TRUE CONFESSION TIME, I’m not really good about uploading all the photographs I’ve taken.
Usually, I’m too critical about my photography skills. And, it wasn’t until only a few years ago that I finally bought a decent digital camera, just in time to take photos at my parents’ 50th Anniversary celebration.
But, these photos taken 5 years ago in Venice, Italy, aren’t too bad. I had a cheap digital camera but it did the job. And, reviewing these pics (just rediscovering them after all these years) is really nice. I’m looking back with fond memories now of the family’s trip to Europe.
Venice, Italy on Google Earth
Looking on Google Earth you can see that Venice is basically a collection of islands, protected by a lagoon. You can see the Grand Canal weaving it’s way through the city. That line cutting diagonally on the upper left corner are the train tracks that lead to the Santa Lucia train station.
Overnight Train from Paris to Venice
We traveled on an overnight train from Paris directly to Venice. In the middle of the night we passed through Switzerland and had to show our passports (but had to give them to the night conductor ahead of time, so that we could sleep).
Technically, we’d visited Switzerland as well, but we were all asleep. Our train wasn’t a high-speed train but we had our own cabin with 4 beds (bunk beds on each side). It was fun and cozy, and we got to see a lot of the French countryside before nightfall. I remember passing through Milan on the way to Venice.
The Santa Maria della Salute: Venice, Italy
You can see the famous domed Catholic church, The Santa Maria della Salute, that can be seen across the Grand Canal from the Piazza San Marco. Here, the gondoliers transport their passengers, a very common sight in Venice.
Highwater and Flooding in Venice
Here’s an example of the “high waters” moving in, where the tides from the Adriatic Sea above the first floor of many of the buildings. It’s hard to believe that the foundations to all these buildings were made of piles and piles of wood posts. But since the wood receives no oxygen underwater, the wood actually petrifies and becomes stronger.
Another view of the rising waters encroaching into the walkways of Venice!
The city has been sinking over the centuries and there are a couple of different projects to either lift the buildings (a monumental feat) above sea level, or to create barriers to prevent the tides from coming in.
The Hotel Capri: Venice, Italy
The Hotel Capri is a quaint, modest hotel not too far from the train station in Venice. There are no roads to get around, just canals and bridges of course, so it helped to find a hotel that wasn’t too far from the trains, for when it was time to depart. The center of Venice which I assumed was the Piazza San Marco was still far from the hotel and we had to take a “water bus” (called a Vaporetto) along the Grand Canal in order to get to the Piazza San Marco. Otherwise, you had to walk which could be hard. Venice is pretty much like a whole bunch of little islands when you think about all the canals that run through the city. We did walk around the city and explored many of the hidden canals and bridges. And it can be quite easy to get lost there if you don’t have a map.
Santa Lucia Train Station: Venice, Italy
The Santa Lucia train station in Venice is quite huge. When you think about it, all those tourists from all over the world, arriving at their final destination, there’s a lot of tourists coming and going here. And, the train station is a nice place to eat too. There are several eateries and I remember dining at a large cafeteria-style place where you could select what you wanted.
We ate at several small eateries in the heart of Venice. Bought gelato ice cream in quaint little stores. But for some odd reason the “cafeteria” at the train station was more memorable.
Departing From Santa Lucia Station To Florence
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Here you can see that we are leaving Venice on our way to Florence, Italy. Overall it was an amazing stay. Venice is a centuries-old city, and the canals and bridges were definitely memorable. We had fun getting lost in the city, getting gelato for the kids (which was the best in Italy, of course, but we found out it was even better in Florence). We finally got to ride one of those high-speed bullet trains (like the one pictured above) to Florence, and again to Rome.