venice

July 2, 2012

I spent the last week with Beth and Rita in Venice and Verona after we conducted a photo workshop for five Missouri students the week before in Munich. Venice is a remarkable city that everyone should have seen at least once. However, it’s also a dying city, killed by the obsolescence of the trade that once made it rich and by the hordes of tourists that suck the remaining bits of genuine Venetian life out of its veins.

While it’s an amazing and fascinating place to see, it’s also extremely exhausting. Both the heat and the masses of people around every corner took their toll on us, and after three days, we were more than happy to leave the laguna behind and escape to Verona.

The setting sun shines through the main hall of Santa Lucia train station in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The construction of the railway bridge that connects the laguna with the mainland has severly disturbed the natural tidal flow around Venice, leading to increased floods.

The setting sun shines through the main hall of Santa Lucia train station, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The construction of the railway bridge that connects the laguna with the mainland has severly disturbed the natural tidal flow around Venice, leading to increased floods.

A "Vaporetto" water bus steams past Ferrovia station at the Grand Canal Venice, Italy, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. ACTV, the operator of the water busses, owns currently around 120 water borne vessels and transports upward of 180 million people annualy.

A "Vaporetto" water bus steams past Ferrovia station at the Grand Canal, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. ACTV, the operator of the water busses, owns currently around 120 water borne vessels and transports upward of 180 million people annualy.

Murano glass wear is displayed in a shop window in the San Marco quarter near the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Murano glass wear is displayed in a shop window in the San Marco quarter near the Rialto Bridge, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Two young couples hang out on the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Two young couples hang out on the Rialto Bridge across the Grand Canal, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Rita Reed, my former professor, Master's committee chair and second mom in the U.S., takes a photo on the famous Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. It was the night of Rita's 62nd birthday. Happy Birthday again, it was a blast!

Rita Reed, my former professor, Master's committee chair and second mom in the U.S., takes a photo on the famous Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. It was the night of Rita's 62nd birthday. Happy Birthday again, it was a blast!

Hordes of tourists crowd the area in front of the Basilica di San Marco at St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The Piazza St. Marco and its surrounding buildings are the most famous architectural landmark in Venice.

Hordes of tourists crowd the area in front of the Basilica di San Marco at St. Mark's Square, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The Piazza St. Marco and its surrounding buildings are the most famous architectural landmark in Venice.

Tourists snap a picture of carnival masks displayed in a store window in the San Marco quarter in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Genuine Venetian masks are handmade and very costly. Unsuspecting tourists often fall for the cheaper and low-quality imitations from East Asia sold by street vendors and in souvenir shops.

Tourists snap a picture of carnival masks displayed in a store window in the San Marco quarter, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Genuine Venetian masks are handmade and very costly. Unsuspecting tourists often fall for the cheaper and low-quality imitations from East Asia sold by street vendors and in souvenir shops.

A tourist couple enjoys a Gondola ride in the Cannaregio neighborhood in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Formerly the only means of transportation in Venice, there are now about 500 gondolas left. At € 80.00 for a 40-minute ride during the day and € 100.00 at night, a gondola ride is an expensive affair.

A tourist couple enjoys a Gondola ride in the Cannaregio neighborhood, Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Formerly the only means of transportation in Venice, there are now about 500 gondolas left. At € 80.00 for a 40-minute ride during the day and € 100.00 at night, a gondola ride is an expensive affair.

A group of young men watches a girl pass by at the Rialto vaporetto station in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

A group of young men watches a girl pass by at the Rialto vaporetto station, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

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