Remembering Venice

The city flooded when I was there exactly a year ago. Locals say it happens every autumn with the heavy rainfall.

I don’t remember why I didn’t write about Venice after my trip across Europe, but I do remember thinking that the city was sinking, and wondering what would happen if the flooding never stopped.

I remember walking down the slippery steps of the train station and standing in front of a city on water. I remember the flood reaching my knees. I remember prepared locals who went about their business in rain boots around St. Mark’s Square while tourists struggled to walk on make-shift catwalks hoisted above the water by bricks. I remember the crisp feel of winter in the air.

I remember trying to find my hostel within the narrow alleys that twisted, turned, and intersected. I remember walking on bridges big and small and just about tossing the map into the canal in despair. I remember eavesdropping on one American couple asking for directions at a restaurant and laughing at the waiter’s instructions that repeated “left, right, left, bridge; left, right, left, bridge”.

I remember counting the number of garbage boats that floated by on the canal and marveling at the Venetian version of waste control. I remember window-shopping outside of tiny storefronts with glistening Venetian masks hanging in the windows. I remember spying on tourists in gondolas as the oarsmen steered them around the lagoon. Even though the striped shirts of the gondoliers were all for show, I remember thinking how timeliness it seemed.

I remember eating pizza next to a middle-aged couple who held hands across the table as they dined. I remember sitting behind a group of Italian friends on the vaporetto – the water bus –  as they pointed out historical buildings to each other.

Despite the rain, I remember Venice in vivid colours. I also remember wishing that I didn’t have to leave so soon.

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13 responses to “Remembering Venice

  1. I was in Venice last week and St Mark's square was flooded every morning. It was fun to walk around on planks. I'm sure the locals get sick of it, but we loved it. Let's hope they can stop it sinking.

  2. I remember gelato. I not a fan of sweet stuff but I remember tasting the awesomest dark chocolate ice cream in Venice!!! And I ate at least 2 ice creams a day during my 6-day Venetian get away.

  3. beautiful photos! I am currently running a series on Venice with travel info and I have also gotten lost in Venice and gotten those same directions. Lovely writing! I will be back to read more! 🙂

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