What I did on my Easter vacation | How About Orange

March 24, 2008

What I did on my Easter vacation

Alex and I spent last week with our good buddies Swiss Ms. and Mr. in Lugano, Switzerland. (That's Lugano, above. Population 50,000 or so, located in an Italian-speaking state on the Swiss-Italian border.) We had a fantastic time with our friends. But as far as design inspiration goes, my hopes were dashed. I couldn't find any cool fabrics or interesting stationery in Lugano. Just lots of graffiti, frequently spelling out the word "Pooh." Lugano does have a really nice gummy candy selection in the outdoor market, though. That's something.

Check out this cell phone company, photographed through the car window. I wanted to go in and tell them I speak Orange.

The four of us drove to Venice and spent a night. Before the trip, I'd imagined it as a magical, romantic place. I have to admit it was better in my head. Don't get me wrong—it's beautiful. But it feels more like a big amusement park than a real town where normal human beings live. It's overrun with tourists, souvenir carnival mask shops, and street vendors selling weird little squishy rubber dolls in rainbow colors. But the coffee is great, and so was the company. I'm really glad we went.

Above is St. Mark's Square. Home to 42% of the world's pigeon poop.

I liked the pink glass street lights.

Looks like a movie set, doesn't it? So lovely.

This is inside a church on the island of Murano, famous for glass-making. A few of the workshops were open despite it being Holy Week, and it was fascinating to watch the artisans at work.

It was a great trip. And now, back to real life.

41 comments:

Alison said...

I'd recommend visiting Venice during the off season, when there aren't as many crowds and tourists. I went on a semi-overcast day in January and it was lovely and didn't have the feel of an amusement park. (I've lived in Orlando, New Orleans and NYC, so I know what you mean.) It really did feel almost magical.

Erin said...

Ah! It looks like you had a lovely holiday - But, I'm glad you're back. My blogging hasn't been complete without being able to check your site with an update. But thanks for the cool Swiss Air Poster. That was nice.

cjh said...

I've never been to Venice but your "movie set" picture looks quite a bit like the shops at the Venetian in Vegas. Is my white trash showing? :o)

Julie_c said...

Your trip is very much like the one I went one when I was in high school. I visited both Lugano and Venice. Sorry you didn't find any great fabrics. Glad you're back, though. I enjoy your blog so much.

amy said...

i took my mom to venice (and rome) two thanksgivings ago, and in the off-season venice is much less crowded and touristy. although, being a southern girl, i was FREEZING!!! murano was awesome, even though i couldn't afford the things i saw there that i REALLY wanted. sounds like a lovely easter trip for you!

Amanda said...

Where did you stay in Venice? We are going to Italy with friends in November and just starting to figure out our hotel situation. We are only going for one night/day and your post cemented that plan for me:)!

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

oh my, i'm speechless. Those pictures are fabulous! I'm sure you had an amazing time, I've never had the opportunity to visit there, but now it's on my list for sure.

Yes, the pink glass on the street lights is just too cool. I've never seen that before.

Sarah said...

Those pink street lights went on my inspiration board today...I'm so happy you enjoyed your trip!

Nico said...

Totally agree with you on Venice - it feels like fake Venice or Disneyland.

Cesarina said...

that phone company you mentioned up there, its actually pretty huge hahaha
i love in dominican republic, and we have it here. it's sort of like cingular in US

Sarah Jayne said...

It's a beautiful part of the world - looks like you had a great time.

missy said...

what a wonderful vacation! venice is so romantic...it's been 7 or so years since i visited, but i remember the feeling i got walking around the streets...like you're in a dream. glad you're back! love your blog!

StichingSurgeon said...

i agree with your opinion of venice...very beautiful but soooo packed with tourists! I had played it up in my head waaaay more than it turned out to be.

High Desert Diva said...

Wow! What an Easter vacation.

Love the Do you speak Orange sign...too funny.

Michelle said...

Love your blog and love this post! Beautiful pictures of the dreamland that is Venice. (You really should go back during their slower season.)Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

Hey Amanda, we stayed here. The photos on the website make it look a little more glamorous than it is, but it was definitely satisfactory.

steviewren said...

OMG, not back to real life after that! Even if it wasn't as great as in your head, it must have been really fun.

Some friends of mine went to Venice a few summers ago and they said it stunk. At least you went at a less stinky time of the year. : )

Marcie said...

Do you use a filter on your camera? Your photos are wonderful!

Allison Fouse said...

I love, love, love those pink glass street lights. Looking at them makes me feel like I'm in a fairy tale. And that chandelier? Killer.

Lisa said...

Wow! I loved looking at your pictures! Welcome back to the blogging world...

Eggman Studios said...

Lovely! I went to Venice a year ago on a three-week trip around Italy--right around late Fall. It was a bit crowded, but not too bad. I loved it! It is crammed with street vendors selling fake crap and touristy traps, but when you stumble upon the "hidden" Venice, it's marvelous.

I remember one evening I was exploring around the side alleys and there was a small group of young boys with their backpacks running home from school (taking shortcuts to get around the tourists, no doubt). What a place to grow up in!

Amanda said...

Thanks much! I'll check it out.

vic said...

I am starting my honeymoon tour of Italy in a few weeks, in Venice. I hope it lives up to my expectations! Lovely pics.

Nathalie said...

Ah Jess, so cool you were in Lugano, my parents live there !My dad works at the Casino.
Not very exciting from the art point of view but the landscape is so nice isn't it ! Did you take the little boat out in the lake :) ?

Tamar said...

Hi Jessica, I'm new to your fabulous blog and, well, wow! I thought you might like to know that in Israel, where Orange is a major cell phone company as well, your phone says "Sounds wonderful. Sounds Orange!" in Hebrew when you turn it on.

gertru aka campanita or diabolikitty said...

nice easter vacation! ;)

Anonymous said...

Another way to enjoy Venice is to venture onto the other side of the Grand Canal (by other side, I mean the side that doesn't have St. Mark's Sq) and get away from the main tourist drag. Get lost a little, find a nice little piazza where no one is speaking english, german, french, anything but Italian. Sit down at a little cafe and have some wine and a meal. Perfect.

Jess said...

Nathalie, wow. Maybe I passed them on the street, who knows??? That would be pretty crazy.

Tamar, that's the most interesting thing I've heard all day. I love it! Wish my phone said that. Boring old Sprint.

Marcie, I think I had the "vivid blue" setting on for most of these with blue in them. That explains the saturated blueness.

Anon, that sounds so lovely! We didn't quite figure out how to do that. But we did have a nice dinner at a restaurant we liked. I had liver and onions, Venetian style. So tasty.

47cats said...

I'm glad you are back and that you had a great time. I missed my "orange". :)

Pina said...

I was in Venice a couple of times, in all seasons. The best time was at the beginning of May, not so crowded, not smelly and quite warm. Well, maybe I enjoyed it then so much because I had no map and I just strolled through the streets where tourists usually don't go...

Michelle said...

Wow, hope you enjoyed it, what am I saying of course you did! Did it flood while you were there, it is so magical at night when it floods, with the horns and the mist...

Inger C said...

Ah! This is beautiful! I want to travel! Fantastic photos!
/Inger Carina

Jess said...

Michelle, no flooding. That sounds interesting.

Laurie said...

What an amazing trip!! Your pictures are incredible. I can't wait to experience Venice. It's on my destination list. ;)

ambular22685 said...

i know, venice is really magically bizarre and beautiful.

but did you stay overnight? the first time i went it was a day trip, and i felt the same way.

but the second time i went it was for 3 days and i stayed there overnight. it's much more interesting and even more magical at night time. you get to see the paradoxes between the day-time tourist-filled venice and the night-time eerily-lit softer venice.

<3

star said...

mmm...my hubby would be thrilled about the gummy candy! lol he's a freak for that stuff. :)

Mrs.French said...

jealous much? yes that's me...looks like you had a wonderful time.

jenicrob said...

I can't believe you beat me to visit Swiss Ms. & Mr. Lucky you! And, you were very gracious in your response to Anon. I would have replied, "Dear Anon., if you're going to criticize my tourist habits in a snooty, passive-aggressive way, the least you could do is have the courage to identify yourself. But, I guess that wouldn't be passive and hence, not your style."

jenicrob said...

P.S. Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe it was a perfectly innocent recommendation with no snooty undertones. But it so, why the anonymity? Oh well.

Jess said...

I think because some people are shy about revealing their identity on the internet. They ought to be, because otherwise I will hunt them down and steal their credit card information. I took it as innocent and helpful, but I'm also the person who sucked at the guess if this smile is fake quiz.

on your bike sunshine: Béa & Réré said...

okay, just a tad behind everyone....
as they say;"the future's bright. the future's orange."

haven't mentionned yet I have been a quiet reader for a loooong while and thank you for all the unsual funnny websites. and the whole blog actually.

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