Love is a Many Splendoured Thing

Two weeks ago my daughter, Annie, married Sam….in VENICE. How exciting!

About Venice. Comprised of six districts, or sestieri: Dorsoduro; San Marco; Castello; Cannaregio, Santa Croce and San Polo. 117 mini islands are separated by a labyrinth of canals, and the one Canal Grande that weaves its way through the city. Venice is built on a series of low mud banks in the midst of the Adriatic. The foundations – or what ‘keeps it afloat’ – are layers of compacted clay and sand (caranto), closely packed timber piles, with upper layers of Istrian stone. Getting around Venice is either by foot or water craft. Lots of up and down over bridges, getting lost. Buildings and pallazo facades ornately boast architectural design from Byzantine through Gothic, Renaissance to Baroque centuries.

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There’s so much to experience in Venice – if you haven’t already – and so much that can be written. This is, after all, the city that inspired great writers, most notably Ernest Hemmingway, Ezra Pound, Robert Browning, John Ruskin. The famous bellini cocktail originated in Harry’s Bar, alongside St Mark’s Square.

While tourists flock to, particularly, the area of San Marco, we like to stay in Cannaregio where the majority of the locals reside, and in close proximity to the quayside.  Here we see Venetians going about their daily lives, the water traffic heading out for the working day, taste the wines and cicchetti in small, welcoming bars at night.

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Photos: sunrise along the quayside

But, this is about Annie and Sam’s wedding. A small number (five of us) arrived in Venice to attend the happy occasion. It wouldn’t be a visit to Venice without a gondola ride, so of course, we did.

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Photos: Riding in a gondola (Maia, Oliver, Sam & Annie);  Maia at our favourite local bar

The ceremony took place late morning at the Municipal Hall near Rialto Bridge. A grand luncheon followed at the Alle Corone Restaurant (Ai Reale Hotel), only a few streets away on the edge of the Castello district. In an elegant, private dining room, with gondoliers floating by as a backdrop, we experienced the best of wines, hospitality and a menu that included: a shared platter of seafood cicchetti; ravioli with duck, chestnut sauce and truffles; foie gras and escalope; sea bass with artichokes and quinoa.

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Photos: “Cheers” before the ceremony; just married; Arriving Hotel Ai Reali; our dining setting

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Photos: Seafood cicchetti; Ravioli with duck and truffles; tiramisu;  the newlyweds

What a splendid and memorable occasion it was! Wishing Annie and Sam ‘happy every after’.

“I have been between heaven and earth since our arrival at Venice……never have I touched the skirts of so celestial a place.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning


© Photos and text Pamela Reid/tPRo