Good with words

Fear... distractions.... the efforts of a self-employed writer to pay the mortgage.... all that jazz.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Venice - the Grand Canal

I'm going to post these Venice pictures in instalments, I think, because I am too busy to write all that I want to about the trip!

Venice is, apparently, sinking at the rate of 1 foot per century. Some of the houses had a few hundred years left, by my reckoning; some only had months! One front door, facing the Grand Canal (above), was just inches from the water level: the bottom of the wooden door had rotted clean away.

In fact, many of the grand homes along the Grand Canal look as though they were abandoned years ago - upkeep too high, floods too wearing. Those that aren't decrepit are hotels; some were being painted - by hand and from a boat - when we sailed past. I suppose a lot of DIY business is done in Venice! We saw gondolas loaded with cement and builders wheeling mixers and sanders on and off the water buses (motor boats serving the island).
Anyway, many of the homes and palaces have a couple of centuries left. I suppose this is why the whole 'sinking' issue isn't as pressing as it might be. You're a Venetian; your apartment building won't see the 25th century; but why do you actually need to care? My guide book (Venice for Pleasure) notes that the work required to stop Venice from sinking is simply too great to contemplate. I can quite see this. On the way out to the islands, you notice tiny, one-home isles with ruined manor homes in the middle.
Obviously, the prospect of the entire island sinking is a bit daunting. But wouldn't a little innovative thinking and some charity money solve the problem? (Did you know that the Campanille - the bell tower in front of St Mark's - was rebuilt with financial help from Britain's 'Save Venice' fund in the 1960s? It doesn't surprise me to learn that sightseeing-mad Brits and Americans care more about losing Venice than the Venetians do.)
Of course, my circular dam would do the trick. When do you think they will come to me for advice?


  • At 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What an original take on the Venice travel feature this is Anna. Very interesting. Look forward to more.


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