Mr Ana and I took a couple of extra days to visit Venice. There was one reason why I wanted to visit, and that was so I could go to Murano Island and absorb (and buy) the most famous and intricate glass beads in the world – venetian glass beads.
Venice is famous for being a city set amongst lagoons and canals. The city dates back to the 400’s (yes, the hundreds) and is a serious of hundreds of islands. It stands virtually the same as it did 600 years ago so there is plenty of opportunity to walk down historical lanes, across small bridges over canals, and walk along various waterways…
We decided to get a day pass for the vaporetti waterbus, and took our time travelling around the local islands. We visited my beloved Murano Island, where I was in glass and bead heaven. I sighed over the exquisite craftmanship, something that is unique to Murano Island. I ran my fingers through individually fired beads and glass work, and gawked at their large master pieces – all the while wishing I could take some of it home… However I was fortunate enough to splurge and buy some mouth blown beads to take home and make into a necklace. I also bought some little trinkets to take home, such as teeny handmade glass fruit and lollies, a small plate, some small paper weights, and a pair of handmade glass lovebirds. I was so happy to take the time and visit.
We also went to Burano Island, which is well known for its colourful houses, as well as their intricate lace work. We spent our time wandering through the local neighbourhoods getting lost in the little lanes and alleys, checking out the colourful homes that dotted the island.
We strolled around and took in the famous Piazza San Marco, Basilica di San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Campanile di San Marco, and the Rialto Bridge.
Venice is a place where it is easy to get lost, however we used the opportunity to see more than the usual tourist sites. We looked in teeny shops, including a shop where leather masks are handmade – I stood there many times watching the master slowly shape leather into a nose, cheek and brow. I popped into a few cake and pastry shops and bought local almond meal cakes and crunchy cannoli. My favourite was the pistachio and almond meal cake that was measured by weight (it’s at the back of the picture, already half eaten). mmmmmm…..
We stood alone on small bridges watching the canal and marvelled at the old buildings that were designed to withhold the tides that constantly moved in and out.
However my favourite memory was wandering late at night in Piazza San Marco. All the day tourists had left and there was very little people about at that hour. The tide had come in and the water rose through little vents in the ground, leaving shallow pools of water spreading across the piazza. The water reflected the buildings and lights, creating a mirror image on the ground against the dark sky. In the piazza there were several mini orchestras set up to play to customers in the restaurants and bars. However we sat on the steps lining the back of the piazza and listened to professionally trained musicians play classical music. My heart swelled with happiness and I sat there for a long time soaking in the atmosphere. It really was a romantic setting.
I will never forget Venice. Not for its architecture, food, or art. But rather the beauty I experienced that night, and the happiness it instilled in me.