An aerial photo of Venice and the Venetian Lagoon


Cheryl took this aerial photo from a KLM passenger jet after the plane flew out over the Adriatic sea, turned, and crossed the Venetian Lagoon before heading north toward the Alps. We've added captions that describe what you're seeing.

The little white specks in the water are vaporetti, water taxis, and other boats in the navigation channels between Venice's historic center and the islands nearby.

For an even more detailed aerial map of the city's historic center, don't miss our Venice Orientation Map at

The paving stones of Venice

A rainy day in Venice, Italy

ABOVE: A rainy day in Venice, Italy.

If you've every found yourself slipping and sliding on wet cobblestones, you'll appreciate one of Venice's least-heralded but most pedestrian-friendly urban features: the use of flat, lightly-textured paving stones that offer good traction underfoot on rainy days.

The same stone is used on many of Venice's 400+ bridges. As a bonus, the city marks the edges of stone steps and canalside pavements with highly-visible strips of white Istrian stone, making it less likely that you'll miss a step or stride inadvertently into a canal.

We don't know who came up with Venice's paving scheme, but urban designers and public-works managers from all over the world could learn a useful lesson by visiting Venice on a rainy day.

This month in London: "Beyond the Grand Canal" art exhibition by Lesley Banks

"Mask and Heart" by Lesley Banks

ABOVE: Mask and Heart by Lesley Banks, from "Beyond the Grand Canal" at London's Heartbreak Gallery.

Lesley Banks, a Glasgow-based artist, is featured in a new show titled "Beyond the Grand Canal" at the Heartbreak Gallery in London. The exhibition consists of 50 oil paintings and works on paper about people and scenes in Venice, Italy.

According to the exhibition's e-catalog, the exhibition was inspired by "the charismatic and charming people Banks met whilst in Venice. The beguiling Fiora Gandolfi was central to her discovery of a more intimate view of the City as she welcomed Banks into her world. We see glimpses of Gandolfi's glorious home, a visit to her favorite expresso bars and a trip to the Rialto fish market at dawn. Peering through the bedroom windows, we see a view of one of the many waterways and watch the mist forming across the lagoon. Through this intimate portrait, Venice comes alive and beckons you once more."

Lesley Banks was born in 1962 in Denny, Sterlingshire and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. She has exhibited extensively since 1988 in London and in Glasgow, where she continues to live and work.

"Beyond the Grand Canal" runs from October 12 through November 11, 2012. For more information, or to view JPEG images of the 50 works of art online, visit the Heartbreak Gallery's Web site at

BELOW: A café in the Campo Santa Margherita, and fog on the Riva degli Schiavoni.

Cafe in the Campo Santa Margherita, by Lesley Banks

Fog on the Riva degli Schiavoni, by Lesley Banks

Images courtesy of Lesley Banks and the Heartbreak Gallery, London.