Before Venice Floods…

Before Venice goes Underwater…

Venice Italy, the ‘City of Canals’, or the ‘City of Water’. Best known for its canals, water transportation, gondala rides, and tourists. Tourism is what is keeping it lively and earning it income. Italy receives 65 million tourists each year, most who travel North to Venice to see it before it disappears. The city was built on and around the water, there are bridges over canals everywhere you go making the city extremely walkable, and boat-able for that matter. Intertwined throughout the city, you find bodies of water between most buildings. Unfortunately, it is believed that Venice will disappear beneath the waves as early as 2100. I had the pleasure of visiting Venice this past weekend while I am abroad and it was truly breathtaking. Below are some experiences I had and pictures I took while on my weekend trip.

Very different from the rest of Italy, part of Venice rests upon a channel of water, all inside of the Adriatic Sea. Located in the North Eastern part of Italy, it is comprised of over 100 smaller islands, very different from Sicily, one Italian island in the south.

Venice Grand Canal

Unfortunately due to the amount of people Venice sees each year, the ground is being compacted over time, and that mixed with the rising sea levels due to climate change, Venice will one day be completely submerged. It is believed that it sinks 1-2mm per year, if this continues or eventually grows, by as early as 2100, it could be completely gone.

The Grand Canal

The main island of Venice is situated around the Grand Canal, a beautiful channel of water with many twists and turns, which accounts for all of the bridges as well. We spent our first full day here traveling around witnessing the beauty of the city. I will say, this place was made for tourists. There is english written everywhere, not much Italian at all, however, I did try to speak the little I knew when it was possible. Pop-up stands, shops, and merchants are on every corner selling everything Venice, gondala, and Italian a tourist could ever want. I will say, I thoroughly enjoyed every gelato stand and bakery in this area and tried as much as I could. The food here is nothing short of amazing, which I expected from Italy but the gnocchi I had left me in a trance.

Venice Grand Canal

Bridges are everywhere here, as is the canal turning throughout all of the buildings. A twisting path takes you through this city to go wherever your heart desires. We of course went on a gondala ride while we were there because it wouldn’t have been a true trip to Venice if we hadn’t, and it was a beautiful experience. The canals that we were on were 2m deep, around 6 1/2 feet, which was deeper than I expected. The lines for the boat rides were massive, we were lucky we had planned it before we got there, and it was cheaper too.

Boats on Boats

I would recommend that to anyone traveling to Venice to do this once in a lifetime experience, before Venice sinks that is. As soon as 80 years from now, it could be completely underwater, turned into an Atlantis of itself, culture, life, and history gone, only remembered by stories, locals, and the rest of Italy.

This is just one of the bridges over the canal hidden between buildings, lined with boats waiting to be used. Boats were very popular here, especially the water buses, which travel until around 4 am I believe.

When I was on my gondala ride, I used my camera, very carefully I might add, but it was an interesting angle. I liked getting the low angle on these photos, almost as if I was level with the ground but from a distance away. Half of this gondala in the photo got cut off from the photo, but I like the Bar sign and the bright green moss on the canal walls.

Murano Island, Venice

Murano Island of Venice is a place that is known for its glass, blown glass that is handmade. All throughout Venice you are able to purchase handmade glass in almost every shop, all labeled ©Murano Glass. When I was there, I purchased glass rings, earrings, and bracelets made with real glass beads. The variety of items sold made of glass is amazing.

From glass figurines of all sizes, chandeliers, cups, dishes, candle holders and more, Murano glass is known all over Italy. Some of the smallest figurines were the size of my thumb, and some of the biggest were the size of a computer. There is so much beauty and delicacy to these pieces and the possibilities are endless. I heard a storeowner speaking to a woman from England and she offered to ship a chandeir home for her, if she wanted to purchase it. In one of the stores we went into we were even able to see a woman working on a small fox figurine with an open flame.

Murano Island

Murano’s glass is beautiful, but so is the structure of the island. To get anywhere in Venice you need to travel by boat, it was about a 20 minute ride from Venice Island near the Grand Canal, by water bus of course so it was beautiful. With colorful buildings, lots of bridges, and glass shops along every street, it was a peaceful island. It luckily wasn’t too crowded with tourists, but it wasn’t fully dead either.

I would recommend a trip to Venice to anyone who is able… before it floods, that is. This is definitely a trip I will not forget. This city is the most unique place I have ever been, and I was ecstatic to bring home some real Murano glass items.

Emilie Leger
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