A new weekly series featuring short descriptions of my perceptions of the cities I have visited.
This week I talk about Venice.
What can I say about Venice that hasn’t been said already? I know! Let me paint a semi-realistic picture that would not generally be portrayed. I visited Venice in the peak of summer. In my mind no place can be as hot as India so I seriously underestimated the weather. It was HOT. A humid, sticky heat with no end in sight and there were insane crowds everywhere. The first day was spent finding our bearings and fighting the exhaustion after a long flight. I did not get the hype of Venice right away. It was beautiful but crowded, hot and smelly at times. I wasn’t really blown away as I had expected after reading all the vivid odes to the supposedly charming city.Yet. I had my aha! moment the next evening.
We were on the water bus and I had managed to get a seat at the back where it is open. It was quite pleasant as there was a breeze and the water made it quite cool. The buildings right at the edge of the water with their intricate windows and detailing and the bright colors looked lovely. The dusk was slipping away into the night. At that moment with the twinkling lights shimmering into the water and the restaurants and homes by the water front brought to life bathed in a warm glow and merrymaking it felt magical. I could totally picture the life there in the old days where the buildings were owned by merchants with their private ‘boat park’ in front. ‘The Merchant of Venice’ became a real story to me. Especially beautiful were the Academia and the San Giorgio Maggiore areas. It is not for no reason that the entire city of Venice is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Another reason why Venice feels charming are the old buildings. They are old in age and also look old and faded but that’s what makes them beautiful. The peeling paint, the uneven wood work and knotty window frames, the fading graffiti and signage, the patchy paint all added such a depth to the city and for me, that is what made Venice stand out from the other places I visited in Italy.