When I meet new people and they find out that I write about travel and that I have been traveling for years, they often ask, “What is your favorite place you have visited?” My answer, “I can’t answer that, I tend to enjoy almost everywhere I visit.” I go on, “Perhaps a better question might be what destinations do you remember the most? Or, what places do you think are best to visit with kids? Or, with a lover?
Today we ponder the role of “the arts” in a nation’s budget. Is it a money-maker or should it be? Google uses backpacks to shoot videos of Venice for Street View. And, car-sharing Web startups begin making waves in the rental car and airport worlds.
I am a master at working on vacation. Some claim that my life is a vacation, but it really isn’t. Those who know me, realize that though I get to travel, enjoy great food and stay for extended time in foreign countries, I put in plenty of hours working at my computer, making phone calls, participating on conference calls and meeting via video conferencing.
We imagine bridges and waterbuses in Venice decked out in advertising for Diesel jeans. We are surprised by the rise of Cheapoair.com into the #3 position among online travel agencies. And, common-sense is applied by Congress to former rules that required already-screened checked baggage to rescreened at US airports after arriving from out of the country.
Cruise ship critics in Venice try to limit tourists, Boeing orders inspections of Dreamliners, Private airport screeners may be coming back
Too many churches – not enough time. While I haven’t actually researched the figures, after more than two weeks in Venice I’d be willing to wager that Venice probably has more churches per square kilometer than any other city in Europe, including Rome.
At the end of the Giudecca island a massive brick structure, looking almost Germanic, presides over the wide canal looking north towards the tourist heart of Venice. In these remains of one of Europe’s largest flourmills, electricity was introduced to Italy, the first Italian elevators began operation and Venice’s largest hotel and convention venue stands.
This is my fifth or sixth, maybe eighth, Venice Biennale. I have been coming sporadically for decades, since I was in high school and spending my summers teaching swimming at Lake Garda as part of a camp counselor job I had for several summers.
These are three videos that capture the Venice that I love. They show the majestic buildings, the everyday life, the tattered posters, night, day, vaporetti, gondole, crowds and silent canals.
I’ve been in Venice for about four days now, enough to feel like an entitled local. Already, I have begun to define “my Venice” from “tourist Venice.” That is, the beautiful, tranquil, Venice where one can hear the small wavelets lapping at the sides of gondolas and the crowded, tour group packed Venice where “Joanie, Hank, Honey, Walter, come look at this!” drowns out the other city noises.