Figure/Ground

Italia

THE BIG THREE

Roma (Rome) [ 73 photos ]
Firenze (Florence) [ 63 photos ]
Venezia (Venice) [ 59 photos ]

TUSCANY

Pisa [ 23 photos ]
Siena [ 15 photos ]
San Gimignano [ 11 photos ]

UMBRIA

Assisi [ 14 photos ]
Orvieto [ 21 photos ]
Parugia [ 9 photos ]

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

Bologna [ 8 photos ]

VENETO

Verona [ 26 photos ]

LOMBARDIA

Milano (Milan) [ 12 photos ]

AND THEN...

Holy See (Vatican City) [ 22 photos ]

EXTRA

People [ 26 photos ]
Market [ 27 photos ]
Cars [ 7 photos ]
Miscellaneous [ 12 photos ]

ARCHITECTURE

Jubilee Church
   - Richard Meier [ 29 photos ]

Auditorium Parco della Musica
   - Renzo Piano [ 31 photos ]

Tomba Brion
   - Carlo Scarpa [ 32 photos ]

It was almost 11 at night as we arrived in Venice by car. After parking in the garage at the edge of the city we crossed a small footbridge and entered Venice proper.

It was quiet and deserted. We were the only ones around. The only sounds we heard were of the water crashing against the sides of the canals. It's hard to describe that moment, "mysterious" is a word that repeatedly comes to mind. It's really unlike any city I've ever seen. No roads. No cars. No bikes. Just narrow canals after narrow canals and small bridges after small bridges. It was surreal. Seeing it all for the first time in the still darkness of the night added to the allure. Wandering around the empty city looking for a room to stay (all the rooms were booked! and we thought it was the "off-season"), crossing the endless maze-like tangle of alleys and canals and getting hopelessly lost despite repeatedly consulting our map, I didn't want the night to end. Sure I was lost and tired, but I wanted to soldier on into the mystery that is Venice. What will she reveal! Even now, I can hear the sounds of our footsteps and the waters reverberating in the still of that night.

I've heard from more than one friend who's been to Italy that Venice doesn't need more than a day or so. How wrong they were! What I was never told was how amazing the city itself is. It might not have as much to "see" as Florence or Rome, but the city itself is its greatest attraction. I love cities more than the art or artifacts they might hold so it's perfect for me. I could happily wander for days in the quiet residential parts of the city, photographing every corner.

All images and text copyright © Liao Yusheng. He can be reached at liao@yusheng.ca.