Italy | Venice

Finding Pink in Venice

By on September 8, 2012
pink water and boats
Pink buildings and some boats by the Grand Canal

Visiting Venice is like walking in history itself, definitely one of the more beautiful cities man has built. Taking its character from the influence of Napoleon Bonaparte and surviving two world wars, Venice today in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site. Every turn and route taken in Venice is a different discovery, for the shutterbugs in hubby and I, we had our CF cards full! Masks, water, vaporetto, gondolas, pigeons, murano glass, bridges, canals, polenta, tramezzini and tiramisu are some of the terms closely associated with Venice but the architecture would also draw you in.

Buildings in Venice can be identified as influenced by one: Palladium architecture, which is based on the symmetry, perspective and values of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. And, two: Venetian Gothic characterized by a combination of lancet arch, Byzantine and Moorish architecture. Of course, there are those ordinary looking buildings that still exudes elegance despite being monotonous.

building pink, venice
Windows on a pink building against blue sky
buildings venice
yellow and pink

One can never tell the buildings apart, you can’t immediately identify a building’s use just by looking. Which are residential, which are for accommodation and which are for businesses? You can’t point out unless you particularly look at websites like Venice hotels on Venere or spot a signpost/marker in front of the building. To the left, you’d see yellow, to the right would be orange, look behind you and there’s pink or perhaps venetian red that’s too hard to pass up not taking photos of. And here in this post, I’m mostly featuring pink. 🙂

Getting lost in a turn is like discovering a spot that no one has gone before. It’s a great escape from all the hustle and bustle that locals and tourists create. You’ll find the shortest bridge, the most unique building, the most flower-adorned window and cats looking down at you. Each corner is not just lovely, they will tell you a story all unique on their own.

hotel sofitel, venice
Hotel Sofitel by the side
pink window
Pink flowers by windows

With its status in the architecture world, Venice holds the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the world’s grandest celebration and showcase of building designs. It’s part of the Venice Biennale,  in turn a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years and where the Venice Film Festival is also part of.

The Biennale of Architecture is held in the beautiful Giardini Pubblici (Public Gardens) and the arsenale (former shipyards),  it’s just a short walk from St. Mark’s Square – we  unfortunately missed it. Austria has been participating since and it would have been a worthy post. Next feature: orange buildings…

Hotel or residential building? I can’t tell.
pink flowers
pink flowers

oh, join this meme, by the way:

Continue Reading

Italy | Venice

5 Reasons to Visit Venice: Romance and the Arts in Italian Veneto

By on April 20, 2012

Fascinating and charming sights and sounds await those who travel to Italy to visit the lagoon-surrounded sanctuary of Venice. Although the heavy tourist traffic is being pinpointed as one of the causes of the city’s decay, Venice remains to hold its charm and beauty for local and international visitors to enjoy. If you only have a few days for your Venetian vacation, here are 5 reasons to make it one of your best vacations ever:

Take your partner and ride a gondola.

1. Romantic gondola rides – Venice is surrounded by water and aside from walking, the only other way to get around is through the water buses (vaporetto) and the water taxis. The more classical and romantic way to travel through Venice’s canals and waterways is through a gondola. A gondola ride will take you on scenic routes. Those who are on a budget should remember that gondola rides cost a whole lot more than vaporetto rides.

masks in venice
Pick a mask!

2. Exciting festivals and carnivals – Among the world’s most colourful festivals are held in Venice. As a major hub of international conferences and festival, Venice is host to events like the Venice Biennale, the Carnival of Venice, the Festa del Redentore, and the Venice International Film Festival. The city will surely be packed with international tourists during times when these festivals and carnivals are held but the experience is well worth enduring the crowded venues.

glasses venice
Murano and other glass products on display.

3. The intricate art of glass blowing – A visit to Venice will not be complete without making a visit to one of the Murano glass makers either in Venice or in the nearby island of Murano. The intricate details of Murano glassware have made these products Venice’s most popular export. Make sure that you allocate some of your vacation budget to take home a Murano glass bowl or dish…or earrings and pendants!

Fresh seafood.
Authentic pasta from where it originated – Italy. My plate of canelloni with spinach and ricotta.

4. Palate pleasing seafood, wine, and gelato – No trip to a foreign land will be complete without sampling the food and beverages the local cuisine is notable for. Seafood dominates Venetian cuisine complemented by rice and other greens from nearby islands. Must try are the sarde in soar, the fegato alla veneziana, the cicchetti and the bisato complemented by prosecco. If you’re in a hurry you can always have what Italy is famous for; pizza and pasta or the more convenient tramezzini with your choice of spread and fillings.

5. Interesting discoveries while getting lost – Another great inexpensive way to explore Venice is to walk through the city and, as the locals jest, get lost. Search for the Piazza San Marco through an unknown trail… Walking through the alleyways will reveal architectural beauties and quaint places of interest tucked into the cityscape. Make sure to check the tourist board for information about the acqua alta or the high tide predictions for the day. Some places can get flooded during acqua alta but these places usually have elevated blocks to serve as pedestrian walkways during floodings.

It is best to visit Venice when you have more than just a couple of days on your hands. Spend about a week to leisurely explore the boroughs of Venice and all their interesting offerings.

Venice alleys
We got lost on our way to Piazza San Marco. ^_^

Continue Reading

Featured | Italy | Venice

Venice, the City of Waters

By on September 19, 2011

Here (below photo) starts our (mine and hubby’s) Venice adventure.  We dropped off at the Cannaregio, the district most convenient as a base for those who arrive by car or train, as both the garage and the station are just minutes away on foot from any part of the sestiere (district).

Venice . gondolas, canal, hotel
boats and those

They say (Venetians) that this area closely resemble the Venice of old. Upon getting off the bus, one could easily see the charm the city has been known for. Basking in the glory of Grand Canal palaces, geniusly engineered architecture and a unique form of transportation, you would want to go and walk as much and experience the magic thriving in it since long ago.

Venice - hotel by the canal
full water

Don’t be fooled, it may seem a small city but is not. A half-day isn’t enough to tour around all the districts.

Water transportation starts then and there. It’s one good reason that the city’s air is less polluted; unfortunately to the water’s trepidation. We got ready to enter a labyrinth of narrow passageways, alleys, canals and delicate bridges…unexpectedly we got lost but quite a beautiful experience too. Getting lost and looking for the right path back is wonderful if you’re with someone you trust. At the end of it all, you’ll find yourselves in awe of this wonderful city built on a lagoon.

Venice - canal and gondolas

This is an old post dug from my archives. More posts about Venice are scheduled. If you need some travel inspirations or ideas especially in other regions, check out for some destinations advice. They also have great discount on flights and tours. Related posts and more photos of Venice here.


Continue Reading

Italy | Venice

Venice – City of Windows too!

By on June 21, 2011


To be in the city were Venetian blinds are named after, it was surprising to find that not much of them are in use there. Or perhaps it was still early that I haven’t spotted much when hubby and I were walking their streets.

It’s acknowledged that window blinds were first used in Asia; the Egyptians used tied reeds while the Chinese devised bamboo. It is however in Venice that the blinds we know today were first manufactured. The reason that they were invented, as should be obvious, is to have a means of adjusting how much light is let into a room…especially during summer.

window kitty

Above photo with a cat peeking from the open window has become one of my favorites. I was in a hurry to shoot and I was only able to make one as the white kitty left too soon.

moroccan stil
You’ve heard Venice being called the city of Bridges or the city of Water, I think it’s also fitting to call it the city of Windows!


Continue Reading

Italy | Venice

Venice – I Spy Orange

By on May 31, 2011
venice, orange
orange flowers

In Venice, orange, yellow and pink are the dominant colors. Buildings and flowers and souvenir shops exhibit these colors adding charm to Venice’s already colorful history.

A turn here and there would reveal one colorful building after the other. It may not be reliable to use building colors when giving instructions on how to find a certain place. ^_^

venice orange
unlike corners
venice toy store
a toy store (more on brown)

Since Venice relies on water for transportation, most of the streets are smaller, passing as alleys fit for a person or two or perhaps a bike/motorcycle. (I’m trying to remember ifI ever even saw a car on the streets.)

Seriously, I might have lost 10 kilos by now if I live in Venice. The bridges, stairs and all the walking would certainly be a big help.

venice flowers
flower wall

I spy hubby there too!  Happy 10th anniversary Moks, I almost forgot. lol^_^



Continue Reading

Italy | Trash Features | Venice


By on May 30, 2009

It’s a bit sad that while on tour you’d see how much trash accumulates in Venetian waters. On a brighter note, they all come up to on one side, it’s easy to scoop them out….Really though, how can tourists and local alike be of no concern?

Continue Reading

Music | Venice

Water Glass Music

By on May 28, 2009

Or Glass Harp, is a made up instrument of upright wine glasses filled with water or sometimes the goblet are grinded to create a certain pitch. The player runs moistened or chalked fingers around the rim of the glasses for them to create sounds or pitch. On our way back to the station, hubby and I found a wine glass musician and we stayed to listen of course.

Those playing glass harps are often seen in different cities but in Venice, rightfully called the city of waters, it is but fitting to see a musician with this instrument.

If you’ve watched Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, you will recall that she played the glass harp during the talent portion of the contest in the movie. There are many other musicians known to use the glass harp, one of the most notable is the band Pink Floyd during the recording of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” on their Wish You Were Here album, recorded and released in 1975.

Would have stayed longer to listen but we’re still supposed to find souvenirs.

Continue Reading