Venice Travel Blog is an extension of our travel-planning Web site, Venice for Visitors, which PC Magazine has called "the premier visitors' site for Venice, Italy." We hope you'll visit often, and we invite you to post your comments about traveling or living in Venice. If you're fond of animals, take a look at our dog blog, Maggie in Venice: A Bearded Collie's Adventures in Italy.
Finally, if you're traveling to Venice for the first time, don't miss our "Introducing Venice" article at Veniceforvisitors.com.
ABOVE: Ingo Bollhöfer caught a seagull in flight with a water taxi, a vaporetto station, and Venice's Dogana di Mare in the background.
By day, Ingo Bollhöfer is the managing director of a German software firm. In his off-hours, he takes pictures--including images of Venice, which he's been visiting since 2004. He recently shared a portfolio of his color and monochrome photos with us, and we think they're fantastic.
We've reproduced a handful of images from Herr Bollhöfer's portfolio here. To see more, click the link at the end of this post.
ABOVE: A dog takes a break outside a pizza and kebab shop.
ABOVE: A pigeon whisperer communes with a flock of feathered friends.
ABOVE: You're never too young to enjoy photography in Venice.
Venetians and Venetophiles often wax nostalgic about the days when central Venice had more than 150,000 residents. (Since World War II, the centro storico's population has dropped to about 58,000.) They conveniently forget how many of those old-time Venetians lived in overcrowded apartments without modern conveniences.
In the photo above, you can see the entrance to municipal showers in the city center where poorer Venetians once went to bathe. Today, the showers are gone, having been replaced by public toilets.
The toilets are expensive--1,50 euros for tourists, less for locals--so it shouldn't be surprising that some visitors and residents whiz directly into canals. (And why not, you may ask, since most of Venice's raw sewage is flushed into the canals anyway?) This is not a good idea, especially if you've been drinking, since tipsy tinklers have been known to slip, fall into canals, and drown. We once saw a body floating in a canal near our apartment in San Polo the morning after Martedi Grasso, or "Fat Tuesday," when boozing and canalside urination are rampant.
ABOVE: This video from Gondolas4all shows how the service works. (If you'd like to donate to the nonprofit project, click the "Donate Today!" ad in the video.)
Venice is a more accessible city than you might guess, despite its more than 400 footbridges--nearly all with steps. If you plan your sightseeing carefully, you can explore much of the city center by wheelchair over level pavement, using the public vaporetti (water buses) to get from one accessible area to the next. (We cover the basics in our "Accessible Venice" article at Veniceforvisitors.com.)
Still, until recently, you were out of luck if you wanted to enjoy one classic Venice sightseeing experience in a wheelchair: taking a gondola ride. Gondolas4all, a project that launched in spring of 2016, has rendered that limitation obsolete with a wheelchair-friendly pier and gondola next to the Piazzale Roma on the edge of Venice's historic center.
The Gondolas4all pier has a mechanical lift that picks up your wheelchair, slides it horizontally over the gondola, and lowers the wheelchair into the boat. And that's it: Once the wheelchair is in the boat, you and your companions enjoy a standard gondola ride.
For more about Gondolas4all, including a booking form, visit:
The Gondolas4all pier is on the Fondamenta Cossetti, just south of the wheelchair-accessible Hotel Santa Chiara on the Rio Novo next to the Piazzale Roma.
Use the Google Map below to find it, and be sure to book your ride ahead of time. (Gondolas4All is in the rectangular notch on the left side of the canal below the words "Rio Novo." If you zoom in, you'll see "Gondolas4all" on the Google Maps 3D view.)