Venezia (or Amour à Venise)

Ahhh. Venice. I didn't really "get" Venice before going. But now I have been I totally get it!! Wow. A whole town with no cars! No bicycles even or mopeds. Boy did we sleep well at night. And everyone walks everywhere. How healthy is that? We chatted to an 83 year old man who showed us the way somewhere (Venice is a maze) and there he was, 83 and up and about as if he were 60. So we walked. A lot. But that is what we do, B and I, when we travel. We walk, we talk, we eat and we drink. Sometimes a token gallery or museum but not always, it's all about the walking. Venice has a slightly Disneylandish quality (or should I say default) to it. You really get the impression that the main reason you are there is to buy buy buy!! 10 minutes on a gondola, some rubbishy mask or badly made glass necklace or a lace bookmark, or pigeon food... that side to it really disappointed me. The most amazing creative talent is there to be seen but of course is unaffordable to most people. But since most people want to possess things, they would rather take home cheap rubbish than nothing and so the rubbish is right there in your face for the buying. That for me is the shame - the dilution of expertise into touristy rubbish. I can't believe I am ranting about Venice!! Venice!! So beautiful and romantic and arty and creative and wet and yummy!! So full of amazing buildings, streets, bridges and also so full of colour. The smells too! It was quite a surprise to me to smell the sea. Somehow I had always thought Venice would smell of rank water but no. The sea. I think it will take a while for all the impressions I have of Venise to settle and for me to find out which ones will be for me the most evocative. I have an inkling that they will involve the evening mist, bridges, the sound of feet on cobblestone, the lapping of water... Ihad felt as though I had found a personal Venice but what I just wrote is so cliched. Aah. I guess sometimes you just have to live the cliché, dwell in it, wallow in it (and then buy some of it to take away with you...?).
Ahh Venise! Quel endroit de rêve! J'en reviens ravie. Une ville où les voitures sont inexistantes, où il faut marcher, où il faudrait presque se faire guider par les étoiles pour ne pas se perdre, où une petite ruelle miniscule peut amener à un endroit bien utile (station de traghetto par exemple) ou une rue bien large mener à un cul de sac sur le grand canal. Une ville tellement historique mais qui reste jeune, au moins je le pense, dans l'esprit. J'étais surprise par l'odeur de la mer (je m'attendais à l'odeur de l'eau morte). J'étais surprise par tellement de petites choses finalement (les bateaux de fonction- "Telecom Italia", La Poste italienne; les barques des éboueurs; la présence de vies normales - les pressings, les supermarchés) et d'autres plus grandes me laissaient sans réaction (la piazza san marco - quelque part bof). Bref... un voyage complex et simple à la fois. J'en suis sûre que j'y retournerai, avec les enfants, et donc j'ai le luxe de pouvoir réserver jugement! Là je fatigue. B regarde Mort à Venise de Visconti et je pense que je vais me concentrer sur les derniers airs mélancholiques de ce film avant de me coucher. Ciao ciao!

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