Sure, Venice is ALL about the canals – at first glance I couldn’t agree more. After all, they are what make this wonderful place so unique.
However, once you start walking you soon realize that you’ll be criss crossing bridges, dodging corners and loosing yourself in the labyrinth that is made up of not only canals, but also tiny alley ways and ‘campi’. What is a campi? Well, it’s plural for campo, and they look something like this:
A campo is quite literally a square. And when you come to think about it, where else but on the squares would the Venetians actually be able to kick a ball, learn to ride a bike or quite simply chill out without the fear of falling into the water? I spoke to a few parents whilst I was there, and they told me that having a toddler in Venice is like an ongoing nightmare. Deep and potentially dangerous canals are right on people’s doorsteps. Kids need to get canal savvy before they can say pizza!
They don’t however need to worry about cars. EVER. I can only assume that they would be horrified at bringing up their kids in a city where thousands of cars are a very real source of concern for us average parents. Moral of the story? Stick to the squares. In Venice, as in every other city, this is where you’ll see daily life unfold amongst locals getting on with their lives.
One thing to remember though, The Piazza San Marco is not called a campo, it’s a PIAZZA. So the spotlight remains on that mother of all squares as no other Venetian square is called a piazza. Basta!