Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



A Magical Floating City

Libby Kiszner

For as long as I can remember, I’d dreamed about visiting Venice. Fabulously, dreams sometimes do come true

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

D

ay One

At last, there we were. Stepping off the train, we didn’t know where to look first. It was all so dream-like. Straight ahead were pastel-colored cobblestone streets. Off to the side was the lagoon, humming with life, rather like the sound of giddy, yet muted laughter as it gurgled over and around boats of every color and size.

As a writer, the first thought that came to mind was, I think I’ve used the word “picturesque” too flippantly.” I felt like I’d walked into a painting. It was late afternoon, when the sun was not too strong, yet still warm, and enriching the shades of the soft-colored houses stretched out on either side of the canals. Looking about us with excitement and wonder, we made our way — suitcases bumping behind us — to the Jewish Ghetto.

Imagine coming into a city with no cars, buses, or motorcycles. Only water flowing peacefully at the sides of the cobblestone streets. Instead of waiting for traffic lights, you cross bridges under which water taxis nonchalantly pass by, alleyways and canals crisscrossing at every turn. Traveling around the good ol’ fashioned way, using our two feet, was a great way to explore wonderful little nooks and crannies and vintage bridges and buildings you only see by walking around.

At our hotel in the Jewish Ghetto, one of the first things we asked was how to get to the airport. We’d be leaving two days later, at 5 a.m. Not to worry, we were told, a taxi will get you there. It was only later that we discovered what kind of taxi the clerk had in mind — a water taxi. That would mean first schlepping all our luggage to a taxi station near the canal. (Fortunately, we found another route.)

 

As soon as we got to our room, my sister opened the windows and, eyes bright with curiosity, peeked outside. We were greeted by the dark green shutters bedecking the brick wall opposite our own, laundry on a line flapping in the breeze. Between us was water.

As we stood there taking in the sights, frolicking laughter reached our ears. What more, the words we heard were undeniably Yiddish. Some women from Brooklyn were timorously trying to board a waiting gondola, and their excitement mingled with nervousness reverberated along the brick walls.

“There’s another window,” my sister gently hinted. In my delight, I was blocking her from capturing the humorous moment with her camera.

Day Two

The next day, we woke bright and early to get to the bus stop (really the boat stop), but the tide was too high for the vaporetto (water bus) to stop there. No worries; we got to explore and get lost in the labyrinth of Venice’s many narrow alleyways, meandering our way to the edge of the city. It was such fun to walk from one part of the city to the next, to discover little shops, to watch people at the piazza (town square), and to just see where your steps lead you. It’s really quite a tiny place, filled with kiosks, fancy boutique stores, and souvenir shops all waiting for the many tourists searching for gifts to bring back home.

Then we were off to visit Murano and Burano, two islands in the Venetian Lagoon. We took line 4.2 from the Fondamente Nove stop. Inside the vaporetto, I seemed to be the only one snapping pictures. I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous panoramic view. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 698)

Related Stories

Look Out Below!

Sivi Sekula

Since the beginning of time, man has been digging to create underground spaces for all sorts of reas...

The City of Prague

S. Levi

A few weeks ago, I did something I’ve been wanting to do for years — I took a trip to the magical ci...

Teen Fiction: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bluma Schur

“Well, then, sorry for disturbing you,” Bracha offered. We’ll be going then.” And the three girls ma...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you