mardi 2 novembre 2010

To an isle in the water

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In the warmth of the train taking me to the airport the commuters around me closed their eyes in those peaceful moments before the working day begins or immersed themselves in the morning papers. The girl next to me bit into a sandwich sheepishly despite her slender frame. Between Ostkreuz and Trepotower Park, a crack of gold appeared on the skyline and I wished that I culd get out for a few moments to photograph it reflected in the water. But there would be plenty of time for photos soon.

From the aeroplane, the sight of the clouds parting for snowy mountain peaks as we flew over Innsbruck. The deepening colours and loss of the leaves are nothing new to me but somehow, the idea of the alpine winter had completely slipped my mind. A little further on the horizon though, the lagune of Venice appeared, golden in the midday sun. There was the first sight of Murano with its brightly coloured houses, small fishing boats and church towers and the children playing on the square as I wheeled my suitcase through the narrow streets. My hotel room was blue and gold with a chandelier made out of Murano glass with cobwebs clinging to the upper part which made me think of a fairy story. An old woman opposite in her living room waved to me every time I opened the window to check the weather in the morning but her dark wooden shutters remained firmly closed when I returned at the end of the day.

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On Murano

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There was the pleasure of taking the boat every day with the commuters and schoolchildren. I took my familiar seat at the back, watching the waves around me, silver in the morning light, pink and gold as the day faded and opaque emerald with days of rain. A couple shared a set of headphones, moving their heads to the rhythm of the music.

On the Isola San Michele, I rediscovered the precious moments of tranquility in the shadows of the cyprus trees, looking out to the canal through the metal gates as people arrived with large bunches of yellow chrysanthemums in time for All Saints' Day.

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On Isola San Michele - a cemetary on an island

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From the top of the Campanile bell tower, my eye stretched out towards those same snow covered mountains and the maze of rooftops piled up on top of one another. So much to discover and rediscover. The clock struck six and all were deafened by the heavy chiming of the great metal bell above us. Evening was drawing in but not before the sun set the sky ablaze with colours against the sihouettes of the magnificent buildings. I watched it become more and more intense as the boat pulled away for Murano and the beacons in the canal glowed orange in the twilight. I had a feeling of being far away at sea on a boat taking me to an unknown destination deep into the night with the beams of the lighthouse to guide us.

I promise you more photos of Venice this week but my head is still spinning in a whirlwind of impressions. It feels strange to be back on dry land again when my body misses the sensation of the waves and I long to see the light of Italy again soon.

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The church of the Gesuiti

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I love Italian pastries

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My first experience of Grom ice cream. how have I lived this long without it? Salted caramel and stracciatella.

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Ghoulish treats for Halloween like this marzipan hand

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View from the Rialto

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Views from the Campanile

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San Giorgio Maggiore with Palladio's perfect church

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Hotel Danieli where George Sand and Proust once stayed

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I'm obsessed with those flower pot chimneys you can see here and in Canaletto's paintings

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The lighthouse at Murano Faro

21 commentaires:

  1. Thanks for sharing! What beautiful details and pictures.



  2. It looks like you had a great trip! Brings back memories to me, too. Last time I visited Venedig was with my dad. It seems like forever ago.

  3. Ah Venezia! Venice is unique in the world, there's nothing quite like it, and everybody shoul visit it at least once in a lifetime, you made me jealous with those photos, i want to go back! cheers!

  4. ô le ciel de l'Italie et les cannoli fourrés au citron ! Petite balade dans les allées du cimetière voisin pour moi aussi hier (moins exotique mais il y a toujours des allées à découvrir !).

  5. What breathtaking photos. Venice has the most beautiful light, Canaletto paintings do capture the magic, and so do your photos. I have fond memories of my visit to Venice, your writing and photos have reawakened them. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to seeing more.

  6. Cela fait presque 15 que, chaque année, au moins une fois, je vais à Venise. Pour moi, c'est le centre du monde. Tes photographies sont magnifiques. Oui, il semble que nous ayons pas mal de choses en commun...

  7. J'aime les iles, et le ciel d'Italie, cette lumiere particuliere qui n'existe nulle part ailleurs. Ce billet amene le sourire. Merci.

  8. I'm glad you had a lovely trip ^_^ The light certainly is lovely, I only went to Venice once, with my mum, but I'd like to go again. I'm not sure if I'll have the chance though, there are lots of other places in Europe I'd like to visit before next June so I'll have to wait for your next lot of photos.

  9. Vanessa--These are gorgeous photographs & words. You went to some of my very favorite places & I want to write more & ask you some questions but I am about to fall over from fatigue. So I will just say that I will be back. (And I am going to start a "light" book in the pile of not read yet...a Donna Leon novel -- I am a recent convert to these books set in Venezia. Do you know them? Everyone did except me. I read Andrea Camillieri's series set in I go back & forth.)

    ciao, back soon.


  10. @Rosa - It's a pleasure to share them. Love the fact you're always the first to leave a comment.
    @Kirsten - I'm pleased to hear that.
    @Pity - Ah, you're so right that there's nothing like it. Even when I get fed up with the masses of tourists, you take a look around you and it's like a dream.
    @Rose - Je vois que nous avons les mêmes goûts! Les cannolis au citron sont mes préférés aussi. Le cimetière à côte de chez toi est merveilleux et vous avez bien de la chance de pouvoir acheter la glace de Grom en France.
    @P.K - It's true that the light amazes you. My eyes were sore from staring at the sun so often but I loved its rays. The city is such a joy and it's inspiring to take photos there. I never saw sunrises or sunsets like it.
    @Holly Golightly - Merci de ta visite. Je viens de jeter un coup d'oeil à tes billet merveilleux sur Venise. Je ne savais pas que James habitait cette pension que je voyais tous les jours. On voit bien pourquoi il a adore la vue. Pour moi, c'est ma deuxième visite et je compte y retourner chaque année ou tous les deux ans. Il y a encore tant de choses que je veux voir.
    @Gracienne - Tu as tellement raison avec la lumière d'Italie. C'est magique. Contente que ce billet t'ait plu. Maintenant je vais faire ton gâteau aux pommes.
    @Sasa - There are so many wonderful places and I can empathise with the difficulty of fitting it all in. Besides, I'm looking forward to a visit from you!
    @Susan - It's nice to know I was walking in your footsteps and look forward to hearing more about your time there. I read my first Donna Leon novel a few moths ago and totally loved it. It was called Friends in High Places and I love her descriptions of the city. I don't know Andrea Camillieri but will have to try that. Take care!

  11. I've wanted to visit Venice ever since watching "Summertime" with Katherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi. Everything seemed so hectic and crowded (touristy), but lovely all at the same time. Your pictures are captivating and capture the quiet of observation. You do this very well.

  12. Superbe ! Tu sais que je ne connais pas ces coins de Paradis ? Tes photos sont merveilleuses, comme toujours !

  13. sigh, it all sounds so wonderful, lucky you!

  14. @Tracy - I love that film too and watched it after my first visit to Venice last year. It's every more crowded and chaotic than back then but still astonishingly beautiful enough to make you forget that. I think you'd love it!
    @Hélène - Ah, je sais que tu et ta famille adoreraient Venise et tu pourrais nous faire un joli billet sur la ville. Merci Hélène et bises.
    @Hila - I know I'm lucky, even if I'm broke for the considerable future.
    @Julie - Thanks Julie!

  15. These are beautiful, Vanessa! Those flower pot chimneys are truly beautiful. I can't wait for more stories!

  16. Oh thanks Lecia!
    @Nicolette - I'm so pleased you also like the chimneys. So unique and elegant.

  17. Stunning views and pictures. Love your unique observations.

  18. You have such a gift for weaving a narrative. I have never been to Venice, but your amazing photos remind me why I should. Stunning views from the Campanile.

    Those chimneys are pretty interesting.

    The film 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' has some great shots in Venice.

    I love what you did with your blog heading. Look beautiful.

  19. @The Silk Road - Thank you very much!
    @Lazaro - Thank you dear friend. I'm sure you'd love Venice and thanks for reminding me about that film. It's ages since I saw it and it'd be nice to see places I recognise in it. So pleased you like a header; I was kinda bored with the other one. Have a great weekend!