I am not a newbie to travelling, but I am certainly new to the effect that this beautiful city has had on me…. I found it utterly spellbinding. I can remember feeling my jaw drop in amazement as we swept up into the Grand Canal in a sleek and highly polished water taxi on our way to Ca’ Angeli, where we stayed. Right from that moment, Venice had me under her spell – the colour, the light, the ubiquitous canals, the architecture, the history, the people …. the list is endless.
Since we left Venice in June, it has continued to haunt me. To feed my obsession I am avidly reading anything I can find – currently its The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (2006, Hodder and Stoughton), and so much of what he writes about Venice resonates with me – for instance, “Venice was uniquely beautiful, isolated, inward-looking, and a powerful stimulant to the senses, the intellect and the imagination” (p.39). If this is not true, why do so many people visit Venice annually, why is it the setting for so many films, and books? – how could Donna Leon keep producing her wonderful novels featuring Inspector Brunetti, if Venice did not provide such stimuli?
I think for me, it is not even really about what I saw In Venice in June, it is more about what I didn’t see, – that hackneyed saying “so much to do and so little time” really is fitting. I needed to see so much more to be satisfied – Guidecca, Burano, The Lido … I think too, my return should be in a different season, perhaps late September, early October. The sun shone brilliantly for us in June, but I am willing to bet the appeal of Venice in autumn would be just as great – the light would be different, the mood would be different, and exploring the city on foot would be easier …. in the meantime I will continue my journey by devouring more books, – Venice by Jan Morris is next.