A video my last night in Venice, hope you like it.

I initially didn’t have the intention of doing long and complex videos because my mini computer is too slow to edit them properly so I’ll go back to do simpler things next time, in the video you can see around 160 clips plus another 75 that I haven’t finally used. Way too much, it’s taken me three more days to edit it than what I expected but I think it’s worth it.

Just a clarification, the Acqua Alta is not related to Venice sinking. They are two unrelated topics. Venice sinks about 0.5 cm a year and it’s been estimated that it has sunk 23 cm during the last century and there are records of Acqua Alta for centuries, the only difference is that the water get’s higher now that the land is lower.
This December there was one of the highest water ever of over 160 centimeters.

Appart from O sole mio, the music is from Smoked City and Adriano Celentano.

Next pics and writting from Slovenia, a country you can like or love.



I have found Venice absolutely impressive, it´s an extravagant city, it does not make sense to be constructed as it is but this is what makes it so special. The simplicity arriving to the train station is different to any other. During the last minutes you can only see water on both sides of the railway, once in the station instead of seeing the buses and taxis ready to take you to your hotel, you just find a channel and a bridge. In the channel you get the vaporetto (public transport boats) that takes you to your hotel, and that’s how you spend your time in Venice, with no cars, lights or traffic.

With Venice I’m in the same situation as in Rome, doesn´t make sense to compile a list of the monuments and their history, National Geographic has alreado done so and for sure much better than me. However, but this time it is special. I´m going to show you the pictures as to how I saw Venice! 

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My first hours in Venice were absolutely special. Knowing that Venice would be incredible what I saw enveloped me, as I walked the streets nearly in ecstasy. There was beautiful light and I was there, taking my time to look at everything and being impressed by each channel, bridge and corner. An hours walk became four hours.

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My accommodation was in La Giudecca island, in front of San Marks just two stops by vaporetto.

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It doesn’t matter whether you look into a small channel or a big one, you’ll always be looking into something beautiful.

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My place, an old restored wheat storehouse.

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Padre Pio is present all over Italy. I find his innocent boy’s face funny.

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Peggy Guggenheim museum, a treasure full of XX century art. In the entrance there is a hunging Calder Mobile. You also find a sculpture garden and pictures Braque, Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Klee, Giacometti and Kandinsky amongst others.

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 The gondolas and their tourists. During the XVI century there were 10.000 of them.

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Everything goes on in the channels, there’s always boats moving all kind of things, from one place to another.

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There was fog for two days and instead of spoiling the views it gave Venice a mystic feeling.

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Out of Saint Marks surroundings normal life continues, people with grocery shops, or hanging out the clothes. Normally dropping a garment when you are hanging is a pain, but inVenice it must be worse.

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 Carnival flowers left over from a few days before.

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Every tower is leaning.

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It´s full of colonnaded streets that inter-twine with bridges. Faith in the map is needed, believe it and keep going to that alley that looks like a dead end.

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Getting fuel in La Giudecca island.

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Specially during weekends the aquatic-squares become full of gondolas waiting for their  tourists.

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Supposedly Marco Poló´s house. Marco Polo also gives the name to the airport and to a travelling magazine. Surprisingly there´s not a museum dedicated to him.

With Marco polo I have to stop for a while as he is an important character on my trip. From all the Silk route explorers during the later centuries he’s the most famous. His stories have influenced generations to this day, but maybe one of the biggest to be inspired was Christopher Columbus as he wanted to visit the places written about in Marco Polo’s book, The Book of Wonders. It was found in his belongings with annotations, he wrote it during his 1492 trip. Maybe if Marco Polo hadn’t gone to Asia and wrote the book Columbus wouldn’t have discovered America at that time and current history would be different.

Marco Polo was not the first European to reach Central Asia oe China, however he was the first to document it and the first one that made Europe aware of what Asia was, he even had the first mention of Japan(in the Chinese name Zipang or Cipango) in western literature. Marco Polo’s father was called Nicolo and was an important Venetian merchant. During this time Asian product arrived to Europe via the middle east countries. They were the middle-men and were Muslims. Venice and other ports received the goods to re-sell them around Europe making a lot of money. They became wealthy and important places so they started more aggressive merchant strategies exploring the routes to avoid the middle-men along way.

In 1255 Nicolo went to Asia with his brother(Marco Polo’s uncle) Maffeo. On their ways they met Kublai Khan (Ghengis Khan, the Mongol emperor unifier that I’ll talk about in detail in the future as he’s a reference in the silk road). Kublai Khan was very interested in the political and economical management of Europe as well as in religion so he ordered Nicolo and Maffeo as his ambassadors to go to the pope and give him a letter to have him send 100 educated people from the seven arts (grammar,  hetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy) so he could compare his religion and see which was right (wise and open minded the Khan).

When Marco Polo’s dad came back to Venice to fulfill his mission Marco Polo was 17 so he decided to bring him to China on his second trip. The came back 24 years later after 24.000 kilometers, something hugely impressive for the time.
When he was back he participated in a battle with Geneva (a commercial rival at that time), he was captured and put into jail. Here he dictated to his jail mate his adventures around central Asia and China creating the book “The Travels of Marco Polo” also called ‘The Book of Wonders’

During the 24 years he served Kublai Khan as ambassador getting to know Chinese culture which was more developed then European culture in many aspects. Currently there’s a big controversy about his story and about the truthfulness of what

Marco Polo tells. He forgets to relate some important facts of the time about the Chinese empire, such as the creation of the great wall. It’s been demonstrated also that on occasions he forgets to explain the most important economical activity of a place where he stayed for a while or to gives just a vague explanation about certain areas. A point that would solve the issue of whether Marco Polo was telling the truth is the Chinese documentation of the time, as it was very detailed. Here the expert’s don’t finally agree either. Some say that his name is not mentioned which would be nearly impossible as he was a foreign ambassador. Other expert says he appears as Po-Lo. It’s quite possible as well that Marco Polo relates stories he has heard from other people and claims to have seen or done these things himself.

Even when he was about to die his family tried to get the truth from Marco polo and he insisted he was telling the truth and added “I’ve just told half of what I saw”. Regardless of the truth, Marco Polo had to be an incredibly charismatic and special person, he made a trip that even now is complicated. In truth other explorers had similar adventures but they didn’t have the “luck” of being in jail for months dictating their stories plus having a father and an uncle that had already gone half the way, maybe they are the real explorers. Anyway history regards Marco Polo as one of the biggest explorers and he deservers this fame.

As a curiosity the most complete version of the multiple versions of Marco Polo´s book was found in the library of Toledo’s Cathedral in Spain in 1932.

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Seeing the bridge would be difficult to guess who designed it and it´s because Calatrava this time didn´t do a white bridge with a spine and cables holding it. I can imagine that for an architect characterized for doing bridges, doing one in Venice, must make him very proud.

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All goes on around the channels.

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Moving around in a vaportto is a joy and some times the only way to see some of the palaces.

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Why unload the goods from the boat and then load the supermarket?

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Anywhere you look there´s detail.

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Will soon tell you what the moon brought.

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This palace is illuminated from under water so when the waves go over the lights it gives a beautiful moving light. I also got in in video to get the effect.

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Long ago used to be a lot of bridges with no handrails, this is the only one left out of more than 400. It´s in the corner of Fondamenta di San Felice and Fondamenta della Misericordia. It´s a dead end.

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I liked Venice so much that I wanted to say good bye in a special way, so I searched for a marvelous restaurant. The story of how by mistake I was invited to an 80 euro bottle of wine and only paying €26 is long…. So I had an even better dinner than what I expected.

I stayed two days more days than I had planned, but for an unexpected reason, one of those things you don’t see that easily. I’ll tell you soon in a video!



This is it, Rome, the capital of the Roman empire, one of the most historic cities of all times with a very especial meaning on my trip, as it was an extremelly important place on the silk route, one of the main destinations, a great consumer of silk. I´ve been four days walking by the places where so many tourists, emperors, merchants, warriors, gladiators and senatoros have walked, I´ve seen it´s buildings and it’s ruins. I became completely immersed in it’s history. I´ve found it a wonderful city, it´s great walking by those streets where in every corner you find a fountain and you can feel the past that has been so important to western countries.
As there has been hundreds of people that have written and pictured Rome it in a professional way I´m not going to list the sights, I don´t see the point. here are just some impressions.

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SPQR stands for Senatys Popvlvs qve romanvs, The Senate and the People of Rome. The sentence synthesizes part of the Roman empire success. In latin there are two ways to say “and”. In this sentence it means that it makes both parts equal. Equating the people and the senate not separating the folk from the power. It´s still used in the Roman flag.

My way to get into Italy was somehow unexpected, the connection from Marsei to Rome was not too handy, nearly 13 hours by train with 3 connections, also I had to meet someone in Rome and I wanted to arrive at lunch time, so i decided ro travel some of the way on Thursday night. My train arrived at Ventimiglia at 00.40 and the train to Rome was leaving  6 hours later. Paying a hotel to sleep just 5 hours? Nooooooooooooo
The idea of sleeping in a train station was not very attractive so I wanted to delay the unavoidable moment. I had a walk round the village searching for a beer. You can imagine how deserted a village in train station. I saw a light which turned out to be an open bar.

From outside I heard the music and i realized i had found the beer i wanted. In the restaurant-bar a young crowd had set up a Karaoke night. A group of ten guys and girls, dressed up, all of  different ages, as village gangs might be, were SINGING LOUDLY some Italian pop hits. Pietro served me my first Peroni (the scene couldn´t be more Italian)and drank it thinking how even at this times of night a little village in the frontier had the italian spirit of noise and fun. No way I could have found something like this in France. Thats the way that murky and cold night in the station, started with one of those trip moments, those that are impossible to plan.

Next day I arrived to Termini train station and met my first visitor on the trip, Dermot. I left my bag in the hotel and here are the pictures that emerged from the city…

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The first stop was the Trevi Fountain, from the hundreds of tourists the cloned pictures . There were these happy people, each with his beer in his hand cracking jokes about the torists and their cameras.

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It´s written that down the Tiber Romulus and Remus came floating in a basket. I like the history even logically it is more of a legend then a fact of history. I like the fact that the tiver is in fact another chacter in it’s history.
On it´s way to Rome it has a lot of water, it has been twisting and turning 405 kilometres. The Tiber was used in Rome, the merchant ships sailed up to Rome to the Aventino market. Rome used to export metals and bought spices, and of course, silk. There was a moment in the Roman empire that silk was so popular that it was used not only by the rich but also by the poor. The silk was paid for in gold and they became so obsessed with it that spending all the gold nearly collapsed the economy (now we collapse it with bricks). During this time Rome had no clue what silk was, where it came from, they where simply fascínated by it and would pay any price. There are written records stating that silk grew on trees already woven.

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Twisting me and the colliseum with my new super wide angle lens. The collisseum had a capacity of 55.000 people and there was a time they had silk and linen to cover the inside providing shade.

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Bar decoration with rose petals, handcuffs and white guns.

During my trip i´m gong to visit some of the most important religious places, the Vatican headquarters of the Catholic church  made me very curious, so one day I let the underground guide me there.

The second stop was the Vatican museum, the museum is famous for three things. The biggest religious art Collection in the world, Michelangelo Sistine chapel and the endless queues. I was lucky and the queue was limited to 2 people before me and the metal detector, so one minute later and with 15 euro less, me, my frine, my backpack and the 15 tool swiss knife I had inside were in…

I think you can leave the vatican museum with two opinions. One is on the amount of stunning artwork pieces inside. Sculptures, marbel, paintings, murals, and of course, the Sistine chape(just thinking that one person spent 4 years painting it makes it interesting enough). Or you can leave with the idea of having seen something ostentatious and obscene. I guess there´s people leave with both ideas at the same time!

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Japanese in Saint Peter´s Square. I´m starting to develop a theory about the density of japanese per square meter and the importance of a location.

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In it´s Collection of modern art there´s a Dalí.

I have no picture of Claudio. One night after dinner in the Trastevere neighbourhod, we stopped to have a drink in a tiny bar in front of the bus station. Claudio, kind of an older man, was treating with care all his clients late at night, he was a real talker staying in his dad´s business having had the bussines in the family for 62 years. With not much talking and after hearing his story as a person that had worked hard all his life to keep what he had, I asked him about Berlusconi. And this was his answer “Berluscon1 is a smart man and it´s good having an intelligent person as head of the goverment. He is a personal friend of important people like Putin and Bush. Berlusconi has a beautifull villa in Corsica, and they´ve gone to visit him, all those important people. These relationships are good for Italy”. This solved my doubt. Berlousconi has big support from normal people, however he keeps being controversial, ive heard several conversations from Italians saying his name and it´s obvious the opinion is polarized.

Now moving to the last visits, as usuall i also spent some time looking into the modern side of town. Two compulsory stops. The Auditorium and the MAXII museum.

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It was designed by Renzo Piano, an italian architect who has won the Pritzker prize. It doesn´t look like it but it was constructed 15 years ago, in 1995.

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It has 3 rooms with different sizes, the there is a concrete cover that seems to have the look of an alien from a distance.

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Zaha Hadid MAXXI´s XXI art gallery museum. Unfortunately it wont open for a few weeks. Zaha is also building the Olympic Stadium for the London Olympics.

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I left Rome on the train of the right, at high speed, 250 km hour, like if I was running away, but without that intention. I´ve seen impressive things, i´ve liked this stop on the way.

The train took me to Pisa, but as I have written quite a lot today you probably preffer a video.

Music is from Lali Puna.

The engineers removed ground from underneath the tower. Now it´s stable, it´s in fact the only time ever it´s not moving that´s why it´s possible to visit it in restricted groups. The story what the´ve done to make it stable is very interesting.

I´ll be writting soon about how stunning I´ve found Marco Polo´s city.