Venice is the real Disneyland. A fairy tale made true by thousands of Italian artists, builders, and craftsmen working hundreds of years.
You know this by being there and last July, we were.
The dream begins when you step off the plane and on to a water bus. You either walk or boat in this island city. There are no cars, trucks, or bicycles.
As you might expect, the gondoliers are everywhere. They will row you from here-to-there for a hundred bucks. For another $200 they will throw in an accordionist and opera singer.
As we stepped off our "bus" I was quickly impressed with the street vendors and beggars.
Both are illegal in posh Venice.
As a vendor, when a cop heads your way, you bundle up you tripods and run!
I will write a whole blog about Venetian beggars later. They are the very best of their unfortunate profession.
Every block is an island connecting to the next one with a bridge. All four hundred of them (as above) have stairs. We lugged our suitcases up and down many to get to our apartment's street "Calle Vechia".
It was the one with the intercom that looked like a surprised robot.
I loved the way everyone hung out their laundry in this town.
There were churches all over the place. The most popular ones had long lines and entry fees.
We opted for the small ones like this, places where a person could take a knee and admire the light, the quiet, and strange little dolls.
These signs were posted on the entries of many Italian churches. They reminded us not to go to church in our underwear.
I used to think of myself as a mask maker.
It is such a high art form in Venice, I am now a mere creator of minor facial coverings.
Besides artful masks, I love things that float. Imagine rounding a corner to see this,
In the maritime museum we saw one possible reason why the Italian Navy didn't fare so well in WW II. Their torpedoes required two frogmen to drive them into their target.
There are boats for every purpose.
Here is a floating produce market.
An American couple in their rent-a-kayak
A Venetian water taxi
In this exciting city almost everyone seemed to be happy. The only exception that was this police officer but who could blame him?
Every now and then a tourist would reach out to see of the 7-foot boy was real. The officer would quickly respond with something that sounded vaguely like,
"No toucha bambino!".
"No toucha bambino!".