Mesmerizing Venezia


Venice has fascinated me for long. Its beautiful canals, the gondolas which take you into another beautiful world of it own and the buildings  holdings themselves strong for centuries in water. I researched for a whole day to squeeze outsome precise information on Venice. So here it goes…

The Venice dates back to 827, when a Byzantine Duke moved its seat to what is now known as the Rialto, and Venice for next 970 years, prospered under the rule of a Roman-style Senate headed by the Doge. In 1797, the city was conquered by Napoleon, and Venice could never recover from that attack . The city was then merged with Austria-Hungary, then shuffled back and forth between Austria and a nascent Italy.Venice is still a monument to the glory of the Renaissance days, and the old Italians’ veins are still throbbed by the grande of historical culture of Venice.

The city is often threatened by flood pushing in from the Adriatic between autumn and early spring. About six hundred years ago, Venetians protected themselves from land-based attacks by diverting all the major rivers flowing into the lagoon and thus preventing sediment from filling the area around the city. This created an ever-deeper lagoon environment and during high tides the Adriatic water came back to land turning Venetians roads into canals.There is one major canal called Grand canal which cuts across the city from north to south and then the entire city is webbed by a network of canals. These canals are lifelines of Venice. The maze of canals is threaded through the city and has more than 400 bridges to allow pedestrians to walk across the city.

venice sunset canal

Since Venice is also the most romantic destination in Europe, covering Venice on foot ,stopping by each beautiful building to admire its beauty would be an out of the world experience. The ride across Venice on a Gondola is a dream of lifetime.  Subsidence -the gradual lowering of the surface of Venice, leads to the seasonal phenomena of Acqua Alta where most of the city’s surface is covered in high water.This dramatic natural phenomenon of Acqua Alta or High Water is  unique to Venice. It seems during this time the squares, roads and sometimes even the ground floors of the buildings gets submerged.In rather deep areas of Venice the pathways are elevated so that pedestrians don’t  have have to struggle walking in the waters or left stranded.Boats cannot navigate the canals during the highest tides because they cannot pass under bridges. Typically the Acqua Alta lasts for an hour but it could extend to a maximum of 5-6 hours.

Venice history dates back many years when people sought refuge. These people built upon the lagoon for safety from being attacked. In the lagoon there a collection of small island of rock and mud and it was here that these people started driving wood pilings into the mud and sand and into clay. The wood pilings became the foundation.The wood was brought from the mountains of Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro.The wood was then transported by water to Venice. The wood does not rot as its not exposed to oxygen as it is submerged in the water and mud. The wood petrifies due to a constant submergence in mineral rich water around. As a result the wood becomes a hardened stone-like structure.

venice-canal (2)

Once all wood pilings are driven side by side into the mud of the lagoon as the initial foundation, they are then cut level where horizontal timber are laid. A stone foundation is then placed on top of the horizontal timbers. From there the building is built using wood framing techniques or brick. Hence the city of Venice with all its canals and gondolas was built on a foundation of wood. Unimaginable feat Venetians achieved so many hundreds of years ago!

As Venice evolved from a trading localization into a living museum, it preserved historic buildings instead of making way for new structures. It decided not to create a modern city atop the ruins of the old, unlike what was being done throughout the world.

Such a Venice would not have been treasured by the world. I dream to take that 4 week vacation into Venice and into its canals, over the bridges- Rialto, Ponte delgi Scalzi, Ponte dell’Accademia, the churches of Late Romanesque-Early Gothic ,Loggia dei Cavalieri,Church of San Nicolò,Piazza Rinaldi,Ponte di Pria  and simply have some candle lit dinners overlooking a canal.

Venice is treasured , for its old world charm, for its resistance to be drowned by surrounding sea waters,for it beautiful bridges, for its romantic Gondola rides and for taking me into a dream world as soon as I think about it.



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