Stripes, Gondolas, Bliss

Venice: a city of pure bliss, flowing canals, gondolas, narrow streets, and overwhelming tourists.  Walking around in platform wedges for twelve hours is probably not the best idea I’ve ever had, however, the breathtaking beauty of this city compensated for the stinging pain. Venice is a city, unlike all others. Instead of roads, canals connect the streets opposite each other. This is due to Venice’s location in Italy which is a peninsula. Since this city is located off the mainland, the train or trucks must cross a bridge built over the water. This bridge is relatively new and thus, in the past, boats were required to travel into the cities on boats. Now, this bridge has facilitated movement and caused easier movement, lifestyle, and trade.

As I describe above, Venice is a peninsula surrounded by water. In terms of movement, walking and boats are the only options for Venetians in terms of navigating through the city. Because residents and tourists must transport in the water to reach the opposite side of the street, public boats and gondolas encompass one form of movement. However, Venetians also walk to locations. Recently, architects built a bridge that connects the two opposite sides of the city and thus, they can cross the bridge. However, depending on one’s location, it can be a long walk to arrive at the bridge. Thus, Venetians often walk for shorter distances and use boats for longer distances. Boats can pose an inconvenience because they are too large to be fast. Walking can also be time-consuming due to narrow streets and overwhelming tourists that block the streets. However, since this city is primarily a tourist destination, the small population of people that actually live there have adjusted to this limited movement.

The general lifestyle of the city is work in businesses that are based due to tourist attractions. When I was roaming the city, I noticed numerous souvenir shops, perhaps more than I had seen in any other city we visited. In addition, the food was relatively expensive in comparison to the restaurants in other cities which allows for businesses to profit off of the tourists who must eat out instead of cook meals in their hotel. Shopping was not significantly pricey, however, the prices were still higher than the other cities I shopped in. In addition to the business lifestyle, the general vibe of Venice is a fast paced lifestyle with tourists constantly moving through the city. I did notice some individuals that seemed like they lived in Venice, but many choose other cities in Italy to settle in especially because of the real estate prices. An apartment the size of those in Milan or Verona could cost up to 500,000 dollars. Thus, a majority of the city is tourist geared. Even the gondola rides are expensive which shows that numerous people base their lifestyle through the shipping and boating industry where they can work to support themselves and/or support their families. In the past, the lifestyle of the aristocratic families surrounded their merchant occupations. The aristocratic women were expected to maintain a “proper” demeanor and not leave the house. However, they would wear masks to disguise themselves and attend parties. The masks are unique to Venice and symbolize the citizens’ lifestyle international the past. Much of the present lifestyle focuses on tourists, businesses to attract these tourists, and boating and shipping.

In regards to trade, the mode of transportation differs due to Venice’s canals and location off the mainland. Before the bridge that connects the mainland to the city was built, good could arrive in Venice only through boats. Now, however, these goods are transported through trucks and boats. These trucks can drive into the city and deliver the products to retailers and other suppliers. A majority of the items imported and exported both arrive by boat which could add to the trade process. Venice is home to some of the most skilled boat and ship builders. This allows for efficient trade especially because Venetians have the ability to export goods in a short and timely fashion. Some goods that are unique to Venice include wine, oil, cane sugar, salt, and wheat. A majority of these goods are exported through the boat system in contrast to the imports which most likely arrive into Venice through trucks. It is especially different for trading companies that do not live in an area of bodies of water because they do not have to worry about navigating waterways.

All in all, Venice was incredible especially because the entire vibe of the city is different than any other city we visited. If money actually did grow on trees, I would give anything to rent an apartment in Venice. Living on a peninsula with no roads, narrow walking streets, and canals would take some adjustment time. However, I definitely want to come back to explore the places that we missed especially because of my uncomfortable shoe situation. Even if it’s just for one night, I would not mind staying over the waterside. One day when I actually have a job and can afford my dreams that are currently unrealistic fantasies, I’ll be sure to visit Venice first. Until next time- Ciao!


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