The sounds of Venice

While Venice is certainly a feast for the eyes and mouth, I try to pay attention to what I am hearing as well.  The narrow canals and walkways create a peculiar resonance. Sounds are channeled and amplified.

This is especially true because there is so little greenery in the city. There are no lawns,and few trees and gardens in public spaces. So people plant things anywhere they can find a spot, but that’s often on balconies and rooftops which doesn’t dampen the sound at canal-level.


the way sound reverberates on the canals means that the ambulance is sure to be heard

In the morning before the city stirs, you hear individual seagulls crying or groups of them squabbling over choice bits of garbage. Soon the occasional boat motors past in the canal, no doubt someone delivering this day’s needed supplies to hotels, fresh markets and stores. Later, on the bigger canals, the many sounds merge into the song of commerce. But the space is bigger so it is not overwhelming.

I’ve been startled by church bells ringing, long loud peals that go on for minutes from multiple churches. Each church bell can ring more than 100 times, certainly not common in other places I’ve visited or lived. These bells evoke a satisfying sense of all being right with the world.

 Yesterday, we finally heard a gondolier singing as he steered his vessel down our local canal. As he and his passengers neared another gondola, the other gondolier joined in, and another. They even sang some harmony! It was a magical moment.




IMG_8070Every so often we come upon a campo (small piazza) with a musician playing an accordion or guitar. The best was when we came across a string trio playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. They were quite good. We stood there entralled for some time, finally giving the little boy in front of us our spare change to put in the trio’s open violin case.

 And the night we took the vaporetto to Piazza San Marco, we heard three different bands playing there. Piano, strings, winds, really they were almost small orchestras. But the space is so vast that their music did not compete with one another. Couples danced, children ran, lovers strolled, all to the sounds of wonderfully Italian music.

As I think about it, the best part of all of these sounds is that they don’t have to compete with cars and trucks. That makes it so much easier to pay attention, be present, to the music of Venice.


Planning your own trip to Italy? Get my Italy travel tips and my recommendations by clicking here, and send me an email with Italy Travel Tips in the subject line. I’ll even send a sample itinerary. Ciao!

Other essays on the Trip to Italy:

Rules for buying veggies in Venice

Clinging to the best of the past – the Cinque Terre

Falling Asleep with Galileo – Pisa

Sensory overload in Florence

What is art anyway? Musing from Florence

The passionate Italian lives in Siena

Evening strolls in Italy

No ordinary Sunday in Rome

Digesting Italy

If you like my blog, you’ll enjoy my book, Manifesting Paradise, available on Amazon. Receive my posts automatically by filling in your email address in the “follow” box at the top of the right column. And please join my mailing list.


About Diane Scheurell

I'm a writer and author. Check out my book, Manifesting Paradise on Amazon, and my blog, I talk about Hawaii and the transformation tools I used to achieve my dreams.
This entry was posted in Being present, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The sounds of Venice

  1. sherbalong says:

    OMG.. incredible ~ thanks for sharing ~ From: Manifesting Paradise To: Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2015 3:57 AM Subject: [New post] The sounds of Venice #yiv2358360152 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2358360152 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2358360152 a.yiv2358360152primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2358360152 a.yiv2358360152primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2358360152 a.yiv2358360152primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2358360152 a.yiv2358360152primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2358360152 | dianescheurell posted: ”  While Venice is certainly a feast for the eyes and mouth, I try to pay attention to what I am hearing as well.  The narrow canals and walkways create a peculiar resonance. Sounds are channeled and amplified.     &n” | |

  2. Pingback: Rules for buying veggies in Venice | Manifesting Paradise

  3. Pingback: Clinging to the best of the past – the Cinque Terre | Manifesting Paradise

  4. Pingback: Falling asleep with Galileo – Pisa | Manifesting Paradise

  5. Pingback: Sensory overload in Florence | Manifesting Paradise

  6. Pingback: What is art anyway? Musings from Florence | Manifesting Paradise

  7. Pingback: The passionate Italian lives in Siena | Manifesting Paradise

  8. Pingback: Evening Strolls in Italy | Manifesting Paradise

  9. Pingback: No Ordinary Sunday in Rome | Manifesting Paradise

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s