Italy has everything to seduce and Venice remains an exceptional place capable of giving you a real thunderbolt that will last all your life.
My first contact was in the early morning at the arrival of a train coming from Paris. Leaving the station, I was literally overwhelmed by the view of the canals, the old buildings and especially the silence of a city without a car.
The last was on the Queen Victoria, a magnificent cruise ship from Cunard from where on the upper deck I could admire the rooftops of the city. A different perspective but how exhilarating.
A classic stop is St Mark’s Square with its imposing cathedral, its overpriced terraces and its opening onto the lagoon with turquoise waters when the weather is nice. The Palace of the Doges, who ruled the town, and the famous Bridge of Sighs, under which hundreds of gondolas filled with lovers every day pass, who do not know that the sighs which gave their name to the Bridge were not those but rather those of those condemned to death who were going to enforce their condemnation.
From the docks of the lagoon you can see the gondolas, taxi boats, bus boats, rubbish boats and a wide variety of other colored boats. The large steamships that leave the Grand Canal to reach the open sea by sailing between the islands are a striking spectacle. Throughout the canals, you can see these columns painted in twists with very visible colors that serve to moor the boats or to identify a boat-bus stop.
A frequent destination is the island of Murano with its glass craftsmen who offer products for all tastes and all prices.
The true charm of Venice lies for me in the secondary canals and small places less frequented by tourists where you will find old churches to visit and restaurants filled with residents. Everywhere bridges, sometimes very narrow canals and everywhere this silence with, as the only background noise, the occasional passage of a small boat propelled by very quiet engines and the sound of waves lapping on the houses.
Who says Italy, says good food and good wines. Venice has everything you need to satisfy. Not to mention the gelato cone which is a delight at any time of the day. And of course, Venice has beautiful museums, theaters, festivals, a carnival and beautiful things in the windows of the commercial streets.
At sunset, you will see the buildings become orange and when night comes, the water will become a mirror for the lights.
If you resist, you are not like me.
You have to see Venice and take time to live at its own pace!
From February 12-28, 2010, the « King of the Blue Planet » will reign on the 126th edition of the Nice Carnival, the biggest winter event of the Côte d’Azur. For 15 days, his Majesty will open the doors of his blue planet for 15 days.
Dive into his history, his nature and its astonishing biodiversity, to the abysses and wanderings of humans, before concluding with this intimate conviction: protection and preservation of nature is definitely the most important goal of this century.
Though truly ecological (complete with recycling workshops), this popular carnival remains faithful to its original spirit: humor, scorn and poetry will be in order.
Around the Place Masséna, 20 allegorical and burlesque floats will parade with bands and comedians from the five continents. This parade will look like an initiatory around-the-world journey in 80 minutes! New 360° open floats will parade all along the Promenade des Anglais, decorated with roses, carnations, or mimosas, representing the floral patrimony of the region. Elaborate costumes, dances, and flower battles complete the festive scene.
The Nice Carnival offers a wonderful opportunity to discover Nice during the winter, with its mild climate, constant sunshine, and easy-going joie de vivre.