There are cities like
It was late in the afternoon by the time we set off from our hotel in S Angelo towards Piazza San Marco in the Vaparato. The city of Venice, wrapped like a gift in the mist, unfolded in front of us; the Warf’s and the gondolas bobbing awkwardly on the waters, as if they would never get used to intrusions from the outside world, the ducks scurrying of on the feel of an approaching boat, the cluttered rows of faded buildings on either side opening up frequently to give us a glimpse of the small murky canals and the dark secrets that lay beyond…
We wandered around San Marco square for rest of the evening like two people too completely overwhelmed by city ( and perhaps the early morning hustle followed by the delay of flight) to actually formulate and stick to a particular plan. The pigeons held on to my attention for quite some time even though I was a bit nervous about feeding them. P did not relent into my repeated attempts at trying to get him to feed them either. Such a disappointment! We then entered the basilica which is a fine example of Romanesque-Byzantine style architecture. Some of it dates back to the 12th century. It is beautiful inside and out; full of old frescoes and gold gilding. The marble floors are in unique patterns too. We said a little prayer there before heading out again into the tiny lanes which take you away from the square.
Amongst the dull aging exterior of Venice lie tiny streets complete with sparkling lights and gaily lit shops that hold many items of interest; Masks, Glass ware, Laces, Wood work etc…I found the Venetian masks particular fascinating and time and again much to P’s dismay I was drawn towards them. The idea of concealing ones identity and creating an aura of intrigue has always been my weakness and it manifested there to the point when I had to tell myself to stop looking at the masks altogether.
We continued walking in the streets even after sun set and ended our walk on the edge of San Marco near the Vaparato. By now most of the way side shops were getting closed and one could see lights of the nearby restaurants and cafes were reflecting on the waters. Many traders rushed home probably seeking shelter from the cold or in search of a warm dinner, while there were others who came and set up temporary stalls. A guy selling crimson roses sold us one and I carried it around till late into night when we could not hold off the fatigue and slipped into deep slumber.
The crisp morning nine o’clock breeze took us straight back to San Marco. The architectural splendor (commonly referred to as Venetian Gothic) and artistic overtones are visible in many places in
The rest of the day was spent getting lost in the streets and bridges of
After all this I can say, to me, Venice is like an old woman struck by pains of advanced years, worn out and tired, by standing on the salty shores waiting for her old man for too long. Her joints are scarred, skin shaggy and peeling but the twinkle in her eyes and the curve of her lips continue to drag you in. Her decaying grandeur so different from all others, whispers tales of a time gilded with gold and exotic pleasures and all the while something in the air tells you that she will give you an experience like none else.
What we loved: Walking all over the city and seeing it in the true sense instead of catching a number of tourist’s spots and some shots.