Marty’s photos of the day #2761: I remember learning about Venice, when I was in high school, and being absolutely fascinated. Also, several years ago I stumbled upon a wonderful novel by Megan Chance, “Inamorata,” that took place in 19th century Venice. So when the Within Temptation concert enticed Deb and me to travel to Italy earlier this month, Venice was another irresistible temptation. Just how does a city of a quarter million people function in the modern world without cars? What’s it like to walk through a maze of narrow alleys—and get lost like so many others before us? Two immediate observations were that the city felt extremely safe—even walking alleys at night—and I was so glad we visited during the off-season. I’d much rather put on a coat and share the city with sparse crowds than enjoy warmer weather while fighting swarms of tourists.

For the next two days, I’m going to take a break from my usual wildlife photos to share with you a series of pictures I took in Venice. Enjoy!

Note about the first photo: Since Venice is a city of water and foot travel, everyone must leave their cars on the outskirts. We parked in a huge ramp and were lucky enough to get on the top level. That allowed me to take as close as one can get to an aerial shot of the city without being in an airplane.