Since I’ve been in Venice for four days now, I feel as though it’s time to talk about one of the major cultural differences I have noticed in Italy thus far. Venetians walk everyone. I’d assume that it’s mostly out of necessity, but that’s not something that we do in the U.S whatsoever. Our public transportation system is seriously behind those of European countries. Getting around Venice is actually much easier than I had previously expected. If you’re in a rush, just walk to where you’re going. If you have budgeted a bit more time, take the vaporetto. If you have the money to spend, take a water taxi. Getting from point A to point B is also much more visually interesting than it is in the U.S or at least Indiana.
There is less importance placed on meandering around a city and soaking in all of the sights in the United States. Venice is metaphorically begging to be meandered around. We value speed and efficiency when traveling from place to place, you aren’t supposed to stop and smell the roses on your way to work or school. We drive fast cars and pride ourselves on cutting down our commute time by five minutes. The quicker you can get somewhere, the better. Venetians don’t seem to care as much about the speed and efficiency in which you get from place to place. It’s almost impossible to walk around Venice without getting distracted along the way.
The buildings you pass by are so historical and full of character, unlike the modern buildings that are abundant back home. Each place I pass has a story that I want to learn more about. As a tourist, it’s my duty to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the place I’m visiting. As each day passes, I learn more and more about the city.
We started today with a cappuccino and brioche near the open air market/fish market area of Venice. We had a nice wander around the city, smelling the roses along the way. This pace of life definitely suits me. I enjoy noticing the small things along the way, not buzzing past them in a hurry.
After a nice and relaxed morning, we went on to the Galleria dell’Accademia. The building was jam packed with exquisite art work. The gallery was established back in 1750 and houses pieces from pre-19th century artists around Venice and northern Italy. There were a lot of Bellini pieces, some works from Tintoretto and Titian, as well as Mantegna and Giorgione. Being in a place that houses some of the most important and beautiful artwork in all of Italy was indescribable. These artists made such lasting impacts on the world of art. They influenced all of European history with their paintings. Seeing the paintings that I had read about and seen images in class of was more overwhelming that I thought it would be. Many of the pieces are large in scale, taking up a large chunk of a wall. Trying to soak in all of the activity that’s happening in the scene depicted is a time consuming task. I found it best to stand at one piece for at least a few minutes and just try to comprehend the scene laid out in front of me.
Once we finished the tour of Galleria dell’Accademia, we went on the scavenger hunt, which I write more about in another post. We had the afternoon and dinner on our own before meeting back up for the Vivaldi concert. I had never heard Vivaldi pieces played in person, so the concert was one of my favorite parts of Venice so far. The musicians were so in synch with one another, it was like watching a perfectly crafted machine at work. The concert was a wonderful way to cap off a very Venetian day.