Thursday, 6 October 2016


Venice should not exist. 

Her buildings, basilicas, residences, hotels, etc. are not even constructed on solid ground. Centuries ago, stilts were driven into the ground underwater. Without oxygen, these fully submerged pylons have not yet rotted.

Atop platforms sitting on the wooden stilts, a magical city has been built. It is difficult to believe that the iconic St. Mark's Square lies above fathoms of water. Touring Venice, one forgets that she is a city in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, a sea whose tides endlessly flow in and out. Tides, salt, and humidity eat away at precious buildings lining the canals. Engineers and construction professionals work endlessly at the enormous task of keeping buildings intact. The scope of this job is beyond comprehension. 

With the exception of car parks by the mainland bridge, all transportation in Venice is by boat. To walk the city early in the morning when the mobs of tourists are absent is to hear the early morning buzz of powerboats and to witness these long low barges delivering bundles of daily newspapers, fresh hotel laundry, restaurant supplies, appliances, even building materials. 

Just imagine the services we take for granted in Canada that must be delivered here on water: rubbish collection, bus and taxi, postal and courier service, emergency services, both ambulance and police......the list is endless.

Many deliveries, made in the early morning to hotels, restaurants and shops who lack canal access are dropped on the narrow streets.  It is not unusual to see employees moving these goods over bridges and along walkways in uniquely designed four wheeled carts.

And so we tourists arrive in Venice, stand in awe of her beauty, check off sites of interest, walk the piazzas, eat in restaurants, and if lucky, sleep in town, frequently oblivious to the miracle surrounding us. The miracle that is Venice.

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