HANGING OUT ON THE RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, ITALY: The current version was built in 1581 while the first was erected in 1181. That 12th century pontoon bridge lasted until around 1250 when it was replaced by a wooden, arched version. It lasted until 1444 when it collapsed during a wedding (What a way to remember your wedding anniversary!) Finally, in 1588 the Venetian government commissioned Antonio da Ponte and commenced building a single arc stone bridge– the one that stands there to this day. The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s top gathering places and a top site for tourists. Most of the restaurants along the canal near the bridge are high price/low quality propositions. If you go, remember you are paying for the view and not the food! The Rialto Bridge is a great place for people-watching too. It’s fun to sit and watch the sea of humanity stroll by.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, 18-200 DX zoom lens at 68mm, f32, 1/3 sec, ISO 100 Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
LAKE GARDA, ITALY: Lake Garda is in Italy’s famous Lakes Region. Lake Como is the probably the most widely known lake and it’s very popular with visitors from abroad. Italians tend to prefer Lake Orta, while Lake Garda is very popular with Germans and Austrians. Afterall, Lake Garda belonged to Austria until after WWI. The place still has a strong German feel and people there are just as likely to speak German as Italian. At 50km in length and almost 20km wide, it is the largest Italian lake. People have settled on and the near the lake since 2000BC. The Ostrogoths fortified a nearby hill and then a harbour was built. It came under Venetian control and those influences can still be seen. Much of the harbour was filled in and that is where many of today’s lakefront restaurants and hotels sit. The Giardinetto is a hotel and restaurant that sits just metres from the lake. Our meal started with a complimentary appetizer that included whole (heads, tails attached), deepfried sardines. I stuck with the calamari. I then enjoyed my main, a seafood pasta— lobster, so it was not local, but it sure was tasty. While we did not stay at the hotel, here is the Trip Advisor link to Giardinetto, Lake Garda, a very pretty place.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 and AFS 16-85 lens at 40mm, f29, 1/80 sec, ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker, pantheon photography