Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

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Google the term “Venice is sinking” and you will get an incredible amount of images of flooded palazzo, some scientific explanation of why it is happening and maybe an occasional disappointed rant from tourists who were expecting a romantic stroll among the pigeons of Piazza San Marco only to be replaced by an urgent quest to find the cheapest store selling rain boots and slowly walking along the passarelle (make-shift walkway planks) in order to enter Saint Mark’s Basilica.
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Although it could be a little distressing to see a dream-like destination such as Venice at its most vulnerable state but flooded piazza is an accepted and ordinary occurrence particularly during winter months where the city enters its “acqua alta” or high water season.
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On my second day at Venice, the plan was to minimize the use of vaporetto and instead walk the city inner maze like streets starting from Piazza San Marco all the way to Venezia Sta. Lucia train station. Given that the day started gloomy with mild rain showers, I was expecting strolling along wet paved streets but to see the famous Piazza San Marco flooded only in a matter of minutes was astonishing.
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Just as the pigeons departed the beloved piazza, so are the visitors. It seems like everyone was busy playing the game of “the boat is sinking, group yourself into”, everyone was busy finding an alternate path or elevated ground.

Despite the non-ideal weather condition, I still decided to push thru with my plan. I entered the inner streets with an occasional detour away from flooded area and just walked along whatever remain passable.
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As much as I enjoyed the view that the Grand Canal offers, but taking the inner streets is appreciating Venice in details.
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It offers a closer look at canals that are only passable by private gondolas, passing by series of small and low bridges that it requires some acrobatic maneuvering from the gondola operator.
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Getting lost inside the cobbled alleyways means discovering smaller, unknown piazzas, offering a glimpse of what I can only assume are parts of the city residential areas.
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Many would say that to walk along Venice streets without a map is not a wise decision, but I think the secret is to always look for the occasional signage pointing to the direction of the closest vaporetto terminal and rest assured that you will never get lost.
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I completed my agenda for the day, I walked from Piazza San Marco all the way to the train station, and managed to skip as many flooded corners as possible while enjoying every small details of discovery.
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Before the day ends, I went back to Piazza San Marco and was happy to find out that I can finally enjoy the square without needing a pair of rain boots.
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18 thoughts on “Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

  1. I feel totally spoiled looking at so many beautiful photos of this legendary city. It is just too perfect. I wonder, if I found myself there, if I would be ever able to leave? I imagine it would take a very long time to soak it all in. x

    1. Hi AJ, i think so too. Manila is not too different from any other city overseas that every Filipino long to visit, if only we preserved a greater portion of our heritage. How I wish our country will find the right balance of so called “progress” and national identity before its too late.

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