Monday, April 30, 2007
A Gilded Dream
MONDAY, APRIL 30
Venice is a gilded dream, an exotic floating city attracting vessels from every port across the globe. People arrive in droves to experience it’s spellbinding magic. There are no cars, and over 400 foot bridges crossing 100 canals. The Grand Canal is the main thoroughfare, and has been called the most amazing street in the world. It’s waters bustle with gondola’s, small water taxi’s and Vaporetto’s which are big public transport boats that hold up to 150 people. Grand homes and palaces from the past line both sides, reflecting many centuries of architectural styles.
Echoes of Venice’s aristocratic past are everywhere, like the peeling of the church bells that sound all over the city. Once ruling by might, even as a powerful Republic, now it finds itself a wizened ambassador, settled, and welcoming the world with stately charms.
I am inevitably quite happy in Venice. My Venetian friends always make my stay special: I visit homes, go to parties, share meals, visit friend's store's, walk together and have good companionship.
My apartment is near the famous Rialto Bridge, which crosses the Grand Canal, so I am in the thick of things. From my flat window, I can see a human river drifting in both directions among shops lining the narrow passage below. Once on the street, to go in any direction is adventure.
It is all so heady, that I think maybe I am dreaming.