Venice, Italy: City as Museum

The city of Venice can be overwhelming. It’s visually stunning in ways I did not expect from descriptions and photos.

Its setting on a lagoon lends it a downright luxurious sense of light and space.

And, with no motor vehicles or even bicycles present anywhere, it’s a city made for walking, strolling, and sitting.

Of course, tourists are everywhere, crowding the ancient streets, many of which are now lined with tacky shops rather than practical stores selling day-to-day goods for the vastly outnumbered residents. And from an accessibility perspective, Venice can be tough.  There are countless bridges crossing canals of all sizes, which means you’re out of luck if you are mobility impaired. 

However, one thing Venice does have is places to sit. Plenty of them.

There are church steps everywhere, and benches, and wharves, and steps leading down to water, and just plain inviting spaces with stunning views (and quirky contemporary art).

Turn a corner, and you’ll find yourself in a small, quiet square.

This particular square, like many Venetian spaces, featured a lovely public amenity: a fountain with drinking water.

With its layout and most of its architecture basically unchanged since around the 18th century, Venice gives meaning to the overused term “human scale.” It simply feels good (of course, we were there before the winter rains began). From a visitor’s perspective, Venice is in many ways one of the most comfortable cities I’ve ever been in.


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