Even in a state of delirium, the beauty of Venice cannot be imagined nor made up.
Most of my posts seem to have an anecdote about something one of my teachers or about something I watched/read as a child and with Venice, it's no different. As a pretty nerdy, indoor kid, I religiously watched Discovery Kids every evening and one of the programs called "My beautiful home" is where I first heard about Venice.
"My beautiful home" saw kids from around the world take us around their house and their hometown and one episode took us to Venice. Young Marco, along with his friend, took us around the wonderful streets and canals of Venice while giving us narrative facts about his hometown of which the carnival was a highlight. What captured my attention, however, was when he mentioned that the city of Venice was predicted to sink very soon and I felt a sense of urgency at wanting to see this city at least once before it does. Years down the road, Venice was rumoured to sink by 2015 and I was not having it. How can this historic city sink before I get to see it?
I didn't care about the gondola rides or the bridge that promises true love nor did I want to feel like I am enacting a scene from The Talented Mr. Ripley. I just wanted to be another soul who passed through this historic city and its veins.
So when the Italian part of the trip was being planned, I had to squeeze in Venice for my younger self. She had held on for so long and she deserved to see it and sure enough, she wasn't disappointed.
There's no getting around it: Venice is expensive and it is FULL of tourists but that doesn't diminish its allure. What made it so special were the numerous musicians in every corner. Boy, the Italians can hold their notes! I probably spent more on tipping than eating in Venice but #NoRegrets. The street musicians were my personal highlight in Venice and even today, three years later, the videos of those musicians still put a smile on my face and takes me back to the exact moment where I stood and watched them.
More than a 'bucket list' item, Venice is an experience. I only spent one day in the city (less than 24 hours to be precise) and yet I am unsure as to if I want to go back? Rome is definitely a city I'd like to go back to but Venice, I want to be able to say that I did go there and leave it at that. I don't want it to become some vacation hot-spot for me, if that makes sense. I don't want to be that person who has a list of things to do and things to see in Venice. I just... I was just so happy to have fulfilled this wish for my younger self. For that matter, Italy checked off a lot of that! Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius was another such wish but more on that later. I'll hopefully write up something really soon on Pompeii too. But obviously, if the chance arise, I will probably jump at it to go back. I'd be stupid not to! But I like longing. I like drowning in memories and longing for what was. Chalk it down to being some kind of sufferer but I enjoy tormenting myself that way.
This is not to say that Venice was without its bad experiences too. We stayed in a less than delightful hotel in Lido because every other hostel or B&B were booked out for the weekend. We also had to pay 100 euro for a taxi to the airport because the water taxi, stopping at every stop at 3 in the morning, took too much time and catching the shuttle bus after that would've made us miss the flight to France. But as I always say, what is the point of travel without its ups and downs? You need a bit of the good and the bad for a really great story so now, three years later, I'm okay with it. Although you can be sure that I wasn't when I was handing over the 100 euro!
So here we are. These are the photographs that sum up my Venetian experience as well as what my memories of Venice looks like, embedded in my head. The only thing missing is the music.