Vivacious Venice: The Third Time’s a Charm

It is often said that the third time’s a charm… Though I don’t believe that even the most hapless travel endeavor could ever be classified as a failure — since the opportunity to learn about oneself or the world is too great — my third visit to Venice was nevertheless the most enchanting.

My first forays past Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs were too hurried, and the second jaunt was too claustrophobic given Carnevale celebrations.

However, my most recent visit was just right: riding in a gondola with sensational spring skies overhead, racing against the blazing sun to devour glorious gelato before it melted into a colorful canal of its own, and pondering all the vignettes that for centuries have unfolded on Venice’s waterways.

Venice Gondolas black and white

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

Truman Capote
Artist Sketch Venice

“Venice… A splendor of miscellaneous spirits.”

John Ruskin
Gondolas Venice black and white

“If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is – Venice is better.”

Fran Lebowitz
Venetian Mask

“It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.”

Erica Jong

“A realist in Venice would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him.” 

Arthur Symons
Venice Italy Gondolier black white

“There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed to habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.” 

Mary Shelley

Have you visited the so-called Floating City? If so, what are your fondest memories or your favorite spots to explore there?

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and a co-founder of Eloquence. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta, as well as Heidelberg, Germany. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Though they are currently nomadic, they look forward to establishing a European home someday. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

34 thoughts on “Vivacious Venice: The Third Time’s a Charm

  1. Oh Tricia. These portraits of Venice underscore that the third time was indeed the charm for you. You have captured the magical, romantic side of Venice beautifully. Gondolas, canals and of course hats. A lovely blend of black and white and color.

    1. Mille grazie, Lynne. :) Now that’s not to say that Carnevale did not offer a magical second visit! I very much enjoyed seeing men and women dressed in tufts of elegant, elaborate fabric, donning gorgeous masks. Many of these revelers’ four-legged companions were even in costume!

    1. Anita, prior to today, I’d never seen the Capote quote, but I have to agree. Chocolate liqueurs might even be replaced with a rainbow selection of gelato or scrumptious array of pasta too. :)

  2. Tricia these are without a shadow of a doubt the absolutely most gorgeous photographs of Venice I have Ever seen. You have captured the spirit that is Venice. Virginia

    1. Virginia – mamma mia, what a tremendous compliment! Thank you. I’m sure during past visits to Venice, that you gleaned much recipe development inspiration?

      On a side note, we have not yet planned our journey north but I will keep you posted. :) Hope you’re having a splendid weekend!

    1. Carol, remembering my wonderful times there makes me want to pack mine too! Currently, we’re recharging our batteries with family in the United States, but a road trip is just around the corner. :) Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

  3. Perfect quotes, perfect post! I’ve made visits one and two. The first was on a day trip because we were just close enough, and didn’t know if we’d have the chance again. The second time we were staying at the Lido and made visits in and around the lagoon.
    In February my daughter gets married and will be spending her honeymoon there. (for part of Carnevale) I am tasked with booking it for her, so my third visit will be a vicarious one.

    1. Jo, what an exciting honeymoon destination and time of year for her to visit! Will she and her husband don any costumes then? Though I found the Carnevale visit to be really hectic, I’d return in a heartbeat if we were to sport costumes!
      Thanks for your wonderful comment. :)

      1. She’s sewing like crazy for the wedding and has always been into masks since we brought her one home many years ago. She makes basques and the like and takes part in Victorian and Georgian events so it’s absolutely her! I have to time it so they have 2 days of hectic then some quiet romance.

  4. This is a superb post. Your photographs are gorgeous. Beautifully framed and converted to B&W. And I love your selection of quotes. I am interested to see one by Arthur Symons as I may be writing an essay about his poetry next year. In answer to your question, I have been to Venice four times, so far: June 1986, August 1987, February 1989 for carnival – in costume And finally, the best, a full week in March 1995. We walked and walked and loved every minute of it.

    1. Rachael, how fun to have gone in costume for Carnevale! You must have some pictures to share of your costumes, as well as those of other revelers? I shall look forward to seeing your essay on Symons too.

      Your kind comments are really appreciated – thank you so much!

  5. Lovely photos, they really suit black and white too. I’ve only been to Venice once years ago in a foggy January (atmospheric but freezing!) but would love to go back and take photos there.

    1. Lucy, my February Carnevale visit several years ago was also mysterious and foggy, creating a very different ambience from what I tried to capture in these pictures. I’m like you – now that I have my first DSLR camera, I’m eager to return to many spots so that I can catch them on camera again!

  6. I think I may have to visit Italy on a honeymoon because I just want to explore the whole entire county with my significant other, driving around, taking trains, and taking a dip in the lovely coast! Your photos are amazing, as always!

    1. Antoinette, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your flattering compliment!

      I agree that Italy has so very much to offer and that it would be fun to share it with a special someone. From the canals of Venice, to belly-bulging cuisine in Bologna, to intriguing ruins in Sicily and Rome and beautiful architecture in Florence, I’ve loved every moment in Italy. The next time we’re there, I’d love to do a road trip through some of the quieter towns and countryside. My husband and I went on this Venice trip last spring, in conjunction with my husband’s coursework. I took a week off of work and explored towns with him when he didn’t have class, and explored by train solo, when it was time for him to hit the books. Ah, ‘la dolce vita!’

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