There is really not much I can add to describe Venezia- I believe one can never have enough of it. Every season, every day, every reflection gives the city a different side of beauty, and one must be there to really savour it, absorb it, and seal a lifelong bond with it. It will not take that long to fall in love with it. And every time, it's like the first one.
One thing one realises only after a few times in Venezia, is how people actually LIVE in it. It is not an open air museum, but it is a functioning, despite in a quite complicated way, city. I walked by a hospital, with its raw of water ambulances waiting to dart through the canals in case of an emergency; by the Ponte di Rialto, on Saturday, there is a bustling market, and in the Canal Grande are the boats who refill the stands with all the goods, from flowers to meat to fish to salads. There are boats to collect trash, and boats to collect laundry; there are boats to move furniture, to carry a casket after a funeral, to deliver grocery to hotels and restaurants.
Speaking of markets, we visited the fish market at Rialto- with all the locals buying beautiful and fresh fish from the Adriatic sea.
Winter can be a tricky season, as the rain contributes to increase the level of the water. However, even without rain, the tides play their game and Venezia is set to face high and low levels of water, just by following the moon schedule. This time around, the highest level would be reached in the morning, and it would be mostly visible close to San Marco square, as it is the lowest point in the city. It was the first time I was experiencing "acqua alta", and it was quite interesting.
This time we took the time to go to Burano, an island about 45 minutes of vaporetto from Venezia. Burano is famous for its local hand made lace, but mostly for its very colourful houses, which line on the canals and contrast the grey of the winter lagoon with really bright shades of green, pink, and yellow.
Coming back in the afternoon, I arrived right on time for a very dramatic sunset on the lagoon, with a 180 degrees view from San Marco, to Santa Maria della Salute, the Giudecca and San Giorgio. The heavy clouds contributed to make it even more impressive and to create contrasts between the colours of the building and the grey of the water and of the sky..
Venezia is made of dramatic views as well as small, precious details. These pictures are only a very humble reflection of what really the place is in real life- btw the winter is a great season to visit, as there is a small insignificant fraction of the otherwise massive herds of tourists one encounters in the warmer months. However, it can rain, it can be windy, cold, and overall miserable after many hours walking up and down bridges and canals. But it's all worth it!
Yes, it was cold.....!