Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Guest Travel Blog --- Venice by Tina Hartas of Trip Fiction

Thank you once again for Tina Hartas of Trip Fiction, for writing a book and travel piece for me based on Venice, Italy. Welcome again Tina.

Venice - Italy

Image courtesy of cescassawin /
 The Lagoon City, canals, vaporetti, gondolas and a multitude of campi and calle to explore. Venice is a true wonder to behold, the city of romance, the colours always changing on the crumbling facades, from russet, through to pink and to ochre, reflecting the iridescent waters; and as the sun sets, time to find an aperitivo and cicchetti (nibbles) and enjoy the thrum of the city. The boats and vaporetti chug past, the narrow alleyways reverberate with ghostly voices and the sloshing of the water is always present.

Arrival by train is awe inspiring, across a long bridge over the water, right into the Northern heart of the city. By plane too, visitors can enjoy the boat ride and arrive at St Mark’s Square, much as historical figures must have done. History is everywhere, the figures of great characters still haunt the small streets, and the faded grandeur still holds its allure.

Image courtesy of federico stevanin /
As a visitor to this great city, we can enjoy the visual spectacle, feel the heat rise from the brittle facades in the heat of the midday sun, or experience the Acqua Alta, as the floodwaters regularly overwhelm the city. Nothing is ever static and nothing is as it seems….

On a visit a couple of years ago, whilst enjoying a Caffè Grande in a side street, reading a novel set in Venice, I was charmed to look up and observe the exact same scene that had just been described in the novel. That novel was by Donna Leon, the Queen of detective fiction and it just brought Venice to life in a wonderful way. Imagine hearing the birds careening over the rooftops and seeing that so well described in words; watch a gondola glide past and imagine her main character Guido Brunetti observing the very same thing; taste the wonderful food on offer, and then see it conjured up on the detective’s own table. It is a fascinating and intimate way of getting to know a city. And if you would like to explore the city a little further through the eyes of an author, this link brings together a couple of Donna Leon novels:
When we hear of friends going to the city, the book we always press into their hands is City of Falling Angels by John Berendt which chronicles life behind closed doors – the bit that tourists don’t necessarily get to see – as the people and the machinery of political life grinds into gear after the fire at the opera house, La Fenice. A wonderful insight into the city.
And one final book we would suggest to transport you to the city, in gentle yet full technicolour glory is:

Thank you Tina. Venice sounds beautiful. I'm off now to look up Donna Leon novels, not having read any before.