14 August 2014

Burano ( part two )

The quaint and quirky island of Burano provides a visual feast for the travel photographer with its customary cats ...
... and laundry that seems to match the wall colour

... and then there are the entrance curtains with a variety that rather fascinated me - as the following will show!!



Even the occasional patch of peeling paint 
had a certain pleasing aesthetic


There are many attractive cafes and restaurants  

And when the day trippers leave and the light fades a little ...

I paused and reflected how lovely it is and how lucky I am 
I had always wanted to see Burano and I am so glad I now have ...

But it is time to leave now ...

On the last ferry boat 

 Arrivederci Burano

Across the lagoon to Venice
 with a great big sigh ...

Colour my World

It's a grey old day here in Perth and my day dreams are
 transporting me to a most colourful place
 I visited on my recent trip in Italy.

The island of Burano is somewhere 
I wanted to see for myself
 and of course photograph the colourful houses it is famous for.

  Now reliant on fishing and tourism, 
Burano is actually made up of four small islands linked by bridges.

Home to just 3,000 residents, called Buranelli, they speak 
a different dialect of Venetian, 
 even though Venice lies just 7 kms across the lagoon.

Living in a high density situation with very little green space
means a garden for many consists of numerous flower pots which all adds to the appeal.

Apart from the many boats, there are no vehicles,
 but the children can ride bicycles ...

   ... and there seems to be one parked outside most houses!

 At first glance the almost garish colours have you pondering 
why the Italians would choose to do this, with their usual preference for more subtle shades such as ochre and terracotta,
 or the soft gelati tones ...

But after spending hours wandering the back streets and lanes
 I came to a happy acceptance that Burano is indeed a most charming 
and unique place and will be etched in my visual memory for ever.

 Legend has it that the fisherman originally painted their houses 
in bright colours so they could be recognised 
through the fog as they sailed home.
Others say they were painted to match their boats...

Apparently specific colours have been used by the same families 
for centuries and over time a colouring system has developed.
These are strictly regulated and must be approved 
by a government department!

Wow and wow again!

Part two to follow ...

18 June 2014

Across the Lagoon

When in Venice a visit to the glass showrooms on the island
 of Murano is almost a must whether you are in the market for glassware, or not!

Besides any excuse to catch a speedboat 
across the lagoon again...

It's pleasant enough to watch the short demonstration 
of different ways to make a glass ornament

Of course I wasn't planning to buy a thing, but as is often the case a charming salesman named Danielo convinced me in the nicest way possible that I would never regret purchasing some genuine 
Murano glasses and I could even pass them on to my grandchildren.
I am sure they would be thrilled !

So this is how it transpired ...

Joanna - "I am really just looking, thank you"
Danielo - "I did notice you seemed to admire this hand crafted set".

Joanna - "Well, it is fun and if the "master" could possibly replace the red glass with a turquoise glass and then remove 
the red band on the jug and replace it with the same turquoise?"

Danielo - " Why, of course we can and we will ship them for 
free and even sign the bottom of the jug with your name".

Signed, sealed and to be delivered ...

It is the only special thing I bought all trip 
and we actually do need some casual glasses ...

They even arranged their speed boat, "Scout", to whisk me over to the fisherman's island of Burano just in time for lunch at a charming little restaurant that judging by all the glassware,
 I think may have been owned by one of their relations.
 Surprise, surprise! 

These folk were enjoying a slow boat to Burano

Burano in the distance with the leaning clock tower

I did not complain about the choice of restaurant,
 as I was served the classic dish 
of home made pasta with a delicious white wine sauce 
and freshly caught vongole. 

A perfect finish to a busy morning.

 Now to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring
 and photographing the colourful streets 
and pretty squares of the delightful island of Burano.

Something I have really looked forward to ...

16 June 2014

Could this be the World's Most Unique Bookshop!

On my recent photography walk in Venice my guide steered 
me to a very unusual bookshop called 
Libreria Acqua Alta 

This means something like "bookseller high water".

High water is the well known phenomenon that occurs in Venice 
in the winter when the tides and wind cause a large inflow 
of water into the Venetian lagoon. 

The eccentric, but most affable owner, Luigi Rizzo 
and his friendly cat Tiger

When the shops floods as it regularly does,
this gondola full of books, simply floats!

As do the scattered bath tubs ... 

 Love the humour in this fire exit sign

This charming Venetian gentleman happily chatted 
about his thoughts and feelings on the future of Venice

 I reflected on how intrigued my father, Jack Atkinson
 and my favourite uncle, Basil Atkinson,
 both journalists and keen readers, would have been with this quirky place.

 I guess this is one way to deal with all 
those obsolete encyclopedias in the world ...

Even the stairs are made of old and somewhat soggy books!

An unexpected and fascinating visit indeed.