We’ve spent quite a bit of time mulling about England lately, so let’s pop over to Italy today, shall we? After so many gloomy, dark days in the UK it seemed fitting to get a land of sun – fast! In fact, every few weekends or so, my trusty comrades (read: friends) and I did just that, often a culmination of spontaneity and watching the clocks strike 4am at Manchester airport (did you read that post?) before stripping off our massive coats and getting that Vitamin D we seem to all take for granted in Australia. And although we had a million and more adventures, something about Venice just stole my heart – my eyes were literally that heart-eyed emoji at every turn and over every bridge. It’s only right to start here, at sunrise to be exact, in Piazza di San Marco, or Saint Mark’s Square…
With hardly a tourist in sight, we scuttled over the winding bridges towards San Marco. Beneath our feet, the gondoliers were collecting their gondolas from the cove behind the walls to San Marco, and we stole across them and into the grand square as the sun was hitting the sky and throwing magnificent shadows across the empty land. It seemed crazy that just yesterday we had hit our feet against these same hot tiles, but then we had been fighting with hordes of people and pigeons as we moved through to the glorious views. Now, though, at this undiscovered hour, San Marco was ours to roam.
It was at this point, as our eyes found the details of the crevices in the structure that towered above us, that we wished we had woken even earlier, just so we could have more time alone with San Marco. There was too much to see, too many nooks to poke our heads through and so much land untouched as for today.
Peeling ourselves away from the main square, we strolled along to the water’s edge, marvelling at the rose-coloured glass fixed neatly into the curvature of every lamp post. It’s easy to believe that fairytale’s exist when this much magic falls over Venice.
Spying resting gondolas, we darted to the water’s edge to admire the end of Venice, as it were. At that moment we stood absolutely captivated. How had we managed to be so fortunate as to be experiencing a real-life treasure? A ‘pinch-me’ moment if there ever was.
I can’t possibly sum up Venice. It’s pure magic, and the fact that it’s sinking yet I was able to feast my eyes upon its shores makes it all the more tragically special. As Frida Giannini asserted, “Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.”