It has been a longtime dream of mine to visit Italy. I sometimes feel like I was supposed to be Italian because I strongly identify with Italian life: pizza, wine, tradition, enjoying the good things in life, and drinking a great cup of coffee or cappuccino to start the day. My nearly two weeks exploring a country where I did not know the language was exhilarating, and no where near as scary as I thought it would be.
If you’ve ever imagined what Venice is like, your imagination is probably spot on. It’s magical. It’s picturesque. It’s as if Walt Disney himself created the area that barely sits above the water called Venezia because it so perfectly demonstrates what one conjures up in their head of what an Italian experience would be. The narrow alleyways, the gondolas, the laundry hanging between buildings, and Nessun Dorma faintly being played in the distance as you’re drifting off to sleep (yes, that actually happened). It made me so completely happy that it lived up to everything I had built it up to be. It is also truly amazing how little foundation separates the people and the buildings from becoming submerged in water. Just sayin’.
I kept being told that I visited Italy at the perfect time of year. Tourist season would be wrapping up and the temperature was supposed to be perfect. These things were true, although there were still a lot of tourists, so I can’t imagine the craziness in full blast especially trying to get anywhere in the little alleyways. The temperature may have been wonderful, but that sun sure could get hot in the middle of the day.
For the most part, I decided to plan nothing while in Venice. At that point in my travels I had been very busy everyday for 3 weeks and following Venice I would be going to Rome with a very full, see everything in a day, kind of schedule. I walked around in the mornings until it got too hot and crowded for me and then went back to my Bnb, worked on images, journaled, napped, or sat on the rooftop to admire my insane view. I ended up doing that quite a bit since I was 350 feet from San Marco Square. In the evening I would go back out to grab dinner, and walk around some more. I loved just being. I was present and soaked up every smell, sight, and sound (many of which were bells ALL.THE.TIME). I took my time, strolled ever so casually to no where in particular, visited the Rialto Bridge, visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and saw pieces of art by Kandinsky, Picasso, S. Dali, and Man Ray. I spent one morning walking over to the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and then a good deal of time memorizing the structure, the details, the sculptures, and the organ music being played. I lit a candle and said a prayer and then sat outside on the steps inhaling the view of the Grand Canal. Those were how my days went. No stress. No cares. No worries. Just being and enjoying every single moment (except for the ones with mosquitoes). Since I was traveling solo, and it’s basically required to have a romance while in Venice, I decided to have one with the city. I fell head-over-heels-in-love. Venice treated me well and when it was time to go, I felt sadness for a moment, but was happy for the time I was able to spend there and excited for my next lover, Rome.
Venice. Go. Be. Love. It’s worth it.
Phone images below.