One of the many things that appeals to us about this town of Venice that we've chosen is how quirky it is. In fact, I would go so far to say that the quirkiness of it all is part of the reason that we decided to live here.
You see evidence above of just some of the murals I've seen around town. Murals! How awesome is that! I mean for a fairly small town, we have an unusual preponderance of them here. The population of the city of Venice (not just the island where we live but off island too) according to the 2010 census was only 20,746 people. According to Wikipedia, Venice is known for it's large snowbird population and it's designation as Happiest Seaside Town. Although Wikipedia says nothing about it, there are a LOT of murals too. (oddly Wikipedia also does not mention that we are the shark tooth capital of the world either!)
Murals pop up unexpectedly as you are driving through town in places where you might not expect it, like say on the backside of a shopping plaza. Or one exterior wall of a building the borders a sidewalk cut-through. I love each and every one of them.
I've noticed them here and there on people's private homes as well. There is a rather startling turquoise house that has a very detailed undersea mural covering the wall between the front door and the garage. There is a another very tastefully painted one of what appears to be a Wisteria vine in full bloom twining up and over garage doors of a different house. And still another that appears to be potted plants, one on each side of a front door. Plants that never need to be watered but always look good! Nice!
When we were house hunting before we moved here I was surprised at the number of houses that had murals inside the house. I mean HUGE murals. The sort that cover an entire wall. Sometimes in an entry way. Sometimes in a bedroom. Occasionally on a lanai (that's a screen porch to everyone else). But it was just the sheer volume of them. I remember being so surprised. I mean if we saw one or maybe two in the dozens of homes we looked at, we might just think..personal taste right? But when you see it happen over and again, you start to think that there may be something else going on here.
As it turns out, murals are actually very in keeping with the flavour of the town. The original city of Venice was just the island. And it was a planned community. Yes! Way back then the concept of planned communities existed. It was brilliantly laid out by a famous city planner named, John Nolan. He made sure it was all perfect with lots of parks and areas for shopping and schools and restaurants and hotels as well as residences. And there was a theme to it all too. The original concept for the town was that every building was to have a Mediterranean feel to it. Think arched doorways, fancy metalwork balconies, terracotta arched roof tiles and lovely warm colours. There are a lot of houses here that were indeed built in that style. Most of the shops and businesses have stayed in keeping with it too. And somehow, to me, murals fit right in with that. How very Michelangelo of us.
While the earliest murals that I know of were found in caves that date back to paleolithic times, one of the peaks of popularity of the art form was during the Renaissance era, particularly in Italy which is in the Mediterranean. And there you go. Now it makes sense right?
Personally, Tim and I have no murals. We are mural-less. We also do not have a particularly Mediterranean style house. Well sort of, we have a cute little pavered court yard in the front, that's rather in keeping with the style. And I would be lying if I said that it never crossed my mind that a cute little mural would look really smashing on the wall around our courtyard. Alas, I have ZERO artistic ability. And of course we have no arched terracotta tiles, no balcony or fancy metalwork. And that's okay.
There are enough others to keep the quirky adorableness of Venice Florida still feeling a tiny bit like Venice Italy. To say nothing of the sheer number of Italian restaurants here! Me oh my! But that too will have to be the topic of a different blog on a another day.
Have a great weekend y'all.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.