So, nobody likes to admit they fell for a hoax, particularly around April Fool’s Day when we should all be on the highest alert for any hint of the unusual. However, if you are going to fall for one, it might as well be a beautiful one, and here at AnOther, we fell hook, line and sinker for this stunning picture of the Frozen Grand Canal, Venice, Loved by AnOther’s assistant editor Tish Wrigley. Research has uncovered that the shot is actually a composite of two very different pictures – one of Venice’s Piazza San Marco, shot by Luis Manuel Osorio Fernando, the other of Lake Bakail in Russia, taken by Daniel Kordan. Spliced together and uploaded to Instagram by art director Robert Jahns, the resulting photo got a great reaction across the internet, not least by gaining unanimous victory in the Loves vote.
However, we’re moving past our own gullibility and investigating the truth of frozen canals in general, because, while this shot is not genuine, Venice’s canal has frozen a number of times in the past, most recently in 2012 during Europe’s “Big Freeze”, when large icy clumps formed in the water. However, it did not turn into solid ice as in the hoax image, and boats were still able to traverse the waterways. But in London, during the Little Ice Age that ran between the 17th and early 19th century, the Thames froze solid twenty four times, and Frost Fairs were held on the ice in celebration. Contemporary records describe “a carnival on the water “ with “sleds, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes”. In 1814, in what would turn out to be the last Frost Fair, crowds were met with the spectacle of an elephant being led across the river next to Blackfriars Bridge. All in all, it seems a shame that this shot isn’t real – we could have a lot of fun on a frozen Grand Canal.
However, it’s not, and so, to take her mind off her own gullibility, we asked Wrigley what made her love this image and what moment in time she'd like to slow down forever.
Why did you choose to love this canal?
Aside from the beauty slash expert Photoshop work, it’s so romantic. Who wouldn’t want to go for an icy wander down the Grand Canal?
Who would you like to visit it with, and why?
Tom Burke and a couple of discreet men bearing cushions.
What's your favourite frozen drink?
A spider – coke with ice-cream.
If you could freeze one moment in your life, what would it be?
I’ll take an everlasting moment from Turkey, 2011, please.
Are you a good ice skater?
There are no words sufficient to describe the inadequacy of my ice-skating.
What's your favourite hoax of all-time?
The report this week about the discovery of the 8th colour in the rainbow.
What's your favourite Italian pastime?
Sitting outside cafés, eating inordinate amounts of pasta and wearing leather with panache.
What was the last thing you bought?
Beautiful flowers from Petalon to say thank you to Grace for the most glorious skiing holiday.