I am hardly surprised. Venice was hardly astonishing.
I had seen pictures. I had seen movies and documentaries. I’ve heard narratives and read about it. I was not impressed or put in awe. I have seen churches, basilicas, palaces and towers, old houses, decrepit walls and water and sea and boats. I have also seen and met Italians, speak their language and stayed in their country.
It is the slow-sinking feeling that you’re elsewhere that is thrilling. Somewhere away from where you started. Walking back home, or at least a place where a bed and food awaits when it’s night time, cold and foreign, and nearly starting to sink in.
A city built on alder wood; it has this mythical, mystical aura about it. If there had been less people around, it would be hauntingly beautiful. It’s at night that the city speaks; in the water, the gaping arches, the slanted sides of churches, the leaning towers and the silence. One has to accept being lost and then one is free.
Limits. That is, I believe, the beauty of Venice. Not the structures, nor the antiquity, but the spaces in between. Limitations make us dream, yearn to be on the other side. One cannot cross to another island on water except by boat, nor across a canal except by bridge.
For now, I’m content to be tired of it all. Next time I’ll raze the city for the details I did not find before.
Authored by: Isaac Azzopardi