The Bridge of Sighs

Photo of the Day

A couple weeks ago, I had a gelato-fuelled romp through Venice, Italy. A week of traipsing through Venice’s narrow streets left me with some sore, blistered feet, but I hardly cared – after all, I had just spent a week in Venice! Can’t ask for much more than that.

The incomparable group of islands rising from the North-Italian lagoon are unique and magical. There’s really nowhere else like it. Buildings rise straight up from the water and often only leave space enough between them for a couple people to uncomfortably pass each other. That means, of course, there no room for cars and that’s almost one of the most exceptional aspects of the city. Most urban environments are so shaped by automobiles that the absence is striking.

Venice’s canals are waterways to other cities’ motorways. The Grand Canal makes a reverse-S-curve sweep through the city and its banks offer some of the best opportunities for escaping the shadows of the narrow streets. Gondolas bob over the waves churned up by the vaporettos, supply boats and water taxis on the busy thoroughfare.

But the gondolas are more at home in the small canals where fewer motorised boats can fit. Gondoliers expertly maneuver the small boats through these cramped passages usually while transporting a lovestruck couple immersing themselves in Venice’s romance.

In this photo, one such couple enjoys the tranquility below the Bridge of Sighs, one of Venice’s more famous spans. The bridge was so named due to it being the supposed last view prisoners would have of Venice before their condemnation and the sight they beheld would cause them to wistfully sigh at all they were leaving behind. The Wikipedia article on the subject, however, suggest that Lord Byron’s name for the bridge imagined the past a little more vividly than the truth.

Today, the sighs come from visitors marvelling at the beauty of Venice.

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