At first there is a sea. Blue endless sea wherever you look around. Then fishing boats, followed by flock of gulls. Distant shore is a first sign you are close to Italy. Then catamaran slows a bit and you see islands and houses in a shallow sea. Then you see this…

Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) is the principal place in Venice with Campanille (bell tower) as its most recognizable part. Tower is 96m tall and was built in 1514. They say all entrances to Venice could be seen from top of it which was, considering town`s turbulent history, important purpose in old days. Current tower was rebuilt in 1912. after the original one colapsed in 1902. Story said that in July 1902. a crack appeared in a tower; in July 14th suddenly it colapsed but luckilly no one was killed, except caretaker`s cat. It was the pigeons who alarmed people something terrible will happen and everyone managed to escape. Therefore, story says, Venetians were grateful to their pigeons and in following years they lived and multiplied freely. Until recent days. City council has counted that every pigeon cost them 35 eur per year to clean after them, so their number was decreased :chef:

Poor cat. If that was a cat to alarm citizens, Venice would be known to a colony of cats. Irony of life…

History says that Venice was built after refugees from Roman cities Padua, Aquileia, Altino and Concordia tried to escape from German tribes and Huns in 5th century. As their influence in trade and military power increased, population of Venice grew so they needed more and more space. Islands on which Venice was built, were mostly made by Venetians themselves. They were taking oak and pine trees, mostly from Dalmatia (one of the reasons Dalmatia today is only rock and sea), covered it with tar, put deep in sea ground and covered with sand and stones. Looking at all the buildings that still exist in Venice, it is amazing to know that all of them were made in such unstable foundation.
The golden age of Venetian Republic was from 9th to 14th century; after eliminating pirates along Dalmatian shore, it became a center of trade between west and east; their territory expanded to Istria and Dalmatia on the east, to the Adda river on the west; dominating in trade of salt, Republic expanded their influence in Aegean sea in Greece, including Cyprus and Crete. At one point, the city was so important to surrounding territories, that soldiers from Bergamo, Brescia and Verona would come to help in defence when Venetians were threatened by invaders.
After a rise, came a fall. In 15th century Venetians tried to fight Ottoman Turks and lost Thessaloniki. After that, they sent ships to help in defence of Constantinople but failed again. That costed them eastern Mediterranean possessions. After that Christifor Columbus discovered the route to far east and Portugal found a sea route to India. Venetian ships were not built to sail oceans so they lost a race in conquering new territorres as colonies. Plague in 1575. and 1577. took 50.000 lives. In 1630. even more – 150.000 people died of Black Death. After that, a Church of Our Lady of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute) was built.

At last, after 1,070 years, the Republic lost independence when Napoleon Bonaparte on 12. May 1797, conquered Venice. Napoleon, in order to show his power, even destroyed one church and built some building in place of it; but proved nothing except being ignorant little tyrant. Oh well, he payed for it later, anyway….
Today, population of islands part of Venice is about 60.000. People still live there and work mostly in areas of economy that depend on tourism: as gondoliers, tourist guides, in shops and numerous restaurants. Over 12 million tourists visit Venice every year, making it a gold mine – Venice is one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you want to have a romantic sail in gondola with your sweetheart it would cost you between 150 and 200 eur for less than hour. Small bottle of water cost 7 eur; prices in restaurants depend of the place and whether you want to sit or have food to go. Although, if you walk a bit out of main tourist areas, prices goes down…
One piece of advice: if you ever plan to visit Venice during summer, prepare enough water and something to cover your head. The day we were there, temperature was 37C and humidity 100%. And it was just an usual summer day :faint:
Venice is sinking. No, really, it is sinking, not just in a song. We didn`t have the opportunity to experience Acqua Alta (High Waters), luckily. We were told it goes up to 20 or 30 centimeters but the highest flood they had was about 140cm in San Marco`s Square :faint: In order to prevent historic part of a city, Italian government decided to make 79 inflatable pontoons across the sea bed at the three entrances to the lagoon; whenever sea level rises above 110cm, the pontoons will be filled with air and block the incoming water from the Adriatic Sea.
In meantime, Venice lives its everyday life. Tourists are curious: they want to see everything and to peak everywhere. One of the ways to do that is by sailing in gondola. Not every wall is shiny. Not all the sights are great. But it can`t be different when most of your streets are under the water.

They say one would need several life times to discover everything Venice has to offer. Who to ask? A face that saw so many years and finally turned expressionless?

Or Venetian, during cigarette break on a hot day?

Gulls would be happy to tell you everything. Even more.

But who cares what gulls has to say, anyway…

more photos here

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70 Responses to Venice

  1. There2ia says:

    Those Pictures that i would have never imagined When we talked about Venice… I thought everything is beautiful but it says it is different…:) We are forbidden to kill cats…

  2. gdare says:

    πŸ˜† What game are you playing?

  3. gdare says:

    Thanks, Carol πŸ˜€

  4. Furie says:

    I'm assassinating people in Venice as we speak. :up:

  5. Dacotah says:

    Great post Darko. πŸ™‚

  6. Dacotah says:

    You are welcome Darko. πŸ˜€

  7. ellinidata says:

    stellar pictures darko!amazing text combined with images!I love LOVE the "door image" the marks of the water gave it a character of it's own! thanks for sharing! I wish you guys many more happy trips! :yes:

  8. BryanCox says:

    Excellent Post, Thanks

  9. SittingFox says:

    I'm in the middle of playing a detective game set in Venice but it doesn't involve assassinating anyone (I hope!)Very cool (well, hot. But cool :cool:) It's 15 years since I went to Venice but I remember it as a fascinating place, in spite of how much everything costs!

  10. Spaggyj says:

    I'd love to visit Venice for myself one day. Great post, as always, Dark.

  11. Stardancer says:

    Thanks for taking us along on the tour, Darko. What a fascinating place!:up:

  12. L2D2 says:

    As usual, an enjoyable and informative tour. I envy you your travels, Dare. I've traveled very little in my life, which is a great regret for me. I always wanted to travel but life just didn't happen that way.I would love to experience Venice if I were already over there, but not one of my priorities as a travel destination. But I would like to take a gondola tour.Good job!

  13. gdare says:

    Teresia, even the places that look damaged and spent they look nice. Somehow, everything just goes along with that town, it is a part of it. You must vist in order to understand :)Angeliki, thank you πŸ™‚ when I saw that door I just knew it will be one of my favourite photographs. Then I realised that being in those small channels is a unique opportunity to see the other side of Venice, something a lot of tourists see but don`t think is beautiful. People make a big mistake running to see only great, big buildings. Those streets has a charm of its own :)Bryan, thank you :DAdele, you should visit again and compare πŸ˜€ I know I will go there again, don`t know when but it will happen :yes:Kimmie, I am sure there are tourist agencies with cheap tours so you should try to find something. The best time to visit Venice is not summer, so you could think about late autumn or early spring :)Star, thank you :DLinda, too bad you didn`t have the opportunity to visit when you were in Europe back then, it was much cheaper and what is most important it was not half of the world away. But who knows, one day… πŸ˜€

  14. gdare says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    I'm assassinating people in Venice as we speak.

    Isn`t it something from X-Box or… whatever? :left:

  15. Furie says:

    Oh… Yes… A game. :left::right:

  16. gdare says:


  17. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    I'm assassinating people in Venice as we speak.

    FYI that's a reference to La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return. Personally, prefer the Brigit Fonda version. :p"Who to ask? A face that saw so many years and finally turned expressionless?"A wonderful line. :up:A little Venetian music to go with the photos! πŸ˜€

  18. Furie says:

    A brilliantly shot piece of cinema, but not what I was up to. friend Leonardo Da Vinci and I just moved to Venice to take care of some business.

  19. edwardpiercy says:

    Oh. Never mind!:D

  20. gdare says:

    Ed, thanks πŸ˜€ And thanks for the link :up:Mik, I didn`t know Leonardo was such a devil :bandit:

  21. raniakasim says:

    whenever i want to read an interesting thing i know where i should go ofcourse to Darko'sblog thanks Darko great blog , great photos

  22. gdare says:

    Thank you Rania :happy:

  23. gdare says:

    Exactly. I was all :eyes: when a guide told us that :left:

  24. Suntana says:

    In addition to your Post, I checked some more in Wikipedia. I really find it :insane: :yikes: that the buildings are built on "Wood Piles." :insane: It said in Wikipedia that underwater in the absence of oxygen, wood does NOT decay. Nnnnggg, I don't know why I don't feel comfortable that that is 100% true. Apparently the wood gets petrified due to the mineral-rich water. Uh Hmm. I'm sure this doesn't happen immediately.But, oh well. The city hasn't crumbled into the water. So, I guess that Wood Piles concept is not totally ridiculous.

  25. studio41 says:

    "They say one would need several life times to discover everything Venice has to offer. Who to ask? A face that saw so many years and finally turned expressionless?"you are a poet and entertaining writer, Darko… nice post, great pictures!

  26. gdare says:

    Thank you Jill :happy:

  27. nopanic says:

    I like that the apartments are THAT close to the water :up:

  28. gdare says:

    Luckily, most people live on the floor πŸ˜€

  29. nopanic says:

    Yes, but you can dip your aching feet from the balcony :p

  30. gdare says:


  31. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by edwardpiercy:

    FYI that's a reference to La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return. Personally, prefer the Brigit Fonda version. :p

    Like there could actually be another version besides the Bridget Fonda version.

  32. gdare says:


  33. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by nopanic:

    but you can dip your aching feet from the balcony

    πŸ˜€ LOLI just mentioned to Joe it would be nice to go to Venice so I could do just that- you know- dip my feet in the water… his reply- "Darko, can. he lives quite close- it'd be the same, Jill, as going to Indiana!" I now have Joe's blessing to go traveling! (to Indiana.) :irked:

  34. gdare says:

    :lol:Well, I know you have a Venice in USA, so maybe… But knowing it is in California, you might as well travel to Europe and see the original :up:

  35. thaodp says:

    Nice post, Darko :up::whistle: Somehow the third picture makes me remember of the flood in Hanoi in 2008 πŸ˜€

  36. gdare says:

    :lol:Mit, it looks as they have some kind of permanent flood πŸ˜€

  37. mandytjie says:

    What a gorgeous post! I never realised that the foundations for the buildings are underwater or that they were built on wood. Very interesting indeed.

  38. thaodp says:

    πŸ˜† so we have weekly flood here (in rainy season):zip:

  39. gdare says:

    Mit, so it looks like Venice? :eyes:Emm, I didn`t know that myself either. I thought they put some stones and then made buildings. I guess it would not last that long :left:Thanks and welcome to my blog πŸ™‚

  40. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    you might as well travel to Europe and see the original

    I will have another discussion w/ him… πŸ˜€

  41. thaodp says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    so it looks like Venice?

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜† You should come and judge by yourself :whistle:

  42. gdare says:

    Jill :devil:Mit, you think so? πŸ˜€

  43. studio41 says:

    Click Here For Images & Swimming Pictures

    Jill swimming to Venice, (ITALY, not California)

  44. studio41 says:


  45. studio41 says:

    at least it was a dog, not a shark!

  46. nopanic says:

    Thats right. Venice pets should be in the water! πŸ˜€

  47. gdare says:

    Jill, I don`t think shark would save that cat :left: Or… it would save it from future troubles :insane:Nik, Venice pets better know how to swim :left: :up:

  48. nopanic says:

    Yeah but Snorkeling cats and dogs looks ridiculous!

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