Venice: The Real Water World

Venice. Hardly a city in Italy is more romantic than Venice. Kevin Costner thought he had an original script with the Hollywood name of Water World. Venice trumped him by thousands of years.

Taxi acquei–from airport to Villa Mabapa

We landed in Marco Polo Airport–can you think of a more appropriate name for the watery world of Venice’s airport? March 1, 2015 proved to be cool, but sunny. Our guide met us, and led us to our taxi. Imagine my surprise to discover we’d be taxied by boat!

Venice. I always imagined it firmly attached to Italy–sinking, but attached. It’s not. It’s made up of 116 islands. Canals separate these islands and essentially form the city streets and boulevards.

Too cold for swimming. Lido’s sandy beach and cabanas.

The city became defined during the Middle Ages. The buildings had been constructed in brick on cedar piers that have petrified into stone. The brick was covered with marble–the stuff of buildings in Italy as wood is too expensive.

The only island with cars is Lido. And that’s where we stayed. This eight-mile island forms the barrier between the Adriatic Sea and the lagoon. On the seaside, rows and rows of cabanas line the sandy shore whose shallow waters offer summer fun.

Lobby of Villa Mabapa

In the 1800s, Islo del Lido was popular with artists and poets such as Shelley and Byron.

It is also known for its upscale shops. Although, when Neil and I roamed the city, shops were the last thing on our mind. We were hungry.

Which brings up an interesting point. If you want a cup of coffee–and even the cafe American is strong–you can pay two separate prices. One, the cheaper, is to order at the counter and drink it there. Europe rarely offers take-out. If you wish to sit, it will cost you more.

Lido has beautiful hotels. We stayed at the Villa Mabapa–shown left. Most hotels don’t open until mid-March or April. Ours opened for our tour.

And one benefit of going off season, tourists don’t abound and you can enjoy the sights. The weather can be cool, but as I live in the northern reaches of eastern New York, the Italian temps were quite pleasant.

Downtown Lido
A hearse. All transport is by boat

Lido is connected to the main island of Venice by the vaporetti. These are boats that serve as buses. It’s about a fifteen minute cruise to get to the main island.

Seeing as I adore the water, this city is for me. But everything in Venice is expensive since everything–food, clothing, furniture–must be imported from the mainland.

Each day we stayed here was overcast. I do have it on good authority that you can see a fabulous sunset over Venice from the lagoon side of the island.


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  1. The benefit, Tom, was no lines anywhere. The weather warmed, and the whole trip was more than delightful!

  2. TNeal says:

    Beautiful pics and informative prose. I did notice the coat and figured the weather was on the cool side during your visit. Being from warm and sunny Texas, I think I'd wait for the tourist season.

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