Part 2: Venice

When I returned home from my vacation, friends and family wanted to hear about my trip, and when asked in particular what I thought of Venice, I replied simply, “I don’t know.” Crazy, right? You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard tons of people boast how beautiful and romantic it is. And it is, just that. But this realization didn’t come to me right away. First impressions are a series of greater than, less than, equal to calculations of your past experiences. But Venice was so different than anywhere I had been before that I was completely dumbfounded. I had nothing to compare it to. So, yes, Venice is beautiful - but in its very own, unique way.

Top 5 Venice Impressions:
  1. Maze-like: Venice’s tight pedestrian streets with conjoined housing, shops and restaurant buildings meant that finding your way from San Polo to San Marco would not be easy. No matter the direction I veered, I could rarely catch a break. The alleyways were puzzling, like something out of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. But this only made the visit that much more fun as it was anyone’s guess what was just around the corner.
  2. Perfect pastels: everywhere I looked my eyes were met with the most beautiful array of pastels. Every building boasted a unique blend of sun bleached colors. The lush flowers in pots hanging from every other window added vibrancy to the spectrum of colors.
  3. Homage to history: I knew Venice was one of the world’s top tourist destinations, but I was still surprised to learn just how touristy it is. Tourism is at the heart of the Venetian economy, so my visit was more a history lesson than anything else. I can't tell you much about how the Venetians currently live, but only how they once lived. I got the sense that you don’t so much ‘live’ in Venice, as you do visit to pay homage to the ghosts of a past republic.
  4. Time is of the essence: you may have heard that Venice is sinking. Well, I certainly entertained this idea as I toured San Marco by Gondola. Passing the old houses on narrow water brought me close enough to see the effects of rising waters. In many houses the ground floor is uninhabitable; windows are boarded up and doors permanently padlocked. Fascinating really, when you consider it wasn’t always this way…
  5. Grand Canal indeed: so rare, beautiful and majestic. Venice was built entirely on water, and the banks of the canals are lined with exquisite palaces, churches and houses. I was left with a feeling of immense gratitude that the city has survived long enough for me to visit since it was built in the 10th century.

J xx

1 comment:

Apt. #34 said...

thanks for the comment on Apartment 341 What's funny is I had two more friends email me that picture too!

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