New research year, new city, new ways of saying “I would like a coffee, please.” All the things that one needs to relearn when going from Deutschland to Italia. Venice has been a dream, albeit with some wrenches thrown into the mix for that shocking bit of reality (more on that in future posts). I’ve been in the laguna for a couple of months now, and can say that there’s a Venetian pace to things. You want to move quickly through the streets to get to the library or the archives to start your workday. Well, when there’s a gaggle of tourists, you have to ease down. It becomes annoying at times when folks stop suddenly at the top of a bridge to consult their map or to take a photo. I’m starting to grumble too much, I see… yes, I should become like the Venetians and stroll along like everyone else, with ease because it’s really a lovely, beautiful city.
Venice is a dream. When the fog rolled in during November, I couldn’t help but stop in my own tracks to also take photos of gondolas emerging from the mist. The atmospheric weather conditions came for only one week so far, but I’m hoping for a return visit during the remaining winter months.
There’s no other place like Venezia, where light and water dance together magically, where waterways and walkways are the streets. No car sounds, no horns, only the occasional blare of music from a taxi boat or the resounding bellow from a ship (or the aria of gondoliers!), and the chatter of people strolling through the streets late at night.
It’s been four years since I was last here, and I remember getting terribly lost in the labyrinth of the città almost every day. Like the titular character of Finding Dory, I become a bit anxious when I’m in enclosed spaces, especially when I’m lost. (Yes, I was one of the few grown-ups stressed out while watching the animated Pixar film.) With its endless alleyways that slash through the city’s neighborhoods, in which only one person’s body width can fit comfortably, Venezia at night had a way of tricking me into going around and around in circles four years ago. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was this time around with GPS on my phone. Though, admittedly, the GPS doesn’t work so well in certain parts of the city. Many a times I’ve walked over a bridge to find no pathway. Literally the bridge ended at a person’s front door. Allora, back to the same problem of getting lost. Well, I was very proud of myself when I reached the Biblioteca Marciana the first time without GPS. It’s the little things.