A couple of weeks ago, the wedding of Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney was all over the news. And although I never really wanted a big wedding with my husband, (we got married in San Francisco City Hall with two witnesses!) I couldn’t help being jealous that they got to be married in Venice.
I love Venice. I’ve been blessed to travel there a few times, and on my most recent visit, a year ago, I got to stay for an entire week!
We rented a tiny apartment in the basement of an old palazzo on the Grand Canal. And since our apartment was created from what had probably been the palace’s original store rooms, and opened off the boat landing, it felt like our apartment was actually IN the Canal. We could hear the water lapping against the stones outside!
A funny story… the first morning in the apartment, I woke up, stretched, walked out of the bedroom, and there were about three workers unloading cargo from a boat right outside the window. They looked at me, laughed, and waved as I dashed back into the bedroom to get a few more pieces of clothing on. It turned out, the main dock to unload supplies for our neighborhood was right outside the apartment window! I made sure I got dressed first thing in the morning after that.
Venice to me is all about romance. But not the glamorous romance of the recent celebrity wedding. It’s the romance of back alleyways, away from the tourists at Piazza San Marco, where you come upon a local hanging their laundry,
Or catch a glimpse of the rare tree that grows over the high wall of a hidden garden.
It’s the romance of the crumbling buildings with stone floors worn by generations of footsteps,
and the winding narrow alleyways that end abruptly at the side of a quiet canal.
It’s in the muted colors of the old stone and chipping paint,
and the startling life of a young child charging across a piazza in pursuit of pigeons.
During my days in Venice the outside world disappears. It’s as if I’m wandering inside an enormous and interactive work of art, and my only job is to absorb its beauty.
Not just the beauty that I see, but the feeling of it, rising and wrapping around me like the early morning mist that lingers on the canals. I am steeped in romance when I visit Venice, and it’s absolutely blissful!