Letter from Thomas Uwins dated 3 February 1829. I have fortunately met with a good-tempered, funny, little, elderly gentleman, who will probably be my traveling companion throughout the journey. He is continually popping his head out of the window to sketch whatever strikes his fancy, and became quite angry because the conductor would not wait for him whilst he took a sunrise view of Macerata. ‚Dawn the fellow!’ says he. ‚He has no feeling.’. . . He speaks but a few words of Italian, about as much French, which two languages he jumbles together most amusingly. His good temper, however, carries him though all his troubles. I am sure you would love him for his indefatigability in his favorite pursuit. From his conversations he is evidently near kin to, if not absolutely, an artist. Probably you may know something of him. The name on his truck is, J.M.W. Turner!
Venice, Italy, consists of 120 islands situated on the Adriatic Sea, which make it a unique city with canals rather than roads. It uses boats instead of cars. Their taxi’s and lorries are also boats.
Wonderful architecture painted in lovely colours, picturesque bridges and gondolas make this the most visited city in the world. The Italian name is Venizia and has been an important trading port since 800 A.D.
400 bridges cross the canals and link the main islands of Venice. Narrow alleyways called calli run between the buildings. The Grand Canal, the city’s main canal, winds through the centre of Venice. Marble and stone palaces built between the 1100’s and 1800’s stand along both sides of the Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge crosses the canal in the heart of the city, this is the Merceria district where many good shop are among the narrow calli.
Saint Mark’s Square is the centre of activity in Venice. The Basilica of Saint Mark, is an outstanding examples of Byzantine architecture. Buildings in the Renaissance style of architecture are along the other three sides of the square. Cafes in front of these buildings are expensive but favored meeting places for tourists. The Doges’ Palace, featured in many paintings, was built as a residence for early Venetian rulers.
Superb artworks may be seen throughout Venice. The Academy of Fine Arts has an wonderful collection of paintings, including works by such Venetian masters as Titian and Tintoretto. The largest theatre in Venice, the Fenice, presents operas and plays. Many students attend Venice’s schools of art, architecture, and music.
During winter storms, floodwaters sweep through the islands, damaging buildings. Water is also weakening the foundations of Venice’s buildings, air pollution is eroding the buildings, as well as many of the city’s outdoor art treasures. Venice was sinking an average of about (5 millimeters) yearly until the mid-1970’s resulting from the removal of underground water for use by industries. The Italian government restricted the use of water from the city’s underground wells. Water pressure then built up under the islands, and the city stopped sinking.