Destinations Magazine

Venice - Santa Croce Walk

By Laurawh77 @travladventurer
Grand Canal
The following morning Sarah and I allowed ourselves to sleep in until 9am. Which was very late consider out schedule throughout the trip. We decided to make our way, lesiurely, down through Santa Croce, over towards Dorsoduro where we were going to visit a few of the big Museums and Galleries in Venice. We hopped across the Ponte Scalzi and cross over to the south side of the Canal.  Immediately we were amazed at how different the side we were "living" on looked from across the canal. Suddenly all the things our necks craned to make out were right there in front of us in all their lush and saturated colours. Grand Canal
The thing about Venice that no one really makes a point of is, it's all about the details. Venetian architects were obsessed with gothic decoration, renaissance patterns and architectural flourishes to adorn every facet of daily life. Venice was a crown jewel in the bright blue water of the Adriatic and it was not going to be one easily washes away but the waters and forgotten by other, growing cities. Venice was small, but every inch of it was embellished.
  DSC_0860 Delivering food and wares into Venice isn't easy. Everything needs to be carried in on a boat and unloaded mostly by hand. There is no dominated mechanical presence in Venice. Scaffolding is used instead of huge cranes and workers carry in carefully packaged foods from their boats. DSC_0865
Our little walk through Santa Croce took us through Giardini Papadopoli which was a beautiful little park nestled into this hidden corner of the city. Since Venice is so small and built on the water there is very little green space but this secret garden is a wonderful spot to bring a picnic or even just take a break from your busy day and sit listening to the sounds of the boating passing through the water. The Park was built on the site of a demolished convent, for which this area is named after. This little park was a popular place for extravagant parties in the 19th century. Today it houses beautiful flora from Italy and even has a little park for children to play in. Children are another anomaly in Venice, but hidden throughout the city are schools and even playgrounds.Giardini Papadopoli
Here I found a very unique house I founds while walking through Santa Croce's backstreets. It's amazing how the color of the bricks fades away as it rises towards the sky. Almost as if I had applied a photoshop gradient effect to the house - but this is all very real. I adore the oval windows which reflect the architects design of the arched rooftop. And the green shutters compliment the yellow colouring of the exterior bricks. Santa Croce is really the perfect place to see architecture from traditional and non-regal Venetians. It is simple but beautiful. Venice Houses
Santa Croce has a calm and cool charm which other areas of Venice lack. It isn't the tourist center, far from it, but it houses some precious little treasures. But beware, this area is impossible to navigate, so be prepared for dead ends and impossible to cross canals. One thing in Venice which is great is the Traghetti. These Gondolas cross from one side of the canal to the other, sounds stupid and waste of money but it only costs about fifty cents and can save you sometimes 30 minutes off your journey. Plus you get to ride in a Gondola! The traghetti are marked throughout the city with these gorgeous green lanterns speckled with multi-coloured murano glass. We hoped on the traghetti and traveled across the canal in our Gondola, and although it only last a minute it was fun! Don't miss it. DSC_0887
Once across the River we walked pass San Stae, a beautiful church designed in the 17th century a a burial site to the Doge Alvise Mocenigo. This style of hyper detailed statues and decoration is in line with the Palladian styles from Roman and one over the garish and gaudy Venetian's and today stands as one of their most prized churches. Although we were seeing many a beautiful site we were hopelessly lost and behind schedule. Below is an example of the plethora of signs you are bombarded with. But not on every corner, oh no, they save them all up for just one alleyway and leave it to you to decipher where to go next.  As we wove our way back from another dead end we decided it was time for break and time to stop for lunch....a well deserved and relaxed lunch. DSC_0884

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