adventures, travel

Venice, Italy

My first day in Venice I walked a lot. That’s not really saying too much because the unique thing about Venice is that you will never see a car. In fact you rarely even see bikes because of all the steps and narrow pathways. The main means of conveyance is of course by boat! And foot. The streets were filled with people. It was hard to imagine anyone actually living there, it felt like everyone around me was just visiting – which happens to be pretty close to the truth. I found out that the steady disappearance of Venice’s population is a reality and is closely linked to whether the city should forgo it’s status as a “living” metropolis and become a glorified theme park. For me I imagine it would be like living in Disneyland. Schemes to preserve Venice for Venetians – modern houses, more jobs, a new metro – are often at odds with those aimed at preserving Venice for profit and prosperity. What I mean is, the original integrity of these very old and beautiful structures must be maintained by law, everything has to be refurbished with the original materials. This can become very costly indeed seeing how these buildings have things like marble floors and antique stained glass windows. The owners of these buildings are finding it hard to stay as well as the other locals who are inundated with tourists on a daily basis. Even if these issues are resolved, the more literal perils still remain (too many tourists, too much pollution, too many pigeons) as well as the ultimate fate reserved for a city built on water: The relentless and corrosive advance of the elements. In any case that only makes me more grateful that I got to experience it for myself. I actually thought Venice was quite magical. Being inside the labyrinth of streets made me me forget for a moment that I was walking through a seemingly floating city until I would reach a clearing where the water met the land. Sometimes I wouldn’t even be expecting it. The first night I sat by the water and really tried to absorb my surroundings. I want to remember it forever.