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Gondola Sunset in Venice by Andrew Braithwaite

Venice by boat

Gondola Sunset in Venice by Andrew Braithwaite Creative Commons Attribution

Traffic never seemed so romantic as at sunset in Venice, when smooching echoes under the Bridge of Sighs from passing gondolas. Impossible though it seems, Venetians built their home on 117 small islands connected by some 400 bridges over 150 canals. But if floating marble palaces boggle the mind, consider what’s underneath them: an entire forest’s worth of wood pylons, rammed through the silt into the clay lagoon floor. Road rage is not an issue in a town with no actual roads, though boaters do sometimes call ‘Ooooooeeee!’ around blind corners to avoid collisions with rookie rowers. Without honking or gunning engines, you might not initially recognise the sounds of morning rush hour: footsteps rushing to catch the vaporetto (water bus) and oars gently slapping canal waters.