Venice curiosities - part one

Venice is different. No doubt about it. There is no other so famous a city constructed on wooden piles, surrounded by water, crossed by many canals and so full of beautiful buildings and charming places.

After a while you get used to the thought that Venice is exceptional. By that I definitely don't mean you get bored with Venice. Far from that! You just simply take for granted that you are supposed to encounter something special every minute of your stay there.

Nevertheless, there happened to be quite a few things that either amused us, astonished or surprised in Venice, even though we thought were truly prepared for anything out of the ordinary there. Let me show you some of them.

The cost of travelling by gondola is high but it's worth it. Don't listen to anybody who'll tell you that you can see and experience the same from a vaporetto. A vaporetto is a great means of communication in Venice, but far from being a romantic one. First of all, a gondola is quiet (unless the gondolier attempts to sing;-) Besides, a vaporetto cannot move in the narrow canals and that's the very beauty of the trip to see the heart of the city, something more than Canale Grande. I said narrow canals. Sometimes they are really so narrow that the gondolier has to use his leg to avoid crashing into the walls!

Gondolier's leg

Speaking of gondoliers. When you picture them, you see the ordinary ones, wearing blue and white striped shirts, black trousers and straw hats, working with long oars in their gondolas. And now for something completely different - a racing team, apparently preparing for some gondola race.

Racing gondola

What hadn't come to our minds until we actually saw it, was how the police and the ambulances worked there, in the city with roads filled with water. Well, have a look.

Venice police
Venice ambulance

The sight I liked very much in Venice (and which seemed to me a little bit weird) was the stone steps leading straight into the water of the canal. Of course, you may say it's quite normal in a city situated on water, it is obvious that the citizens have to have some easy access to their boats, etc. But just have a look at that. Doesn't it look as if some crazy man made these steps in his delirium just to mislead some innocent people?

Venice - steps into water

Finally, what struck us in Venice was a couple of very small islands on which you could see ruins of houses. We don't know who lived in them, why they were abandoned and what will happen to them in the future. They definitely contrast sharply with the rest of Venice.

Venice - ruins
Venice - ruins