Counting churches in Venice is like counting stars in the sky.
Since every church has a bell tower and of course every bell tower has a bell or even more than one, you will be awaken at night by bells tolling during your Venice stay.
You might find the bell sound annoying at first, but little by little you will enjoy the lullaby the bells play.
It’s quite popular in many countries to have bells rung in celebrations, like at christenings, weddings and funerals, to call the community to Mass and to inform people of someone’s death. Did you know in Italy bells actually toll every hour, as many times as needed to indicate what time it is? That means the longest melody will be twice a day, at midday and midnight. In the past the bell sound was the only way for farmers in the fields to know what time it was. Now everyone has a watch, or a cellphone, however, for old people bells still have great importance: “it’s marking twelve, let’s start cooking!” an average grandmother would say. In Italian we have a number of sayings which include the word campana (bell). One is sordo come uno campana and another is stonato come uno campana. The former literally means “deaf as a bell”, the latter “off-key as a bell”. Now you can understand how signifying bells are in our culture: after hearing so much noise from all these bells, you basically stop hearing and singing can be hard too. So, just surrender, you have to become familiar with Venice’s hundreds of churches, bell towers and bells. What we are trying to say here is… don’t be bothered by bells, quite the opposite, enjoy them as AC/DC, Metallica, Pink Floyd did!
Bell towers used to be the tallest buildings in villages, towns and cities. Why do you think that was? Well, of course because it was way easier to look up at the sky and counting how many times a bell tolled rather than counting stars!
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