as walkways, turning each well-dressed local into a catwalk model sashaying – or should that be, splashaying – in glamorous Wellingtons through the water.